Nutrition Thursday with Rachel Murray, RHN

Nutrition Thursday with Rachel Murray, RHN

As Dufferin has moved into Red Zone Covid-19 restriction, I feel the additional burden and stress this adds like a heavy grey cloud cover settling in over us. As the new and ever-changing rules seem to be more and more restrictive, it can be difficult to stay positive and keep on track (with nutrition, AND everything else in your life) especially at an already busy time of year.

Therefore, this week, I wanted to focus on how you can still make nutrition and health a priority, especially when getting groceries seems like a monumental task (especially for those of you with young children!).

Here are a few things that you can do to simplify your grocery shopping, and ensure that you have plenty of healthy options available at home!

First make a quick inventory of what non-perishables (or ‘semi’ non-perishables) you consume regularly and stock up on those. Things like cheese, nuts & seeds, nut butter, frozen berries, beans, lentils, oats, tomato sauce, and squash are big ones in my home.

Second, I recommend that protein is always the base of your meal, so this should be the bulk of your grocery budget. Remember that if you’re eating three meals per day, this is 21 meals in a week. So, 21 times you need to prioritize protein.

Now, hang in there, before I lose you, I will break this down and keep it simple and cost effective!

Here are some things you can do to decrease your time spent cooking, but also ensure you have lots of tasty options!

Firstly, post a calendar on your fridge and decide ahead of time what you’re going to have for the week so you can make sure you have all the items you’ll need.

Now is a good time to get to know your local farmers and growers if you haven’t already. They are the experts and can help you decide what cuts of meat and other products will best suit your family! Many small farms will put together packages for you, which will give you a nice variety. Some farms even do a ‘meat-share’ which provides you with a variety of products weekly or monthly.

Now, when you’re in the kitchen, always consider if you can make enough to have leftovers at least once; so, we’ve now potentially decreased how many times you have to cook in a week from 21 to less than 11.

Remember that eggs are super versatile, and aren’t only for breakfast. Think omelettes, quiche, scrambled, poached, soft boiled, or hard boiled. You can serve them with cheese, meat, veggies, tomato sauce, salsas, chutneys etc. If you’re making quiche, make an extra one or two and then freeze them. You’ve now got yourself lunch or dinner that you can simply pop into the oven!

Think about batch cooking; this doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. I like to buy a 4-6 lbs of ground beef, pork, or chicken and make meatballs that I then freeze on cookie sheets and then store in Ziploc bags. Then I can pop however many I need in the oven on short notice. You can choose just a single ground meat, or a combo and add what ever spices you like. Currently we’ve been digging beef & pork (I usually sneak in some chopped liver) with curry powder, salt and pepper. I like to then dip mine into yogurt mixed with more curry and salt. Other options would be to add them to bone broth with veggies to make a tasty soup, or serve them with spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.

Lastly, don’t forget about soups and stews. These can be simple yet delicious and are great as leftovers for a few days or frozen and enjoyed in the coming weeks or months.

If you need some inspiration, check out my recipe for Spanish Eggs, on my website.

Happy cooking everyone! And remember that the Towne Fitness Team is here for you. If you need more support with your nutrition, please get in touch, I’m happy to help!