I don’t know about you but we definitely over-indulged this summer and when we were on holiday it seemed our four year old survived on a diet of chips, crisps and ice cream. But September is here and we’re ready to get back to our routine and when I get food, exercise and sleep right, this makes all the difference to how I feel, how I function and the energy I have for other people.
Last week I went to see the food blogger Deliciously Ella at her book launch in Hertford. She spoke very openly about her struggle with auto-immune disease and how after the medical profession had exhausted all possibilities of a cure, how she began to research and use food to cure herself. Ella also spoke about the challenges she has faced in growing her business and becoming a public figures, as well as her passion for encouraging others to adapt a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons.
I’ve been following Deliciously Ella for some time- both for her amazing recipes but also because she speaks a lot about how food and health support a positive mindset and mental health. I have an image of Ella on my vision board to inspire me on a daily basis to eat healthily. Some of my favourite Deliciously Ella recipes are her hummus; veggie shepherd’s pie here; amazing chocolate mousse and my children’s favourite, her date shake.
However in reality healthy eating can be a struggle in a busy life. We know what we SHOULD do but making it happen can be a challenge.It’s so easy to neglect ourselves and survive on sugar and caffeine.
So I’ve focused this week on getting back to a healthy eating routine and here are some tips that work for me:
1 Online Shopping
Supermarket shopping with 3 kids is not my idea of fun. Online shopping forces me to plan ahead. We are also fortunate to have an amazing market in St Albans and I head there at the weekend to stock up on fruit and veg.
2 Weekly Meal Plan
We don’t always stick to it but we have a plan and because it’s there my husband can sometimes we persuaded to make prepare a mid week meal ahead of time! My lovely friend Anna Horne publishes a weekly blog and menu plan. This also helps reduce food waste because I buy the ingredients required for each meal, not a random selection!
3 The Slow Cooker
This is literally a life saver especially on those days when the kids have after school activities and we struggle to find time to cook. My favourite recent discovery is this- recipes where you bag up and freeze the ingredients to be transferred straight to the slow cooker. Last night we had sweet and sour chicken and thanks to the sweetness of the pineapple the kids loved it!
4 Prep ahead
When we’re really on a roll- food prep at the weekend. There is nothing I love more than home made soup and I eat it every day in the winter months. At the weekend I roast loads of veggies- butternut squash and celeriac are my favs, blend and freeze- super easy, warming and healthy. Also the kids love making granola, crumble, flapjack to keep us going in the week.
5 Cutting corners
And where I cut corners…sometimes mid week it’s ok to have tinned soup, beans on toast, ready made pasta.
80/20 is key- you can’t be good all the time so we relax at the weekend and Friday night is pizza night.
My 10 year old makes his own packed lunch and this means sandwich and a bag of crisps every day but he includes fruit and he’s making it himself so that’s ok.
Packs of pre cooked rice and lentils in the microwave mean I can spoon out of the slow cooker and straight onto the plate.
How do you feel about healthy eating? How do you get the balance right in a busy life?