ACTION: Adapting CANSAS to Individuals’ Own Needs Recovery Conversation Theme #2: Meals and Shopping
By Grant J Everett
PHOTO BY WARREN HEGGARTY
Eating healthy can often mean eating cheaply. Cutting down on unhealthy, calorie-rich junk, fatty meats and sweetened dairy while increasing your fresh vegetable and fresh fruit intake is a great way to reduce your grocery bills while doing your body a favour.
One drawback to healthy, fresh, natural foodstuffs that aren’t loaded with the salt, fat and sugar of garbage snacks is that they tend to have a much shorter use-by date. So while eating right is usually associated with making more frequent trips to the supermarket, you can keep a variety of healthy food for quite a bit of time if you store them under the right conditions.
As Australians throw away an incredible amount of food each year, it is also essential that you plan your meals. For instance, if you want chicken on Thursday, plan accordingly with when you purchase it. Allowing food to go bad is like tossing money into the bin, but with a little forethought you could save hundreds of dollars every year.
Here are some foods that are great for your body, and will keep for ages.
Foods to keep in a cool, dry, dark place
Nuts: High in protein, fat and fibre. Keep them in the shell
Canned meats: Protein
Canned seafood: Protein and omega-3 fatty acids
Dried grains: Gluten-free grains include rice, buckwheat and certain oats. Keep them airtight
Dark chocolate: Fibre, magnesium and more
Canned fruits and vegetables: Fermented, pickled, or preserved in airtight containers
Dried fruit: Fibre and other nutrients, but high in sugar and calories
Beans: Among the most nutritious of foods, loaded with protein, fibre and minerals like magnesium. Canned beans last a lot longer than dried beans
Jerky: Any meat can be turned into high-protein jerky and stored in airtight packaging
Protein powders, like whey protein: Great for smoothies.
Dehydrated milk powder
Meat isn’t the enemy, but steering away from fatty cuts, cooking in less oil and serving smaller portions with heaps of fresh veggies can make a big difference to nutrition. Cutting back on sauces and gravies will cut back on the calories.
Honey: A natural antibiotic, healthier than refined sugar, but consume in moderation. Indefinite shelflife
Olive oil: Many health benefits
Canned olives: A healthy source of fat
Seeds: Flax, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds provide protein, fat and a lot of fibre
Vinegar: If sealed, lasts indefinitely.
Wine: Red wine has impressive health benefits in moderation
Salt: It’s an inhospitable environment for bacteria, and never spoils
Dried herbs and spices
Potatoes: Note that apples and onions emit a gas that ripens and rots potatoes, so store them separately
Pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Store them in a single layer to keep them fresh
Peanut butter. Stir before use.
Dry pasta: Whole wheat or vegetable pasta has the highest nutritional content
Canned vegetable juice
Foods to refrigerate in the crisper
Cabbage: Use in place of lettuce in salads and sandwiches
Apples: Eat the larger ones first, as they will spoil quicker
Carrots: Put a paper towel inside their bag to absorb moisture and keep them fresh
Oranges: Store with peels on
Recommended portion sizes
Carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta and legumes: One clenched fist.
Fruits, nuts and seeds: One cupped hand.
Vegetables and greens: Two cupped hands.
Meats and eggs: Size and thickness of your palm.
Cheese, spreads and dressings: One thumb.