Monday, 30 January 2012

Healthy eating on a budget... Adapting to the financial strains of 2012

The world is a different prospect in 2012, the financial industry has changed and so has the thinking behind everyone's spending habits. People are no looking to better deals on everything from food to transport to PTs
As always i get inspiration from my blogs from conversations with my clients and this is no different.One of my clients was asking me how they could create a healthy eating packed-lunch and stop spending S$20-30 (about 15 pounds) a day on lunchtime food/coffee - and luckily its something i have always done. Why?
1) Because i really dont have the extra cash to throw for food
2) I like to know what im eating

If this man serves your lunch, you're probably fat.

When to do it
Everyone claims they have 'no time'. I really dont believe that. Believe me that there are people in the world who have less time and get more done - its just a question of allocating a certain time for food preparation sometime the day before. For me this is usually 9-930pm (maximum). So a key element for success is the speed of which you can create these healthy lunches. The foods/snacks below can all be made within 15-20 minutes so its only a question of having the energy to WANT to create these meals. If all else fails - get your maid to do it!

For those in the UK, US and Australia that may seem like a joke. For those in the Middle east an Asia its a reality. Maids can create any food you ask for, thats their job.

Instant snacks
These healthy foods need no prep time at all so if you cant be bothered to buy them then you deserve to be overweight and alone!
Walnuts (raw) - awesome nutrition, taste is down to preference
Almonds (raw) - awesome nutrition, great snack to accompany green tea
Sunflower seeds - great ingredient for healthy seed mix
Pumpkin seeds - great nutrients and perfect ingredient for homemade trail mix
Brazil nuts - high in selenium and zinc
Mackerel - if you like them then they are an amazing addition to any diet
Tuna - a time-tested muscle building superfood
Sardines - you may scowl but its the best kept secret in lean snacking
Sliced turkey - super low in calories, high in protein
Sliced ham - Great tasting and goes well with most things to create a super-snck
Smoked salmon - A bit up market but salmon is one of the super-foods we should all try to eat
Olives - great source of quality fats
Fruits - believe it or not, not perfect for fat loss but much better than starchy carb snacks
Raw vegetables (Carrots,Tomatoes, Celery, etc)
Organic nut butters (almond, peanut) - perfect on rye bread for snack
Rye bread - also available in 3-seed and flax
Oatcakes - low calorie snack fix which are great on their own or with nut butters

Steamed Veggies take no effort to make and are an amazing fat loss food

Quick snacks (1-5mins)
These can be created with little effort and time at all.
Rye bread open sandwiches - ham, chicken, nut butters, hummous, Tuna to name a few
Healthy tuna mayo - use organic mayo with tuna (in water), add pumpkin seeds
Scrambled eggs - Yes they take 3 mins to make from start to finish. Add almonds for easy power snack
Fruit salad - take 2/3 pieces of fruit and chop them into pieces. Add some natural yoghurt if needed.

Open sandwiches... Millions of scandanavians cant be wrong!
Longer meals (5-20mins)

These take slightly longer but no more than 20 minutes, admit that your not THAT busy for 20 minutes?

Vegetable omelette - i have on average 4-5 of these per week, easy and nutritious
Steamed protein sources - fish, beef, chicken, turkey, eggs
Steamed Veggies - all sorts. You can steam a ton of veg while you create other snacks?
Boiled Quinoa - cooks like rice but its much better for you

Putting it all together... A 20 minute kitchen prep session

Here's how to do it:

- chop all your vegetables up and place into a steamer along with 3 eggs, set for 15 minutes
- whisk 3-6 eggs in a bowl then add to medium heated pan (grapeseed/olive oil) and scramble
- grab a handful of walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and organic raisins - throw in a box
- wrap 3 slices of turkey into foil and (optional) wrap a piece of rye bread
- grab a banana and a apple
- get 2/3 green tea bags
- remove eggs and veggies from steamer after 15 minutes

You now should have:

A tupperware box of steamed veggies with 3 hard-steamed eggs
Home-made trail mix
3 slices of turkey, (with optional) piece of rye bread for open sandwich
2 pieces of fruit
2/3 green tea bags

Done! a super-healthy and balanced packed lunch, perfectly designed for office workers with low calorific demands each day or those with higher energy demands who are looking to drop some body fat/weight.

If you're looking at this and thinking "this is boring" then i don't think i can help you out. You need to really look at your relationship with food and:

"Learn to eat what you need, NOT what you want"

If you don't plan your lunches, you will end up in the same old places eating the same old "carb-heavy' ingredients. I know this because it happens to me when i don't prepare my lunch and fancy a change from sushi and fruit.

Look at your energy needs for the day, if you work in an office - ask yourself the following questions;

How much food do you really need in the working day? not that much

Are you consistently eating too much during the day when you do no physical activity? Yes

Are these daily behaviours stopping you getting the weight/fat loss you work hard to achieve? Yes

Start making your own lunches and be in charge of your own calorie intake, this will translate to feeling brighter at work and hopefully decrease the size of your waist in no time!

Until the next blog :)

Its Fat loss February next month! so watch out for the 2012 Green Faces 7 day challenge week (7th-14th)

1 comment:

  1. you can make your own mayo at home too! it takes 5 minutes :)


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