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The month of cooking healthily

In line with my “new thing a month” schtick, February has been about trying to cook healthily.

We started meal planning last year. When the pandemic lockdowns started, we (like everyone else) could no longer go out to eat so had to prep everything at home. We also wanted to limit supermarket trips. So every weekend, we’d plan our meals, do a big shop, and hopefully not have to drop in during the week for items we’d forgotten.

Every year, we resolve to eat better, so this time we decided to marry our newly acquired skill of proper meal planning (haha) with cooking healthier meals. I think we were semi-successful, thanks to these two:

CSIRO recipes

S’s brother and sis-in-law recommended the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Although it’s got the word “diet” in its name, it’s more of a way to learn how to eat healthy with regards to portion sizes and the right ratio of protein/carbs/fats/etc. (In fact, when I took their screener, they didn’t recommend a weight loss plan for me, but a “4 week boost” where I could re-learn what health eating meant. I still think there’s a couple of kilos I could do without, though!)

The plan costs $199. You can get your money back if you follow the program to a tee, but we thought it was a bit too much commitment for the time being. Fortunately, the local library stocks their cookbooks so we borrowed those and tried the recipes on our own.

Although cookbooks don’t have the convenience of automatically selecting recipes for all our meals and creating shopping lists (as with the program), they were still pretty easy to go through, especially since we decided to only do the recipes for dinner.

The recipes were tasty and easy (read: easy enough for me to do) and there’s a couple of cookbooks we particularly liked so will buy those in the future.

HelloFresh

I’d been looking at HelloFresh and other meal box delivery services previously but never pushed through. However when a friend offered me a free box, who was I to say no to free food? 😛

To be honest, meals come out a little bit more expensive than if we did our own meal planning and grocery shop, but sometimes it’s nice to have the convenience, especially if we’ve had a busy weekend and have no energy to meal plan!

Not all meals are technically healthy but we try to go with the healthier options when available.

So far the meals (yes, even the healthier ones) have been super tasty and relatively quick to prepare, say 20-40 minutes. (Takes me a bit longer though!) The portions are generous and on a few occasions there’s been enough left over for my lunch the next day.

In summary…

I’m proud that we started cooking healthier and that I actually had more of a hand in cooking this month. I learned some new cooking tricks (e.g. I never cooked with beetroot before!) and I’d like to think I’m a bit more comfortable chopping and trying recipes I normally wouldn’t. While S is still the cook between the two of us, at least I can now contribute!

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