I write this not to ban takeaways nor to try and uncover the next Ainsley Harriott, only to help you get the most out of the food you prepare. This mostly lies in the range if jazzing up your basic meals to spending that 20 minutes waiting for a ready-made pizza preparing something homemade instead.
I’d like to start with why this is so important. Food is fuel. A poorly balanced diet can lead to exhaustion, but a well balanced diet is one of the two easiest ways to get the most out of your day (along with sleeping properly). Although it may take a little more time or a little more thought for each meal the benefits are well worth that little bit more.
So where can you start to improve your eating?
1. Cook from raw materials.
Supermarkets provide lots of shortcuts, but when it’s not complicated try and do it from scratch, and it’s a really easy way to customise a meal to your liking. Also an excellent time to chuck in one or two extra veg!
2. Find a healthy ‘Go-To Meal’
Aim for quick and fresh. If you can find something tasty which you can cook with fresh vegetables then after a while you’ll be able to make it without thinking about it, even shopping becomes easier as you can pop in and already know what you need. My go-to meal is stir-fry. It’s quick, healthy and easy to vary; using udon or egg noodles which are ready in no time at all.
General cooking tips:
– Seasoning. Buy both some good quality salt and pepper. Most meals need seasoning but require such a small amount that they’ll last forever, making the value very worthwhile.
–Chorizo. A very easy way to excite recipe that is simple or lacking flavour.
–Value for Money. While I did say that I’m not dissuading that occasional takeaway, a meal planned in advance can often be as good (or better) and save you some money!
–Experiment! I’m not suggesting fish fingers and custard but when you’ve got the time (after exams) pick out a recipe that you’ve not attempted before, buy the materials and give it a go! Food doesn’t get much more satisfying than when you’ve pulled off something new by yourself.
“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.”