While always having fresh produce on hand may be ideal, constantly keeping your kitchen stocked with fresh ingredients may need to be more sustainable and affordable for your lifestyle.
If you know me, you will see I am an "all foods fit" nutritionist. I like to educate my patients about different types of processed foods. There's minimally processed, and there's ultra-processed. Ultra-processed foods can tend to have higher levels of saturated fat, fake or refined sugar and salt, as well as other additives and preservatives, BUT when eaten the right way, they can bring joy! Then I call the next tier down, 'minimally processed convenience foods such as preserved, frozen and canned foods.
For real, this economic environment may make nutrition variety feel unattainable, so I encourage people to lean in on the minimally processed foods that will help make their life more convenient and still add nutrition when possible.
I am a huge fan of canned foods like tinned tomatoes and beans. 99% of the time, I will use canned beans & tomatoes over cooking them from scratch; it's much more convenient. I love pre-chopped vegetables. Whether it's for a stir-fry or if I want a small snack... I do love a mini carrot with some Tatziki dip... heaven! And microwavable rice, what a game-changer!
One of the biggest misconceptions is that food must always be fresh and organic. Sure, if you are made of money and time! People often don't realise that frozen and canned foods can be frozen and canned at the peak of freshness. Keeping meal planning and nutrition simple is vital to creating consistent and lifelong healthy habits. If you don't buy veggies because they get old before you use them or you can't fathom meal prep, well, there's nothing wrong with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.
For me, it's trying to eat consistently. If your meals aren't convenient, you may get to 2 pm and realise you still have to eat breakfast or lunch; this will wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and, hello, top-heavy eating, poor food choices and guilt.
Here are a few key messages to take home from this post;
1. You pause bathroom signals; why not pause hunger signals?
2. don't let "perfect" get in the way of "good."
3. Sunday meal prep day...great for some but not for others.
4. Simplicity is key. Overthinking food will make healthy habits feels unachievable.
P.S. buy an air fryer; it will change your life!