7 #HealthyHacks from Maria Marlowe
The Entrepreneur in Residence and holistic nutritionist shares her tips for making healthy habits simple and affordable.
Do you avoid healthy eating because it’s “too hard”? Whether it’s too much kitchen time, not enough grocery money or non-existent willpower, people often avoid healthy habits because they seemingly require more effort or resources. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With these seven #healthyhacks, not only will you save time and money, but you’ll also discover just how good healthy can taste. When you’re armed with these hacks, healthy eating can become something you want to do instead of a burden.
1. Invest in a good blender
If you want to substantially increase your vegetable and fruit intake with minimal effort, invest in a high-quality blender. I know my own personal intake shot up when I got one, as you can throw quite a few servings of produce in there to make smoothies, soups, sauces and dressings. If you choose a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you can even make fruit-based ice cream (yes, I said ice cream!), nut butter and flours, which you can’t typically do in a regular blender; making these items yourself will save you money over store-bought.
2. Try a spiralizer
A spiralizer is an inexpensive cooking gadget that turns vegetables into pasta-like noodles, which instantly makes it more fun to get in your produce servings. This is especially helpful if you have any picky eaters in the house. Even if you don’t, I bet veggie noodles will still become a staple. Try this zucchini pasta with pesto or spicy sweet potato spaghetti.
3. Use a meal plan
Meal plans are great for organizing what you’ll eat each day of the week. They help you avoid standing in front of an open fridge wondering what to eat or ordering food for delivery after a long day at work. Plus, by following a meal plan, you won’t overspend at the grocery store—instead, you’ll go in knowing exactly what you need, so you can easily avoid impulsive spending. You can now find pre-made healthy eating meal plans or make your own.
4. Follow the “cook once, eat twice” rule
This rule is pretty self-explanatory: you cook once to eat twice (or, hey, maybe even three or four times!). This rule works especially well for grains or legumes, like rice, quinoa, lentils or beans. You can cook a large batch on the weekend, then use them in different dishes throughout the week so they never get boring. You should also plan to make a double batch of your dinner to be used as tomorrow’s bring-to-work-lunch. To make last night’s dinner feel like a fresh new meal, stuff it into a brown rice tortilla or rice paper, or use a different dressing.
5. Throw out the junk + prep the good stuff
If you know you’ll be tempted to nosh on chips, cookies or other junk foods, don’t even bring them into the house. Instead, fill your kitchen with fresh fruit and vegetables with healthy dips. Wash fruit like apples and pears and keep them in a bowl on your kitchen table or a central area, so you’re more tempted to grab them instead of anything else. Pre-wash and chop veggies into sticks, to make them easy to grab and dip into a homemade guacamole or store-bought olive tapenade for a healthy snack. You can also check out my list of my favorite healthy snacks.
6. Tote around spa water
Ensure you get the requisite eight glasses (about 2.2 liters) by purchasing a one-liter glass water bottle, and refilling it at least twice a day. To make the water go down easier, turn it into spa water by throwing in fresh fruit slices and mint. Orange, lemon and cucumber are personal favorites.
7. Choose frozen produce
With the exception of broccoli and carrots, frozen fruits and vegetables are typically just as nutritious, if not more so, than their fresh counterparts, since they’re picked at peak ripeness and flash frozen. They also tend to be cheaper, so stock up on your favorites. Frozen fruit makes for an excellent addition to smoothies or homemade sorbets or ice creams. Frozen vegetables can be quickly steamed or stir-fried and incorporated into many dishes.
Images courtesy of Maria Marlowe