Whether it’s cheese on toast or microwave lasagne, we’ve all had days where we are just too lazy to make something decent to eat. Lazy meals can be made significantly more nutritious by simply adding to what you already have. Most meals lack vegetables and good fats, so let me show you how to rectify this and better balance your meals by asking yourself two simple questions:
1. Can you add vegetables?
Always add vegetables! We need a minimum five servings per day. Most Australians consume only half this amount, leaving giant holes in our body’s daily nutritional requirements. Vegetables provide a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (or ‘phytochemicals’ as us in the Natural Health Biz call them). Add whatever you have available.
Try grating, steaming, roasting, blending them into dips and sauces (my favourite for getting vegetables into the littlies), or simply raw in a side salad. Remember, colours = nutrition, so load up on as many different colours of vegetables as you can.
2. Can you add fat?
Fat is not something to be scared of, in fact, fat is extremely important to our health. I’m talking about ‘good fats’ which include raw nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, whole eggs, and fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.). When eaten in appropriate quantities, these fats do not contribute to weight gain; sugar does. Therapeutically they are anti-inflammatories, brain and mood boosters, pain relievers, immune boosters, and are required for hormone health. Unhealthy fats from fried and processed foods, red meat, margarine, and ‘junk’ foods have the exact opposite effect.
Good fats are fairly heat sensitive (with the exception of olive oil, coconut oil, and fish), so the best way to utilise them is to add them after the cooking process to avoid unnecessary heat exposure. Try sprinkling whole or ground nuts and seeds over both sweet and savoury dishes, cooking and baking with coconut or olive oil instead of other vegetable oils, eating oily fish three times per week, swapping out sour cream and margarine for avocado, or adding egg to your meal.
Play around with different ideas and flavour combinations until you find what works for you. No matter how lazy the meal, even adding just one element of extra nutrition is doing your body a great service.
If you need more specific nutritional advice, book in for a consultation with Belinda.
Photo credit: Raul Varzar on Unsplash