You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen or be a culinary expert to cook a delicious tasting meal. You also don’t need to be a nutritionist to make sure you’re fuelling your body with the right food to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Making healthy meals can be simple, convenient and fun. One of the best parts about preparing meals at home is that you have complete freedom to make it your own. You determine the portions, control the ingredients, and the amounts used.
There are easy ways to heighten the nutritional value of almost any meal. Here’s a few tips to get you started...
Dress up your salad.
Swap lettuce for rich pigmented leafy greens like spinach. Add a protein like grilled chicken or salmon. Top it off with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Layer it with a yogurt or oil-based dressing instead of a creamy dressing.
Amplify your oats.
Prepare with milk or soy alternatives instead of water to add additional nutrients and creaminess. Top it off with fresh fruit like bananas or berries. Dress it up with nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds or chia seeds. Drizzle on some honey, add cinnamon, coconut flakes or dark chocolate. You can even mix in a scoop of your favorite protein powder.
Burgers for dinner?!
Substitute white buns for whole wheat. Make that burger stand tall with lots of fresh greens and veggies. Add a side like grilled or roasted asparagus, broccoli or courgettes.
Cooking Methods and Techniques
The cooking methods and techniques you use can help boost flavour, retain nutritional value and even reduce the level of fat. For example, steaming vegetables instead of boiling, helps to retain nutrients that get lost through the boiling process and left behind in the excess water.
There are little things you can do to be more mindful about how much fat you consume when it comes selecting and preparing your proteins. At the supermarket, choose protein sources by opting for lean cuts of meat or selecting mince meat options that are 7% fat (or lower). You can also trim away some of the fat on the cut of meat prior to cooking.
Spice It Up
Introducing new herbs and spices can take a basic but well balanced dish to the next level. Flavour it up with oregano, parsley, paprika, cumin, thyme, basil, chives, garlic, or onions. There are hundreds of different spices to choose from – fresh or dry. Experiment and have fun!