1. Use frozen fruit in your smoothies
If you want to start making smoothies but KNOW they're too much effort, here's an easy and cheap way to make 'em: use frozen fruit. It's cheaper than always buying the fresh stuff, it keeps for much longer, and it makes your smoothie cold and delicious. Add milk, yoghurt or even frozen yoghurt to help create the liquid base to your smoothie. If you're feeling adventurous, or can be bothered to get more creative with your smoothies, you can add a dash of coco, a few greens such as spinach or kale, or protein powder into the mix to get more out of your smoothie. But, if you're feeling lazy, frozen fruit and yoghurt will do just fine.
2. Do your scrambled eggs in the microwave
Urrgh. Scrambled eggs can make so much MESS. So much washing up. But here's a tip: whisk 'em up in a microwavable tupperware pot and the just shove them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and then they're done! Maximum taste. Minimal washing up.
3. Frozen yoghurt pops
Picture this: it's a hot hot day, and all you want is a damn Cornetto from the ice cream truck, but you can't because your diet forbids it. Well, rage no more, because yoghurt pops are a healthy alternative, and they're crazy tasty. Get yourself some ice lolly moulds, choose whatever yoghurt flave takes your fancy, throw some fruit in there, maybe a bit of granola, pop a stick in the bottom and shove it in the freezer to work its magic. Cut to a couple of hours later, and you'll have super delish ice pops that you don't even have to feel guilty about.
4. Keep a supply of peanut butter close
Peanut butter is an amazing source of protein that can be eaten many different ways. The healthy fats contained in your PB will also keep your ticker healthy and help to reduce cholesterol. Plus, for us lazy girls, it's the ultimate easy snack. Dunk your apple slices in it or smother it atop celery with some raisins to create Ants On A Log, just like your mum used to make when you were ten but is obviously still artsy and cool even at this age. Whatever you put it on, it's scientifically proven that peanut butter will improve the taste of any food. Fact.
5. Frozen banana pops
Frozen banana pops are a bloody brilliant way to eat a banana because they're covered in chocolate but STILL healthier than a Magnum or a Feast, and loaded with potassium. Perf for those summer days when you fancy something sweet and chilled, but also great for surprising your friends with something healthy that doesn't taste totes boring. Plus, this recipe is super simple, and really only requires two ingredients - three if you're feeling fancy - and that's the bananas and the chocolate. simply cut the banana in half and skewer one end, freeze for 15 mins whilst you melt the chocolate, and then dip the banana in the chocolate before returning it to the freezer. Use dark chocolate on your fruit for that extra health kick - contrary to popular belief, small quantities of dark chocolate can actually be good for your heart. And the extra ingredient? A few colourful sprinkles or nuts will do the trick!
6. Avocado on toast
It literally doesn't come easier than this. Mash up an avo, which is like, the easiest thing ever, and plonk it on some toast. Easy! Just a few chilli flakes will give it the kick it needs. See, simple breakfast, lunch or snack that takes two ticks.
7. Get yourself a spiralizer
Courgetti is literally one of the most easy and fun things to make. Dust off the spiralizer your mum bought you last Christmas and get spiralizin'. It takes minimum effort, all about three minutes to cook and is kind of amazing. Replace saghetti with courgetti and cook it up with some turkey mince bolognese for a super low-calorie version of the Italian favourite, and I guarantee you won't taste the difference.
8. Roast a chicken
Sounds simple, right? But the hack of it is, a whole chicken will keep you going for aaaages, and is way cheaper than buying breast meat. Cook it on a Sunday, and dish it out into separate pots for the following week's lunches. Easy. Use some of the dark meat to make a tasty curry, and add the drumsticks and breast meat to a salad. It'll last you days and requires little prep after you've cut all the meat from the bone.
9. Prep your food
The key to staying healthy is in the preparation. Without having a meal planned, it's all too easy to just pop to your local takeaway because you haven't got anything in your fridge that would resemble a meal. Stay on top of what's in the house that you can cook with, plan what meals to eat on what days, and plan your food shop around this. Knowing what you're going to eat each day will help you to stay organised and on course.
10. Switch your oils
Instead of using olive or sunflower oil whilst cooking, try using coconut oil. Because of it's fibre and nutritional content, it makes a healthy alternative to butter and oil. At one time coconut oil was reprimanded for its high saturated fat content, but in actual fact the oil is made up of what is known as medium-chain fatty acids, which has a more neutral effect on the health of your heart compared to longer-chain fatty acids found in other dairy products like butter. It's perf for roasting potatoes, in a stir fry, or cooked in a batch of brownies.
11. Freeze your food
This is the way the proper health junkies do it. Get all your meals for the week prepped on a sunday night, pack it away into seperate tupperware pots and stick 'em in the freezer, ready to take out the night before. This way, you eliminate the pain in the arse that is getting your lunch ready in the morning, stopping you from giving in and just buying lunch out again. Plus, all that extra time means you get an extra ten minutes to snuggle in the comfort of your bed in the mornings without having to sleepily attempt to cut up a cucumber. If that's not an incentive we don't know what is!
12. Make your own dried fruits
Sometimes dieting is hella expensive. Have you seen how much dried fruit is these days? It ain't cheap! Luckily, another lazy girl hack is making your own dried fruit. It's way cheaper and super easy, don't worry. Just cut the fruit that you want to dry into even pieces, remove the skin if you want, put them on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, and cook them at a low temperate. The heat and cooking times depend on the fruit, so check here to see how long to cook your fruit for. And there you having it: cheap dried fruit made by you without the use of a dehydrator.
13. Drink plenty of water
This is one that your mum tells you to do ALL.THE.TIME. But it turns out she might be right. Drinking water will make you feel fuller and curb your hunger pangs. If you drink a pint of the clear stuff before each meal, you'll feel fuller, leading to weight loss. A study conducted by Birmingham University showed that obese adults who drank 500ml of water half an hour before a meal saw them report an average weight loss of over 4kg over a 12 week period. So make sure you always have some water to hand before a meal.
Have you got any more healthy food hacks for us lazy girls? Let us know! @sofeminineUK
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