Friday, 3 February 2012
A healthy diet, and a healthy bank account
Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year! May the Dragon Year shower you and your loved ones with blessings of luck and good health, and challenges that will only strengthen you. I would like to wish all Trimester 3 students the best of luck in the upcoming exams, and a smooth transition for students commencing in Trimester 1, 2012.
I’m sure everyone agrees that studying at university isn’t exactly a bed of roses. Most of us would be living away from home (Yay for independence!), and that means doing everything on our own... Including feeding our tummies… Do you survive on take-away meals? Do you suffer from ‘mageirocophobia’ also known as the fear of cooking?
I do agree that cooking can be a task at times and takeaways offer a quick and easy solution to satisfying one’s hunger. But in my opinion, nothing beats the taste of meals prepared and cooked at home. Not to mention, the extra health benefits that come with preparing your own meals. Cooking isn’t all that difficult and you don’t have to be a MasterChef to be able to create something healthy and delicious.
Now I’m not suggesting that I’m an expert in the kitchen. In fact, I only learned how to cook after coming to Australia! Over the past four years, I guess I’ve learned a thing or two about grocery shopping and preparing my meals at home which I will share with you in this post and I hope you’ll find them useful too.
1. Plan your meals
This gives you an idea of what to get and what not to get the next time you visit the grocer. I do try to eat at home at least 4-5 days during the week. This does not mean I will have to cook on all the days but it helps me work out how much of groceries I’ll need to get. Check what you have left in the fridge and pantry that needs to be used up soon.
2. Make a list
Believe me, this works! I used to overspend on my groceries and a lot of them would often end up in the bins, so my housemate taught me to “categorize/ organize my groceries” and I’ve never looked back since! Basically you make a list of items you’re after under appropriate categories, for eg. Veggies, butcher, Asian grocer, etc. This way, you wouldn’t lose track and you’ll only spend on items you need.
3. Set a budget
Set a weekly budget for your groceries and stick to it! Shop for the items on your list first before all else. Visit your local farmer’s market for the freshest produce and they often cost less too.
4. Never shop on an empty stomach
This might sound silly and funny but this tip prevents you from “over” shopping. It helps you to keep focused on your grocery list. I thought this was a strange thing to do but to a certain extent, I do agree with it.
These are some pointers I live by from week to week, and they have been merciful to my bank account as well as my waistline. Eating healthy shouldn’t feel like a task/ challenge and not all healthy things are expensive. Make use of Google to search for easy and budget friendly recipes. There are loads of foodie blogs out there and a lot of these ingredients are basic items you’ll find in your pantry. Bring out the MasterChef in you and have fun in the kitchen!