Eating healthier can feel samey.
Chicken & veg. Chicken & veg. Salmon & veg. Chicken & veg. Avocado.
I get it. It’s dull.
You start a new healthy diet regime, plan all your meals, prep all of your lunches and stick to your grilled chicken, steamed veggies and sweet potato every night.
And before you know it, you’re face planting in to a bowl of spaghetti bolognese with extra cheese, garlic bread and a side of everything in the fridge.
ANYONE would get bored eating the same food day after day. Those ‘fitness’ people you see eating chicken and broccoli everyday? They’re bored of it too. Your mate at work who always has a plain salad for lunch? Bored.
Not only is it dull, it’s actually not as ideal you might think. Our bodies respond to variety. We get different vitamins and minerals from different foods. We crave and require variation.
Your meals can be healthy and interesting, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
We seem to be under the impression that to be healthy we can’t have anything we enjoy, and everything must be steamed and green and from the expensive aisle in the supermarket where the words are hard to say and no one really knows what anything is.
I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case.
You’re actually far more likely to stick to eating healthier long term if you ease up a little. Rather than turning your world upside down, start small. Try cooking some of your meals from scratch. Or introducing more vegetables to your dinner. Rather than ‘cutting out pasta’, add more veg in to your pasta bake. Instead of ‘not eating bread’ have a sandwich and a salad. ‘I’m not eating chocolate anymore’ becomes ‘I’m going to try and eat less chocolate but still eat kinder buenos sometimes cos they’re amazing’. (srsly have you ever tried them cos they’re amazing)
0 to 100 won’t work. Just improve what you’re already doing.
‘But Iz, I cook for one, it makes loads of food waste if I cook from scratch and then I end up eating the same thing everyday which you said not to do’
I know, I know, I know. It’s confusing.
Using up leftovers doesn’t mean eating the same thing everyday. Or eating 2 portions just so it doesn’t go to waste. (sorry)
My best advice, is to explore and be creative. It takes some time getting comfortable experimenting, but if you never start, you’ll never get there.
Some left overs like pasta bake etc, are ideal for work lunches. But what about others?
Leftover bolognese? Add some kidney beans, a little chilli powder and some Worcester sauce and you’ve got a banging chilli. Or use it as the base of a shepherd’s pie.
Left over stir fry veg? Make a Thai curry and throw them in.
Left over roasted vegetables? Makes an awesome summer salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and pine nuts.
Fruit going soft in the bowl? Make a compote to top your morning oats. Or pancakes.
Left over pizza? Send it to me.
Leftover curry? Just kidding, who has left over curry?
I know this list isn’t exhaustive but my point is get creative. 1 meal can become 2 with a few quick changes. And you can do it with intention. Intentionally making too much roast veg so you can make a salad. Making 4 portions of bolognese because you want to turn 2 into chilli.
Sometimes we favour the pre made items to avoid food waste, but cooking from fresh actually gives you a bit more freedom in making multiple meals from the same ingredients.
It IS possible to be excited about healthy food. Don’t fall in to the trap of thinking the same boring meal on repeat will get you where you want to go.
It might feel like a maze at first.
But you’ll get there.