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Tips for healthy eating when time is limited

Posted by Emily on 24th August 2016 at 03:16pm

By: Lauren Moore

Moving home, be it to another suburb, city or country, can be the catalyst for a rollercoaster of emotions.  Although moving can be extremely exciting and fun, it can often lead to many stresses due to the change in environment and routine.  After spending five years in Durban (and one before that in Mpumalanga), my husband and I finally made the great trek to Cape Town at the end of 2015.  I grew up in Cape Town (my husband is from the Eastern Cape) and while we were extremely happy in Durban, we had always wanted to settle down in the Cape.  I always joke that when you grow up in Cape Town you get horribly spoilt and not much else can beat it when it comes to natural beauty and lifestyle!

Since arriving, we have had to make many adjustments and it’s taken a while for us to settle into our new routines.  Don’t get me wrong, Cape Town is AWESOME, but some aspects of life here have come as a bit of a shock (the traffic!).  Leaving earlier in the morning and getting home later in the afternoons meant that, initially, our healthy eating habits and exercise routine took a bit of a knock. 

 

These are 3 things that we have found really helped us keep our eating habits balanced and healthy:

 

  1. Prepare food in bulk and in advance

I can’t stress how much this has helped us with regards to our supper meals during the week.  The LAST thing I want to do when I get home later than usual in the evenings is to sit and chop veggies and make a salad to go with our meals.  If I have to cook after a hectic day, my first inclination is to go for whatever is easiest and requires the least preparation (read: processed!).  The simplest way to get around this is to set aside some time when you usually aren’t too busy (we have allocated Sunday afternoons or evenings) and make one or two meals in bulk.  These immediately go in the freezer and voila – suppers for the week are sorted!  The most preparation you will have to do is to remember to take them out of the freezer to defrost before you leave for work.  To make sure your meals are balanced, try to cook recipes that incorporate a lot of veggies, as opposed to just meat or chicken, in order to ensure your portion sizes are appropriate.  Some great meals that we have tried include soups, chicken casserole, tuna bake and spaghetti bolognaise, all packed with healthy veggies. 

 

  1. Eggy muffins

These have been a great discovery and are SO easy to prepare.  They are so healthy and you can really mix up the recipe depending on what you feel like (and what you have in the fridge).  All you need to do is chop and cook your veggies (we have used everything from corn and spinach to baby marrow and peppers), beat some eggs, mix the eggs and veggies and spoon them into muffin pans.  These make fantastic, filling snacks for during the day, and are also great for breakfast on the run.

 

  1. Overnight oats

For someone who is a huge fan of breakfast, this recipe has really been a hit!  Like the eggy muffins, you can mix and match this recipe according to your preferences and what you have available to you.  Oats are packed with fibre and are very filling, but I really haven’t had time to cook oats in the morning lately.  Overnight oats are fantastic as ALL the preparation is done the night before, so they are ready to eat as soon as you wake up!  As a baseline we mix dry rolled oats with some plain yoghurt, a splash of milk and some cinnamon.  As extras, we add anything from dried fruit, raspberries, strawberries, grated apple, nuts or raisins (or a combination of a couple of these, depending on what we’re in the mood for).  Mix everything and cover with cling wrap, then leave them in the fridge until the next morning when the oats are soft and ready to eat.

 

Here’s to staying healthy no matter what life throws at us!