In an ideal world, we’d all live on a small farm and grow our own seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables. We'd raise a couple of animals, fish on the weekends and our food would be completely free from processing and packaging. Our diets would be comprised of organic fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and seafood, nuts and seeds, eggs, and we'd all drink not much other than good quality water.
"In an ideal world, we’d all live on a small farm and grow our own seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables."
However, most of us don't live in this ideal world. Often we don’t have the time, resources, motivation, or know-how to prepare all of our food from scratch.
The way to achieve optimal health in today's busy environment is to take the BePure principles of eating a clean, whole, real foods diet and turn this into an enjoyable, sustainable lifestyle that works for you and your family. We all can appreciate that sometimes it’s just nice to have a treat, a convenience food at our fingertips or to take the night off from cooking.
"The way to achieve optimal health in today's busy environment is to take the BePure principles of eating a clean, whole, real foods diet and turn this into an enjoyable, sustainable lifestyle."
In this week’s blog, we'll talk about which foods to avoid and which to stock up on when you go shopping. I'll also share some prep tips and how to eat a clean, nourishing diet without breaking the bank.
The weekly shop
The first place to start is to base your diet around whole foods. Fill your shopping trolley with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, soaked gluten free whole grains and full-fat dairy if tolerated.
"Fill your shopping trolley with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, soaked gluten free whole grains and full-fat dairy if tolerated."
Here is a handy list to show you which foods to eat lots of and (as much as possible) which foods to avoid.
This is the list of ingredients that makes up the foundation of the recipes in our BePure Programme. Once you've stocked your pantry with these kinds of foods you'll notice the cooking possibilities are endless. It's also much easier to resist foods with little to no nutritional benefit, if they're not there in the first place. Here are some examples of meals you can make.
- Homemade bone broth
- Meatloaf with green salad
- BePure Bliss Balls
- Gluten Free Snacks
- Kumara and Chickpea Red Curry
- Gluten free school lunch ideas
- Turmeric Latte Recipe
- Coconut and vanilla custard cherry tarts
We know that buying spray-free organic produce is the gold standard for our health. However for a lot of us, the cost is prohibitive.
'The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen' list below details produce that has both the least and most amount of pesticides. This is a great place to start when choosing what produce is crucial to purchase organic, and what is passable as non-organic.
The clean 15 and the dirty dozen list is a great place to start when choosing what produce is crucial to purchase organic, and what is passable as non-organic.
"I always recommend shopping at your local, weekend farmers market."
I always recommend shopping at your local, weekend farmers market. You’ll be able to get a good deal on seasonal produce and the growers can suggest new ways of cooking different vegetables. Additionally, your produce hasn't had to travel and will retain a higher nutritional density.
We don’t want you slaving away in the kitchen every spare moment. Nor do we want healthy eating to cost us all our available resources. It’s not practical and it’s a sure fire way to ensure we only stick to a “plan” for a short period of time. Let’s face it; when we use up all our stores in terms of time, energy and finances it is only sustainable for a certain period before we rebel and feel disheartened.
We have an incredibly useful blog post '17 hacks to save you time and money'. In it we've compiled 17 different ways to show you ways to save time and money when preparing your food – without compromising on nutrition or taste.
One of my favourite ways to stay organised during a busy week is the weekend cook up.
- Roast two chickens or a tray of chicken drumsticks. One for dinner that night, and another for shredding for protein for salads, sandwiches or snacking. Cooked chicken will keep in airtight containers for 3-4 days. Any extra can be frozen in snap lock bags for 3 months. Freezer chicken is great for taking out and adding to soup as it cooks or omelettes for extra protein.
- While the chickens are in the oven, roast a tray of mixed seasonal vegetables. Roast pumpkin, kumara, cauliflower, carrots, cauliflower, turnips and brussel sprouts are all delicious eaten hot or cold.
- Lastly, make one giant salad without the dressing. Veggies like kale, cabbage, carrots, red onion, spinach and sprouts are hardier than tomatoes and cucumber which can go a bit soggy. Keep this giant salad in an airtight container without dressing on it and it will keep for over five days. Our BePure Green Slaw recipe is a great example of this.
- Hard boil a carton of eggs. Eggs keep in the fridge for one week in their shells. Eggs are a great, portable snack and are delicious with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- One big pot of soup or stew. This is especially great for lunches if you have kids and leftovers or other meal prep items get used in their lunch boxes. Having a stash of soup in the fridge means you can add a tin of tuna or sardines, some chicken or some eggs and you have a perfectly balanced meal.
- Bulk soak and cook one different gluten free grain per week. If you cook a big batch of buckwheat you can make these berry pilaf’s or use buckwheat with some veggies and protein of choice. These quinoa kale and kumara fritters are portable and delicious.
- I also like to have 'flavour enhancers' readily accessible. These are a great way to fancy up your leftovers throughout the week.
You can also download our weekly meal plan template to help you plan your meals for the upcoming week.
Sometimes the idea of eating for 'optimal health' can seem like an arduous process. It's important to remember that being healthy isn’t about white-knuckling your way through a diet or exercise plan and it doesn't require that you eat perfect, 100% of the time.
"It's important to remember that being healthy isn’t about white-knuckling your way through a diet or exercise plan..."
It’s about balance and being gentle and kind to yourself. Sometimes despite your best efforts things won't pan out the way you planned. So while you may have the best intentions to prep the meals for your family during the weekend, the reality is we are all busy, we go away for the weekend and sometimes it just doesn't happen.
In these situations, it's always great to have a plan B up your sleeve.
There are many online resources that will deliver meals or ingredients do your home, office or even your gym. If you know you have a busy week ahead it can be a good idea to order these in advance.
Many cafe's and restaurants also sell frozen meals that you can easily pick up on your way home and pop in the oven – this is a great alternative (and usually quicker!) than grabbing takeaways.
"Optimal health is about living a life that is realistic and feels happy and enjoyable to you while giving you the energy you need."
Optimal health is about living a life that is realistic and feels happy and enjoyable to you while giving you the energy you need. Start small and work your way up. With time and practice meal prep and healthy options become much easier.
If you are looking for support on your journey to optimal health, join our BePure Facebook Community for daily inspiration and motivation.