Always aim to keep a supply of fresh seasonal vegetables in your fridge. The more colourful you can make your plate, the more vitamin and mineral rich your meal will be. If you buy in season it will ensure your grocery budget doesn’t get blown!
I always have at least 1 or 2 bags of frozen veg in my freezer. This is a lifesaver towards the end of the week when I realise I may have gone vege crazy earlier on, and not left myself enough for dinner on Friday night. Excellent choices are mixed veges, stir fry mixes and spinach portions.
Eggs are an extraordinary food providing a great source of protein and a whole raft of other vitamins and minerals. As I have mentioned before, they are a hugely versatile food that can easily be prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And you can’t get bored of them ‘cos you can use them in so many different ways; whether it is on wholegrain toast for breakfast, in a salad for lunch, or made into a quick frittata with leftovers for dinner.
Whether it’s soy, coconut, almond or regular old dairy; milk is a great staple to have around at all times. Even having a carton of long life milk ready to hand can be a lifesaver for your cup of tea. Milk is something we are all designed to drink from birth, so why would you not use it now? Depending on the type of milk you drink it can be a great source of protein and other essential minerals such as calcium. If you are choosing an alternative to dairy as your standard, ensure you choose one enriched with calcium so you continue to meet your daily requirements for this mineral.
Extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, or one of the healthy fats; something that thankfully all health professionals agree on. It is well worth paying a little extra for a high quality extra virgin olive oil to ensure your oil isn’t being padded out with the cheap stuff.Ditch your over processed salad dressings and instead swap them for a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to really boost the nutrition of your next salad or roast vege dish.
Whatever you think of tinned foods, I really don’t think you can beat good old tinned fish, and there are a variety to choose from; including tuna, sardines and salmon. If you’ve run out of lunch ideas, a can of fish can quickly transform a boring salad or sandwich and if you need a quick omega 3 filled protein hit post workout, a tin of salmon could be just the thing. I really think the humble can of tuna is waaay underrated. Just be careful with some of the flavoured varieties, they can be quite high in unnecessary sugars.
Another tinned food, yes, but again soooo versatile. Beans can pretty much be incorporated into any dish you desire at any time of the day. You can have them for breakfast, you can add them to mince dishes to add fibre and make meals go further, you can mash them into dips, you can roast them to make snacks (chickpeas are great like this with a little olive oil and seasoning/spice of choice). You can add them to salads, you can eat them on their own…the list is almost endless, plus they are a great vegetarian protein source. And now you can buy them in spring water instead of brine which makes them much nicer. I always have a couple of tins in my pantry ready to be used when the need arises.
Natural unsweetened yoghurt
I have a sweet tooth, and desert is always tempting. If that sounds like you, natural unsweetened yoghurt is your friend. Not only can you use it to satisfy those sweet cravings with fruit and nut butter for example, but it can be added to all sorts of other dishes in place of things such as sour cream in your burritos or on top of a delicious warming winter soup, or mix it up with a delicious tzatziki dressing to go with some koftas. Choose a probiotic yoghurt, and you’ve taken your yoghurt to a whole new nutrition level.