Are you ready to take your health to the next level? Our EHPlabs experts are here to share top tips for mastering your meal prep as well as simple food swaps to optimize your nutrition!
Meal Prep Tips
Meal prepping is a great time saver that will increase your likelihood of staying on track and making healthier food choices. Meal prepping may seem complicated, but it really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
PLAN:To begin with, set aside some time before the week begins to decide what meals you will be eating. If you’re part of our EHPlabs app, then simply browse, swap and choose the meals you will eat each day which are best suited for you.
SHOP: Create a grocery list based on the ingredients you need for the meals you’ve selected. You can use the grocery list function on the EHPlabs app to follow as you go grocery shopping! Following a list will help you avoid over-purchasing things you don’t need and reduce your grocery costs. To save time, you can order your groceries online.
- COOK: Batch cook your meals and store leftovers for the week in the fridge or freezer. Majority of the meals in the EHPlabs app are quick and easy, but you can cut corners by buying pre-cooked rice, chopped frozen vegetables, fruit, and meat. This may seem a little tedious to begin with, but it will be much easier to stick to your plan and avoid being unprepared in case you are short on time throughout the week.
Remember, preparation is the KEY to success!
Smart Food Swaps to Optimize Your Health
Swap potato chips for air-popped popcorn
Did you know popcorn is actually a wholegrain? Yep, you read that right! A serve of air popped popcorn contributes to your daily wholegrain target. Plus, it is full of fiber to help keep you full, compared to potato chips that are low in fiber and high in saturated fats.
Swap iceberg lettuce for baby spinach
Whilst there is absolutely nothing unhealthy about iceberg lettuce, baby spinach packs more of a nutritional punch. The darker the leafy green, the more nutritious it is! Baby spinach is filled with vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium and iron. In comparison, lettuce is mostly made up of water. So be sure to include some more baby spinach in your diet!
Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
You should totally still eat milk chocolate if you're craving it, but if you want to get a little extra nutrition whilst satisfying your sweet tooth, dark chocolate is a great choice. Dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa content) is actually an incredible source of micronutrients whilst being significantly lower in sugar compared to milk chocolate. Whilst it's still recommended to eat dark chocolate in moderation, it does contain magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber - what’s not to love!
Swap salt for herbs and spices
If you only rely on salt for adding flavor, you're missing out! Adding fresh or dried herbs and spices not only adds incredible flavor, but also provides exceptional nutritional benefits. Most of us eat a lot more salt than needed. Too much salt is linked with fluid retention and increased cardiovascular risk. Instead, herbs and spices are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that can impact various aspects of health.
Fun Fact: Cinnamon has been shown to positively influence blood sugar levels, Sage has been shown to improve memory, and Turmeric can help reduce inflammation!
Swap ice cream for Protein Ice Cream
Most ice creams in the freezer aisle are high in fat, sugar and very low in protein. Let’s be honest, ice cream is a delicious treat we all deserve to enjoy from time to time. Whilst there is nothing wrong with indulging in a scoop once in a while, there are ways to make your own version of ice cream so that you can not only indulge but also help meet your protein requirements too- it’s a win-win!
Be sure to try this easy single serve protein ice cream recipe:
Ingredients(180 calories, 25g protein, 2g fat, 16g carbs)
- 1 scoop Oxywhey Vanilla Ice Cream protein powder
- ½ cup reduced fat milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
- ½ whole banana
Optional toppings; nuts, cacao nibs, melted dark chocolate, fruit
- Add milk and banana into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add protein powder and blend until thick and creamy.
- Transfer the mixture into a small container or ramekin. To ensure it doesn't become too icy, lightly mix every 20-30 minutes for the first hour.
- Thaw for 5-10 minutes before eating or let it thaw to desired texture.
Swap store bought sauces and salad dressing for a homemade one
Store bought sauces are often high in saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. World Health Organization advice to limit fat, salt and sugar intake. The reason being, exceeding the total recommended saturated fat, sodium and added sugars intake increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and unhealthy weight gain. Good news is, you can still enjoy delicious sauces and dressings, by making a healthier version yourself!
- 1 tbsp Reduced salt soy sauce
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp curry paste
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ cup lite coconut milk
Greek Salad Dressing
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
Add nuts and seeds for an extra crunch in your salads
Let's be honest, salads can often be quite boring- but they don’t have to be!
Whilst it’s great to eat salads to help meet your vegetable intake, it’s also important to incorporate a source of protein and healthy fats to help you feel fuller for longer. Why not elevate your salad by adding in an extra crunch using; nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pinenuts, cashews, pistachios, ) peanuts or seeds (chia, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower).
Doing so, you will be adding a healthy source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to your salads. These are important for brain function, skin and hair growth, bone and heart health, and the reproductive system.
We hope these tips and food hacks will help you nail your nutrition. Healthy eating is really more simple than it seems. With our practical tips, you’ll be well on your way to better health!