Cooking for guests usually evokes a sense of pride and accomplishment. But when you are cooking healthy for yourself, it can feel more like a chore. On top of that, a busy lifestyle can make it difficult to plan and prepare healthy meals.
Whether you’re overworked or just overstressed, time is precious. So, if you’re making a lifestyle change, it can seem overwhelming to include new habits such as eating healthy in your packed days. Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. With a little planning, you can find the time to cook nutritious meal at home for yourself.
These tips will help you emerge with healthy ingredients from your local store and cook in minutes. The secret to eating healthy when you’re living alone is to stock long-life ingredients. Combine these ingredients in several ways to whip up interesting dishes. Some suggestions include:
- Buy extra of long lasting vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions, which can form the basis of soups or stocks. Try these slimming soups if you want to lose weight.
- Keep a selection of other long-life carbohydrates such as rice (brown) and whole wheat breads
- Keep handy in your kitchen foods and spices such as garlic paste, ginger paste, crushed chillies and tamarind paste, which enhance the flavour of many dishes. This tiny investment in time or money will go a long way in your cooking when you live alone.
- If you’re making healthy meals for one person and do not have time to use fresh vegetables, use tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tinned corn and other vegetables (look for ‘no added salt’ varieties) for pasta sauces, soups or gravies. Ideally fresh is better than canned. But canned is better than eating nothing at all.
- Stock chicken and fish in the freezer
- Smoothies are usually single servings and they’re great for breakfast or evening snack. Here are some healthy smoothies that can be prepared in less than 10 minutes!
- Keep dals in store room
- Have a stock of oils and vinegars including olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. You can make a wide range of salad dressings or marinades with these ingredients if you include a dash of herbs and lemon juice. All are healthy meals and can be prepared in minutes
- Stock dried herbs including tomato sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, stock cubes, soy sauce and chilli sauce
- Store a variety of nuts – they are great snack options and can also be added to any salad or rice or pasta.
- Think twice before splurging on good deals on foods like ‘Buy 2 get 1 FREE’ in grocery stores. After all, you’re living alone and if you can’t eat the food before it goes bad, you’re wasting your money.
The bottom line for single cooks is to be smart when you are shopping for groceries and while cooking for yourself. Just because you’re cooking for one does not mean you sacrifice your health or your hard-earned money.