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Healthy food

Don’t panic! Help is on the way! – Meal prep for Mumz (and the lazy)

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It’s Sunday evening.

You have one whiny kid attached to one leg, and another asking you to read the bed-time story just once more, at the same time as the ever-growing pile of laundry is starring you in your face. Hand on your heart, will you actually have time to create 5 different types of cuisines for your meals during that week? The short answer to that is no.

Does that mean that you now have a free pass to have McDonalds or cheap, greasy Chinese food every day? Well, not really, at least not if eating clean is what you are aiming for.

Since I am an expert at over-planning my weekends and all the fun things I want to do with the kids, I tend to end up doing the food shopping too late in the day, which leaves me with little or no time to actually prepare the food. I am sure many of you Mumz out there will look at those ambitious meal-prep pictures online and think that you will never have time to put that together for yourself every fortnight. Let me share with you ladies, what I do when I don’t have the time to prepare something nice and varied, and yet not quite ready to throw in the towel on my healthy eating. The following literally takes me about 20 minutes:

  • One Carb plastic container: Fill a plastic container with only Carbs, of course, ensure they are clean sources. My favorites are quinoa, brown pasta and broccoli. Mix it all up or choose only one for every batch
  • One massive veggie plastic container: Fill one massive plastic container with lots of different kinds of veggies that you like. Throw in some sources of good fats like chia seeds or nuts and seeds.
  • One massive protein Tupperware: here you may want to split into two or three sections, provided you are not going hardcore and just rolling with one protein source for the batch, but it’s advisable to switch up your sources of nutrition. If I don’t have time, canned tuna is definitely one part, and then maybe some diced up chicken. My favorite though is oven baked salmon or honey glazed grilled tofu (yummy), but that tends to take a little more time, its totally worth it though!

That’s all and that’s it! Every time you are due to eat, you just take a smaller plastic container, fill it with all 3 (ratios as per your fitness goals and activity levels). This way you are keeping your eating clean, without over-complicating the recipes and you are getting what your body needs to produce the results you desire.

Some women out there will now argue that this food is boring and monotonous. Well, I believe the most important element you should go through during your fitness journey is to re-think your relationship to food. If you ask your parents and people of their generation, they may tell you that when they were young, they didn’t always enjoy every single meal they ate. Food was considered fuel, something essential to their survival, and the really enjoyable meals would take place during weekends and holidays. I don’t believe it is our God-given right to have a fine culinary experience every single meal we have. Detach yourself from food, and try to eat with your brain and not with your emotions, at least for most parts of the week. Then, when you do decide to go all out and eat whatever you really enjoy, believe me, it’s a euphoric experience! It’s seriously a high! Also, because there is no guilt involved, and you know you have deserved a treat!

So, Mumz, even if you are new to the very scary term “meal-prep” then approach it like this, and you will see that it’s a simple and also cheap way to start, with minimal time investment. Bon appetite!

L_O_V_E

A

That Looong Weekend Breakfast

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When I was little, the highlights of the week were the Friday night “mys-kvall” – A direct translation of that would be “Cozy evening”, but a more correct wording, reflecting the real event, would be stuff-your-face-with-candy-and-popcorn-night. The second highlight was the long, very long, weekend breakfasts we used to have. On the table we had different kinds of spreads for sandwiches; it would be one or more sorts of cheese, some type of deli-meat and jam. The bread (usually buns of some sort) could be picked up from the bakery that morning (if we were ambitious) and then there was tea and juice. And we could sit for a long time, coming and going from the table in turns, until the margarine melted and the cheese started sweating. Happy memories.

In adult life, and especially since having kids, that weekend breakfast is still sacred. Even if I end up having it alone (since the kiddos at present rather crawl around and make a mess :)), it’s equally as enjoyable. The only issue, and the only thing that is tarnishing this beautiful feast-experience, is the fact that I “eat clean” during most parts of the week only to go and mess it all up in the weekend! Lol, I know, sounds like a pretty good system, right? Well, it could be, then again we are back to the point of my previous post on Fitness and Health Awareness; Time in the gym, prepping food etc, is time away from my kids, so I feel I have to make sure it’s time well spent. On that note, I try to make sure that even my traditional weekend breakfast ceremony doesn’t become super detrimental to my long-term fitness and health goals. Here are some of the healthy, yet sneakily lip- smacking breakfast alternatives for that long, lovely weekend breakfast we all deserve to have after a week of hard work:

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1) Lovely Liquids: Ok, the liquid side of breakfast is essential, given it supports the flavors of the solids. My friends reading this will know that juice HAS to be a part of this, and for the ones that are not juice-lovers, a smoothie will do the same job.                                          Juices: The greener the better for me (I for one, love when it tastes as if I am drinking my garden:)) but for most folks out there something like an orange/pineapple, apple/ginger or for the more adventurous beetroot/carrot/orange are also amazing options. Try to make it from scratch if you can, if not, buy the raw juices, since the ones from concentrate are never the real deal.                                                                                                                      Smoothies: Berries/banana/oats (do not add ice, it will melt and thin out the flavor of the fruits, try rather to add the fruit while still frozen)

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2) Breakfast Pizza: Ok, it’s not really a pizza, I just wanted to get your attention :). However, it’s not far from the truth; smoked salmon with cream-cheese on a thin bread-crust. Delicious, simple and a good serving of protein and healthy fats. Top it with some baby spinach or rocket (if that’s your thing) and off you go!

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3) Magic muesli: Yep, this one may take you places! When it comes to muesli, always make your own! The ones you buy in the shop are either overpriced, sugar-packed, or plain out dull (sometimes all of the above mentioned). Making your own is the most simple, quick thing ever, and you can literally keep it for an eternity. I usually put all kinds of seeds and nuts I have in the cupboard (pine nuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds etc), add some dried fruit for sweetener (raisins, dried apricots, chopped up dates etc) and finally fill that out with some oats. I add spices such as cinnamon and cardamom and then sprinkle it with a tiny bit of sea salt. Bake it in the oven for a little bit to add some crunch and let it cool off. Do a truck load of it while you’re at it, will ya! Serve with Greek yogurt.

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4) Toast the Most: For the Mumz out there who love their breads, and cannot imagine a weekend brekkie without it (yes, I am indeed one of them), there are a few fanshmastic options for the good old toast, my favorite being an avocado-egg toast; Fry/poach one egg, slice avocado on a piece of toast, then add the egg on-top and serve with a cocktail tomato mix on the side. So yummi, I could seriously live off of it (btw, did you know that people are debating online whether or not you could live off Avocados entirely? Google it! The fact that there is such a debate, tells you how healthy Avocados are :))

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5) Pancakes Please!: Yes, this one is for all our American Mumz out there. Since we usually have a bit more time during the weekend, pancakes are almost a must on the weekend breakfast table. It’s also one that our kids will happily endorse. I usually make classic pancakes, but tend to replace the white flour with either oat or whole wheat flour, I don’t go overboard on the butter side of things, and I add next to no sugar to the mix. When serving, the kids will anyway add jam or honey, so the sugar inside the pancakes is somewhat unnecessary, if you ask me. I eat my pancakes with either berries or banana with raw cacao powder, so tasty! For the protein-junkies (and where the kids are not eating the pancakes) you can put one scoop of whey protein into the pancake mix, and you have added your protein fix!

Hmm… writing about all this breakfast food made me hungry! Can’t believe it’s only Tuesday, I have to wait all the way until Saturday morning for this??….no way….

……

It’s 23.38, on a Tuesday night, and I am making pancakes… Diet, WHAT?

L_O_V_E

A

 

 

 

Top 5 Healthy snacks!

It’s the freaky weekend!! Yayyaaaaa!!

And as usual, on Thursdays (that’s when the weekend starts in Dubai) I am sitting here in the sofa with my 5 year old. He is watching Transformers on TV (yes, OK,  I know he is slightly young for those movies) and trying to hide that little tear falling down his cheek when one of the transformers get hurt. Next to him, his mum (yes, that’s me supposedly) is stuffing her face with popcorn, chocolate and coke. Yes, you heard it; carbs, fats, sugar, salt and pretty much all evils in one single sitting! It’s like a sacred ritual, every week, same time, same couch, and it’s absolutely guilt free! I have come to realize that the biggest threat to my general level of fitness is not the occasional mad splurge, but rather the everyday inconsistent intake of nutrient poor food.

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With the stress of everyday life, especially in the life of Mumz, it’s not always easy to eat in a consistent manner. You can’t very well be late for school drop offs every morning, because your breakfast ritual have to include 4 scrambled egg whites, oatmeal with fresh strawberries, a home-made Chia Pudding, and several other more or less advanced concoctions of nutrient dense fuel. It has to be practical and feasible, otherwise it can never become the famous and hype “lifestyle” change that everyone is raving about nowadays.

So, while sitting here, stuffing my face, I thought writing about my top 5 healthy snacks might make me burn some of the calories I am currently taking in. It’s a bit similar to the people who seem to think the moment they enter a gym, they will gain substantial muscle mass, no matter what they actually do in there (you know you are guilty, sitting on that machine between sets, reading this blog, instead of jumping onto the next set, yep, I see you…: ) ). In any case, I am willing to give it a go, enjoy, Mumz!

5 – Home made Sweet Potato Chips: Slice, put on a baking pan, into the oven until slightly crispy surface, sprinkle sea-salt on top, and off you go! Can be stored easily and keeps well.

4 – Healthy Raw-balls: Lol, couldn’t find a better name but whatever nuts, seeds and grains you like into a bowl, mix with coconut oil and perhaps a dash of agave or date-honey, feel free to use spices like cinnamon, sea-salt, cardamom and chili pepper (don’t go overboard though, it’s not a curry!). Mix it all together, shape into little balls, have another plate ready with raw cacao powder, roll the balls in that and put into the fridge in any container. It’s yummy and a perfect sweet snack with the afternoon pick-me-up coffee.

3 – Veggie strips and dip: Yeah, I know, everyone reading this will be like, “ahhhh, man, really?? You just had to, didn’t you! Haha, well, it’s not as boring as it sounds, in fact, it’s awesomely delicious. Slice your veggies of choice (I usually do carrots, celery, bell peppers) and then make your own guacamole. It can be made in a super healthy way and will be the perfect combination of good fats and nutrient packed veggies.

2 – Frozen Yogurt: With Greek Yogurt gaining popularity all over the world at present, this is probably one that a lot of people will try. It’s so easy it’s silly and can be adapted to everyone’s liking. What I usually do is to put the yogurt into a blender, add mixed berries, some honey or agave syrup, run the blender, put the mix into smaller forms and freeze. Be aware though, once you decide you would like to eat it, make sure to defrost a bit before, otherwise it will pretty much be the same as biting into an ice glacier.

1 – Protein Mini Cheesecakes: YES, finally, I reached no 1! My absolute favorite! Ok, make a similar mix to the one you prepared for the Raw-Foods balls, put about a 1 cm layer of the mix into paper muffin forms, top it with the same blend you did for the Frozen Yogurt, add the blend on top of the base inside the muffin-form, fill each form all the way up to the brim, then put all forms into the fridge. Eat them straight from the fridge, don’t let them melt!

So, there you guys have it, simple stuff, but definitely contributing to less unhealthy snacking. If you are into counting macros, you may want to look at portion control though and ratios to some of these recipes.

Hmm… I actually do feel a little lighter now, thinking healthy thoughts actually works! …or… maybe it’s because the popcorn bowl in my lap is worryingly empty… Must be my 5-year-old son or a ghost… brrrrr…….

L_O_V_E

A

 

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