Week Five of Demystifying Diets: Achieving Balance Through the Art of Eating
Each week in August our Chiropractors and our guest Nutritionist Melanie have deciphered the research and science to help you understand different diets and ways of eating. We hope this helps you when deciding what food might be right for you.
A common excuse people given to not eat healthy, real, whole food is that they consider it to be much more costly than packaged or processed food, or because eating this way is not feasible for most families.
Here are my top tips to make eating healthy, whole foods more achievable.
Buying and eating only in-season produce is not only better for your health but also beneficial for your wallet. Fruit and vege grown in season are more likely to have been grown outside in natural conditions where the plants are able to soak up and transform more nutrients. Also seasonal food doesn’t need to be shipped from another country, ensuring fresher food (more nutrients) and cutting out the cost of importing.
Planning your weekly meals helps to reduce wasted food. If you shop to your plan then everything in the fridge has a purpose, meaning heads of broccoli and bunches of spinach won’t be forgotten and left to rot in the back of the fridge. By planning your meals you will reduce some of the perceived stress that can be involved in deciding what to have for dinner. You will also be less likely to reach for any sort of take-aways when you have a plan in place.
Buy local produce where possible. Not only does it support local farmers in your community, but also you can often save money on produce as the shipping costs are eliminated from the price of the food.
Here are some good local markets in Wellington.
Buying in bulk and sharing with a friend or storing for later can be a great way to save money. Often when buying in bulk it is possible to get cheaper prices. Buying nuts and seeds in bulk can save you money long term. Most nuts and seeds can be frozen to keep them fresh and stop them from going rancid. In-season produce can be frozen, bottled, or fermented for later use.
Freeze foods before they go to waste. Freezing brown bananas (peel them first) and saving them to be used in baking or in a smoothie is a great way to reduce waste. The same can be done with other produce. Fruits can be stewed then frozen and added to smoothies, or warmed and added to muesli. Vegetable scraps can be saved and used to make stock or broth. I recommend to label the food with what it is and the date you froze it so you don’t end up with random items in the freezer that never get used.
There are plenty of veges and herbs that are easy to grow all year round. Kale, spinach and silverbeet will grow almost all year round, and can be used to make smoothies, juices, or to bulk out stews, curries soups or salads. Herbs can be expensive to buy in small amounts but they are very easy to grow. Parsley, thyme and rosemary are hardy herb plants and so versatile, lending themselves to many dishes.
When it comes to what you spend your money on, consider your priorities. Do you draw the line at broccoli when it goes over a specific price yet you buy yourself a coffee or or drink at the local pub? Sometimes finances for food are genuinely limited while for others, better health would be achieved if finances were reallocated.
Here are some handy recipes for feeding a family on a budget.
QUINOA EGG MUFFINS
These quinoa egg muffins by nutritionist Natalie Brady can be used in so many different ways! You can enjoy them as a grab-and-go breakfast, a protein-rich snack, or enjoy them for lunch alongside a salad. They are also great in kid lunch boxes too! What’s even better is that they are super easy to make, high in protein and are gluten-free!
3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1-1.25 cups uncooked)
3 cups spinach (about 150g)
½ cup sundried tomatoes roughly chopped
½ cup feta cheese, roughly chopped. Omit for dairy-free)
½ cup parsley
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil spray for muffin tins
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 Cook quinoa as per instructions, once cooked set to the side.
3 In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and mix together unwell well combined.
4 Spray muffin tins with olive oil, and scoop the mixture into the muffin moulds.
5 Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins or until slightly crispy and golden brown on top.
6 Remove from the oven and allow to cool before enjoying. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
EASY AND HEALTHY WINTER CHICKEN SOUP
This slow cooker chicken soup is pure soul food and those chilly winter nights! Simply prep your ingredients, pop them in the slow cooker and come back 8 hours later to a delicious, nutritious meal. It’s the easiest recipe ever! Created by nutritionist Natalie Brady.
1 whole chicken
5 carrots, diced or cut into circular chunks
5 courgettes, diced or cut into circular chunks
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
6 cups water
1 Place chicken in the middle of a slow cooker, then add in all the remaining ingredients.
2 Set on low for eight hours.
3 Once finished, remove the chicken and shred it from the bone. Remove bones, then place shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and mix ingredients together. Using a ladle, pour soup into bowls and enjoy!
A key ingredient in this soup is the raw apple cider vinegar, as it helps to draw out essential minerals from the chicken bones. Bone broth along with the garlic, turmeric, veges and protein are key ingredients to help keep your immune system strong during the cooler months.
CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BASE
1 medium sized cauliflower
2 organic eggs
¼ cup of sesame seeds or linseeds
2 tablespoons of gluten free flour
¼ cup of pesto (I used another ¼ cup for the topping)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Salt + Pepper
1 Pre heat the oven to 180C.
2 Wash the cauliflower and cut into cubes. Place into a food processor and blend the cauliflower until it is pureed.
3 Place the cauliflower into a tea towel or milk bag and over the sink squeeze all the water out, put aside.
4 In a bowl add the remainder of the ingredients and combine well.
5 Re squeeze the cauliflower to get any more excess water out and then add to the mixture making sure it is well combined.
6 On a piece of baking paper spread the dough out into an even circle. Try to keep the dough around 1.5 cm’s thick to avoid it from cracking once cooked.
7 Bake the base for 15 minutes and then add the topping of your choice. Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until topping is done.
8 Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes before serving.