Healthy living, faster!

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A lot of people these days want to be healthier and feel better. An easy way to do that is to have a really nutritious, tasty and healthy diet. We’ll show you some simple tips you can incorporate into your busy lifestyle!

Society is becoming much more health conscious with a rising tide of obesity, diabetes, cancer and health problems such as, depression and heart disease having links to a poor nutrition. With obesity rates in Australia soaring more than 80% in the last 33 years the biggest increase in a survey of over 200 countries (1). This is mainly due to the proliferation of fast food and junk food options available to us which is more readily available compared to healthy food. Over the past few years, this has taken rise to be a serious issue. But not all hope is lost.

There is plenty of healthy food choices available for the health (and aspiring health) conscious consumer, and sometimes it does involve a little more preparation and research. We will look at these options for the busy and living-on-a-budget consumer, and what to do when eating out.  First thing to do is to stock up healthy basics and staple foods when grocery shopping, sometimes buying in bulk is better since you are less likely to run out of a certain product, which also helps avoids multiple trips.  You can then use these basic foods to prep your meals. It is easier to dedicate several hours on one or two days a week to prepare your meals. Then you can just grab the meal from your fridge or freezer when you are busy, and won’t have to worry about what to eat or worry about eating healthy when out.

With obesity rates in Australia soaring more than 80% in the last 33 years the biggest increase in a survey of over 200 countries (1),…..this is a serious issue.

Healthy staples are complex carbohydrates such as: oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, multigrain/wholegrain bread; proteins like lean chicken (extra portions can be frozen) and canned tuna (great for putting in your bag and taking on the go). For snacks, rice cakes are full of dietary fibre and many brands now have reduced salt and sugar content. Nut bars contain lots of fibre and are lower in sugar, plus fruit and vegetables are great on the go options! Cut fruit and vegetables in bite sized snack pieces also make a great snack. If you’re out and about and find yourself getting the munchies, it’s best to buy a small pack of mixed nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, walnuts and brazil nuts), muesli health bars are also great since they contain lots of good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and dietary fibre. However, you need to be self conscious and aware of added sugar and preserves when buying. 

If you are out and about all day and forget to pack lunch, then try and get to a supermarket and buy a readymade meal. There are many great healthy options that include: quinoa, brown rice, vegetables and lean beef, chicken and fish such as salmon. Also try food courts in large shopping centres as normally sushi is available, or look for healthy sandwiches with protein or a salad (hold the dressing as they are usually loaded with salt and sugar!). Even if you make your own meal at work with some basic supplies, grab a mixed salad bag, some mixed beans, roast chicken or salmon and some mixed spices and you’ll have a healthy, quick meal.

Now, when dining at restaurants and cafes with friends this can be a real difficult challenge to eat healthy. Well fret no more! Try and look up the menu beforehand of where you are going and see what healthy options are available. When ordering try and go for salads and balanced mains. They might have for example, steak and vegetables or grilled fish and a salad. Try to avoid creamy pastas and high saturated fat options like pizza, fish and chips and burgers although as tempting as they sound. With desserts we are allowed to splurge sometimes, but try for more fruit based options or gluten and dairy free cakes and sweets as they tend to have less fat then dairy and gluten versions.

I really hope this helps with making healthy food choices when out and about!

By Simon Chitre