With the fast-paced, hectic lives we lead, it's very easy to put our health on the back-burner. After a long day of work/ mothering/ ferrying your kids to and from school and classes, it's tempting to succumb to a frozen dinner or a takeaway. And let the kids be happy with fish fingers. Which is OK sometimes, but we all know that health is wealth and all that.
So to make it a bit easier, I've put together 5 EASY ways to incorporate healthy foods into your everyday life, so you don't let the slip-ups happen too often…
1. A sprinkling of flaxseeds…
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, goji berries – all these superfoods can be milled and sprinkled on just about any food, making sure you consume them in your diet on a daily basis, with zero effort. Sprinkle on porridge or cereal for breakfast; salads for lunch or even mix them into soups/ lentils/ curries for that added benefit.
Kid a fussy eater? Add a spoonful to their breakfast cereal and/ or meals – they won't even know!!! (Sorry, Little Man)
I love these ready-to-sprinkle Linwood packets available in various combinations and flavours, and always have a couple at home. It's our family's staple go-to-sprinkle for great taste and health!
2. Instant smoothies
We all know the 5-a-day rule, but how often do we follow it? No time. No energy. No fruits in the fridge… the excuses are always around. Which is why I'm so glad I discovered ready-to-blend smoothie pouches! No more hassle of buying, peeling and cutting fruits to make smoothies – all you have to do is blend and enjoy! These pouches come in various combinations of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and superfoods, making your smoothie wholesome and super-healthy.
Foga's Plantshakes are another quick (and delicious) way to get your five-a-day. Their range of instant plant-based smoothies made from freeze-dried fruits and vegetables combine premium ingredients with exceptional flavours, and are my go-to on those rushed mornings. Their interesting flavours include Blackberry & Chia, Kiwi & Greens, Peach & Cayenne, Banana & Turmeric, Peanut & coffee and Berry & Beetroot.
TIP: Blend with water or milk, or for an even more delicious taste add almond or coconut milk.
If dairy doesn't suit you, you can still benefit from the goodness of Koko Dairy Free Super Milk – a creamy, full-bodied and oh-so-delicious dairy-free milk alternative. Bonus points – it's brimming with health benefits as it is enriched with 9 key vitamins and minerals including iodine, potassium, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
3. Guilt-free snacking
We all love to snack, don't we? Be it from hunger pangs between meals, because of stress, while watching telly or just boredom. There's no point in eating a healthy breakfast, soup and salad for lunch and then gulping down a packet of crisps or biscuits. Though that is often what we do when the late afternoon or midnight cravings set in.
There is one solution – DON'T keep unhealthy snacks at home and DO keep healthy snacks within easy reach.
- So even if you're craving a chocolate, you won't be able to eat it because it is not there. Simple.
However, when the chocolate cravings get too much, there is a healthier option. I recently got introduced to Grenade's Carb Killa low-sugar, high-protein bars. With less carbs and more protein and fibre, and available in a multitude of delicious flavours, this is my go-to when I just can't do without a treat!
- You're still hungry, so you must eat something… if there are carrot batons cut and ready-to-eat in the fridge, you will eventually eat them. Getting the drift? I keep oranges, apples, pears, carrot sticks and cucumber slices washed and chopped in little containers – whenever hunger strikes, I attack, guilt-free.
- Make nuts your best snacking friend. These little packets of flavoured nuts from are brilliant for on-the-go snacking, or for a quick pick-me-up. What's more, their nutritional value is upped by the fact that they are activated nuts. Which simply means they are soaked in filtered water and dried until really crunchy – this not only improves their taste but also increases their nutritional value.
- Other easy, healthy snack ideas include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, yogurt, low-fat cheese, peanut butter on oatcakes and veggie sticks dipped in hummus.
- A subscription to a healthy snack box service such as Treat Trunk is another way to ensure you are snacking on the right stuff. Yes, even treats can be of a healthy nature.
4. Add the yucky stuff to the yummy dishes
Ok, so broccoli might not be the yummiest thing in the world, but it is awesome for your health. Instead of eating it plain-boiled, why not hide it in a soup or a vegetable bake? Let tastier ingredients disguise the taste, and you'll feel a whole lot better for having eaten your greens too!
I do this for Little Man all the time. Add some spinach leaves to a cheese omelette. Blend some broccoli into a lentil soup, or add some to a pasta bake? A sprinkling of chopped kale and spinach in mince… just use your imagination on this one!
5. Don't forget your daily vitamins
Except that we often do! With a hundred and one things to remember in the morning, that one all-essential pill is often forgotten. A daily multi-vitamin is the best option; however, some of us might need additional doses of a particular vitamin (B12 or Vit C or Vit D) depending on our health and/or deficiencies. Do your tests and consult a doctor before starting any vitamins.
And for more healthy inspiration, check out A Zest For Life cookbook that is bursting with energising, nutritious recipes that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans too. From breakfast ideas to healthy and filling packed lunches to afternoon snacks, all made with ingredients that are good for you (hello superfoods!), this is a steal for £9.99!
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