Eating for one

Some tips on eating healthy when you don't need to cook alot




One of the most regular questions I get asked by my clients is how do I eat healthily when I am just cooking for one. People often find it harder when  be excited about cooking supper every night when are only preparing for one person. It can also be hard to judge portion sizes and so when you do cook, you are sometimes left with large amounts of extras which can result in waste. You might be it easy to just end up  having a packet of nuts or a piece of toast for dinner because you don’t feel like cooking. So how do you ensure you are following a healthy balanced eating plan that allows you to prepare quick simple easy meals when you are only cooking for one?


What can you do to ensure you follow regular meal patterns?

1. When you are eating on your own you are less likely to sit down at a  table or eat from a plate. Unfortunately this can lead to an irregular eating pattern or snacking throughout the day. Try to dish out your food and serve it on a plate even it is a snack.  This allows you to see how much you actually eating as you might only start out with a handful of nuts or chips but before you know it, you have finished a large bag.

2. Create a menu or meal plan for the week to get you excited about your meals and to encourage you to stick a plan. This also helps when doing your grocery shopping to ensure you have all the ingredients you need. Try to stock up on cupboard staples such as canned tuna, chickpeas, beans as well as frozen veg and grains such as cous cous or bulgar wheat as these can be used to whip up a quick meal.

3.    Create a nice environment to eat in i.e. put flowers on the table and a tablecloth and set the table so you get to experience a formal meal time. If you eat whilst watching TV studies show you are likely to consume more or if standing at the kitchen counter or over the sink it can more likely result in picking or nibbling.


How can you make is easier for yourself to eat healthily?

There are ways to still eat healthily which mainly include bulk cooking and a great way to fight off the Sunday blues by keeping yourself busy in the kitchen preparing food to save time on cooking in the week head

1. Cook up a big bowl of cous cous or pasta on a Sunday. You can then store in the fridge  and you can just add in different fillings. Cous Cous can be prepared very quickly and eaaily, pour the grain into a bowl and pour  hot bowling water over and cover and leave for a couple of minutes. You can then add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs and chicken to make a cous cous salad or roasted veg and feta to make a veg salad.

2. Cook a large roast chicken on Sunday night and then use the chicken for wraps, sandwiches and salads throughout the week.

3. Cook a batch of mince with canned tomatoes and tomato puree and freeze into separate containers. You can then have mince on toast, mince on baked potatoes or make mince pasta with you  already prepared pasta.

4. You can cook up a batch of vegetables to use for a soup, as a topping for pita pizzas or in a curry or in a roast veg cous cous salad


What kinds of meals are easy to cook and healthy?

Chickpea and cous salad: Add a tinned of chickpeas to cous cous along with steamed or roasted vegetables and feta

Baked sweet potato with filling options such chicken, tuna, beans or cottage cheese Omelettes: Add your favourite fillings to an omelette

Chicken wrap-: Spice up your wraps by with adding ingredients such as mango, pineapple, red onion, coriander or plain yoghurt

Homemade pizzas using wholegrain pita breads as the pizza base and you can rotate the toppings

Smoothies are an easy breakfast or lunch option with whole fruit, yoghurt or milk and nuts. You can use frozen berries instead of fresh if you find you have fruit as waste

Minestrone soup: Use leftover veg and cooked pasta to make a soup

Stir-fry: This very quick and simple meal as you can buy pre-prepared veg mixes so just add your choice of protein i.e. chicken, veg or fish

Suite 202 (Dr Maingards rooms)

Netcare Umhlanga Medical Centre

 321 Umhlanga Rocks Drive

Umhlanga 

Durban

Tel: 0791225938

info@clarkedietitian.co.za

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