Lockdown fatigue has definitely set in. With some rules being eased meaning we can finally see some of our loved ones again, there still remains the job of preparing more meals in the day than we are used to, as many of us still continue to work from home and homeschool.
Over the next few days our team Nutritionist, Nathalie Gudgeon, will be sharing her thoughts and some tips on how to get organised and prepare healthy meals for you and your family while in lockdown.
"Hi, I’m Nathalie, a BANT Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and CNHC local champion. I work with clients to help overcome various health challenges, adopting a functional medicine approach. I help clients to develop the skills of meal planning and change their eating habits, but it’s so important to make this realistic for the whole family for it to be sustainable! I love helping people to eat well and optimise their health – it’s so rewarding hearing the feedback; more energy, better sleep, glowing skin and better digestion!"
Whilst we adapt to isolation with our families, now is the perfect time to start meal planning and considering how we can provide healthy, nutritious and immune boosting food. A meal plan can really help to cut back on trips to the shops as well as manage the food budget. With schools still closed for some and more people working from home, there are more meals to provide and I’m personally embracing the skills of meal planning more than ever! Here are my 5 top tips for getting organised;
1. Write a meal plan for the week, noting on each day of the week what you will eat for lunch and dinner. Once you have the meal plan you can generate a shopping list to ensure the meal plan works for the week. This means you only need to buy the ingredients needed for the week. An example of meal planning is given below;
Monday Pesto chicken and vegetable pasta bake Tuesday Salmon, buckwheat noodles and stir fry vegetables Wednesday Bean chili with brown rice and avocado Thursday Chicken pesto salad with homemade chips Friday Homemade cod fish cakes with salad or fresh steamed veggies Saturday Chickpea and vegetable Thai Curry with brown rice Sunday Sausage and mash with steamed veggies
2. Batch cooking! Within the meal plan focus on 1-2 meals per week that can be made in bulk and frozen for another meal later in the week or for lunch the next day. Bean chilis can be served with baked potatoes or used in wraps for enchiladas. If you decide to make a homemade lasagna, why not make two and freeze one?
3. Smart savings- Pulses and beans are great for providing cheaper/bulk meals such as chilis, curries, dips and patties. I always have pulses and beans in the store cupboard as they are super economical and a great vegan protein source.
4. Cut back on portions and save a bit for the next day, especially if you are less active during the lock down! Consider if you need a second helping?
5. Spring soups! Soups are a great way to use up veggies and if you can make a big pan you will have plenty for lunches in the week or to fill up teenagers prior to a meal. Add stock, turmeric, ginger and garlic to boost the immune system and pulses for extra protein. I always have homemade soup in the freezer and it’s a great lunch or dinner option when running low on staples.
Look out for the second part of this series for my tips on healthy snacks!