One of our promises to ourselves for the year in Australia was to stay healthy and become fitter. For us that consists of a healthy diet and introducing more physical activities. I have always struggled with both in the UK – usually considered myself a victim of the miserable weather and always felt defeated by it. Here in Australia the sun is always (or almost always) shining and so for individuals like myself who are so weather dependant this is an ideal opportunity to try to change your life for the better.
Choose the cook book you love...
The key to a success, as I have learnt from being a parent, is to have a routine in everything.
So bearing that in mind have come up with 3 weekly menu planner that I will recycle. Most of my menu is on my two favourite cookbooks:
This little gem is my favourite cook book I have ever owned. I am not an expert cook and I don’t like spending hours over the stove. However, I love the idea of healthy living and tasty, quick and easy meals. Happy Salads totally fits the bill for me on that front
Back in the UK I have discovered Blendtec blender and used it a lot for our smoothies. So there was no questions that one of our first purchases Down Under will be a new blender. What we have manage to take with us to Australia is Tracey’s smoothies book that we use on daily basis. I am a big fun of her smoothies and her story. She is an incredible person and if you want to give a healthy boost to your diet then check out her blog and recipes too.
I supplemented these two books with few other recipes and cook books but the above two have formed the base for our meals.
Create an easy to follow menu planner
I wanted to create a quick and easy way to cook and eat healthy without wasting too much time preparing the meals or even shopping for ingredients. The way I went about it was to go through all the books and recipes and pick 21 breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Then I mapped them on my 3-weekly menu chart for each day of the week. The chart also listed all the fresh ingredients I needed for any particular dish and the page number from the book where the recipe is detailed. That turned out to be very handy and allowed me to use the chart as my weekly shopping list so I never forget a thing and risk not being able to cook a meal. Plus it saves me time every week when I need to know what to buy. Next I went through all the ingredients that can be purchased in advanced and stored, like soy sauce, pasta, etc. That of course was in a way one-off exercise but also necessary to be ready for my cooking bonanza. My first shopping list was about 4 pages long and getting all the ingredients cost a pretty penny too but we live only once so why to cut corners on what we feed our body with.
So far, it has been a couple of weeks of following our heathy menu and it is working on many levels. The main advantage is that I always know what to cook, have all ingredients at hand and there is a minimal food wastage.