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12 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

12 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Lyndi Cohen | July 28, 2019

 

I’m loving The Pineapple Project podcast. It’s about money… for people who don’t like talking about money. It got me thinking about food (of course).  

Don’t believe anyone who tells you healthy eating is too expensive! Truth is that healthy eating is cheaper. By a long shot. 

And like the Barefoot Investor, I don’t believe you have to compromise on your standard of living and eat beans and rice to save $$$$. Like you, I’m not willing to miss out on avocado. 

Let me keep it real. Making a few simple changes to how you eat can help you save more without feeling the pinch. When you eat healthier, you naturally save money. #twobirdsonestone

Here are some non-sucky ways to save big AND eat healthily.

1. Create an ‘Eat Now’ Tray For Your Fridge

Place any food that’s close to going bad in the tray (which lives in the fridge). Each time you open the fridge, use the food in the ‘eat now’ tray first. Make an omelette, salad or freeze it. 

2. Idolise the Ice-Cube Tray

Chop up (or blend) leftover herbs, combine with oil or stock and freeze in ice-cubes, perfectly portion sized for your next cook up. While you’re at it, add a little garlic. It’s a perfect way to save the remaining stock from going bad. 

Using Ice Cube Trays to Save Money

3. Don’t ‘Let It Go’ Like Elsa. Get Frozen Instead. 

Freeze almost everything including:

  • Milk in ice cube tray for thicker smoothies and to prevent milk from going bad.
  • Overripe avocado for smoothies or avocado dressing
  • Baby spinach leaves that are on their last legs. Throw in a smoothie.
  • Overripe tomatoes. 
  • Breadcrumbs. Blitz your stale bread in a blender and freeze.
  • Grated ginger (because who really gets through the whole knob in one week?!)
  • The remaining tin of coconut cream/milk from that recipe you made.

Smoothie packs ready to go into the freezer. I bought baby spinach, mangoes, strawberries in bulk + I freeze milk in ice-cube trays for thicker smoothies. 

4. Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit…

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I think legumes (aka beans) are the bomb. Chances are you overestimate how good acai berries are for you and underestimate the benefits of legumes.

I eat beans about four times a week. You may be gassy when you start this habit, but your gut will adjust and the farting will subside. You’ll be left feeling much fuller, healthier and wealthier. Worth it. Beans are also a brilliant food to help prevent and manage constipation

Get the recipe for my Teriyaki Salmon Bowl and sneak in some legumes. 

5. Grow Plants That Even You Can’t Kill (Easily)

I accidentally kill almost every plant I have but rosemary and mint are resilient and hardy. Grow your own herbs and start with these in a little pot directly in the sun. Stop spending $5 on a bunch of herbs (only to have one-half of the herbs get funky in your fridge).

TIP: To store herbs for longer life, wrap in a slightly damp paper towel. Store in the fridge. 

I have the opposite of a green thumb. If I can grow herbs, so can you. 

Lyndi Cohen grow your greens

6. Cook More at Home!!!

I can’t stress this one enough (thus the flamboyant use of exclamation points)! 

It takes just as long to cook your own food as it takes Uber Eats to deliver your food to your front door. 

  • Order Pad Thai from local Thai restaurant: $10 per serve
  • Make gourmet, healthy Pad Thai at home: $4.85 per serve

Cook at home, and you’ll have a healthy lunch ready for the next day so you SAVE AGAIN the next day. Your colleagues will be jealous/impressed and you’ll skip the overpriced, average tasting sandwich. Hooha! 

7. Adopt a Healthier Online Shopping Habit

The number one reason you turn to take away? You missed out on a decent grocery shop. It’s not really your fault. You’re so busy! Keep it real. Shop online at TWC for all your pantry staples, and find a local fruit and veg box delivery service to get fresh produce delivered once a week. It takes time to set it up the first time, but once you’re up and running, you’ll be a winner, winner, chicken dinner (served with salad and veg, of course).

8. Get a Dreamy Drink Bottle

As a human, you get thirsty. It’s been known to happen! Get yourself a lovely drink bottle and get into the habit of carrying it around. I love a thermos style bottle because it keeps my water icy-cold for hours. Not only will you save money, but you can feel smug about helping the environment. You’ll ingest less BPAs and your skin, digestion and pretty much every cell in your body will thank you. 

  • Cost of water from a tap: $0
  • Cost of bottled water from a cafe: $3-5. Ridiculous, I know. 
  • Cost of coconut water: $3-5 per serve
  • Cost of soft drink: $2-5 per serve

S'Well Drink Bottles

9. Squirrel Healthy Snacks (Like Winter is Coming)

The main reasons you lose control over food is because of a) cravings b) you’re hungry and c) you don’t have anything to eat. Starting today, keep healthy snacks with you like a smart squirrel before winter. That’s right – nuts are a great choice and so is a piece of fresh fruit, a tub of greek yoghurt and a few boiled eggs or tuna (if that’s your thang). 

  • Cost of a chocolate bar: $2
  • Cost of a processed protein bar: $4
  • Cost of a banana: $0.78
  • Cost of binge eating your entire pantry: Priceless?

10. Become a Meal Prep Ninja

It’s official. Soups are cool again (or are they ‘hot’ again)? Either way. Make big batches of soup, ideally on a Sunday. Come Manic Monday, you’ll have a cheap-and-cheerful meal that’ll be perfect for Meat-free Mondays, taking healthy lunches to work for the whole week and freezing for back up meals. Try this Quinoa Lentil Soup

Try my Quinoa Lentil soup recipe. “It’s so hot right now”. And cheap! 

11. Invest in a Slow Cooker

Yes, this is an investment. BUT slow cooking saves you heaps of time and money as you can use all the cheap cuts of meat and wonky/imperfect vegetables. I use about 400g of chuck steak when I make a batch that makes six meals. Eating less meat is good for your health, budget and the environment. Note: I always add legumes.

12. Buy in Bulk

Who doesn’t love a sale? When there is a tray of fruit or a bundle of veggies, buy up big. Cook it up and freeze in portion-sized containers (so you don’t have to defrost the whole thing). 

  • Juice limes and freeze the juice in ice-cube trays.
  • Buy luxe fruit when it’s in season like berries, mangoes, peaches etc. Feel like a queen as you enjoy the lush stuff in smoothies and ‘ice-creams’/sorbets year-round. A few months ago I bought a tray of strawberries (18 punnets) for $12 from Harris Farm. Crazy, I know!!! I’ve been enjoying strawberry smoothies ever since.

 

I clearly find buying in bulk is hilarious. You might not find a tray of fruit as comical and fun as I do but you will save lots of money. And that’s fun, right?!

 

Find more fabulous recipes, health advice and more on Lyndi’s website. Purchase Lyndi’s book here https://www.lyndicohen.com/book 

 

The 22 BEST Freezer Hacks to Help You Eat Healthily and Save Big $$

The 22 BEST Freezer Hacks to Help You Eat Healthily and Save Big $$

Lyndi Cohen | June 9, 2019

It’s time to make your freezer work for you and help you eat healthily. If you need help sticking to a budget, these freezer hacks will help you save money and reduce food waste.  

I live in a very small apartment with a tiny freezer so I have to make the most of my freezer space. It really helps me eat healthier.

Here is 22 ways I stock my freezer with healthy time saving & budget-friendly foods, along with some of the best freezer hacks to help you and your family eat healthily (and save $$).

1. Freeze milk in ice-cube trays

Want to make a thicker smoothie? Struggle to get through your milk before it goes bad? Freeze milk in ice-cube trays. Pop out a milk-cube and it to your smoothie, tea or coffee. See image below of milk in ice-cube trays.

2. Buy seasonal fruit in bulk when on discount – and freeze

I recently bought 18 punnets of strawberries (a tray) for $7! I’ve been enjoying delicious strawberry smoothies and strawberry sorbet ever since. When you see cheap fruit, buy up big and get freezer-happy. They are great for smoothies and frozen desserts. I love mangoes (for mango sorbet), berries and peaches.

3. Juice limes (and lemons) and freeze

Limes can be SO expensive when they aren’t in season. So when they’re cheap, buy in bulk and then freeze the juice in ice-cube trays or freezer bags. Perfect for salad dressings, marinades and drinks like mojitos 🙂

4. Freeze Medjool dates (and grapes)

Dates and grapes are great fresh but I also love them frozen! A deliciously sweet and high fibre snack that is perfect to combat sugar cravings.

5. Make ready-to-go smoothie freezer packs

Bulk prep your breakfast smoothies by freezing smoothie ingredients into individual freezer bags. I love banana, mango, baby spinach and berries.

Freezer hacks - Freeze smoothies in freezer bags - via nutritionist Lyndi Cohen.png

6. Freeze fresh herbs in stock or oil

Don’t let fresh herbs get sad at the bottom of the fridge. Freeze fresh herbs in stock or extra virgin olive oil in ice-cube trays. Then you can easily use them when you’re next cooking.

7. Leftover stock can be frozen

When you only use half a carton, freeze the rest of the stock and use it the next time you’re cooking.

8. Coconut milk, coconut cream and cream

If a recipe only calls for half a tin of coconut milk or coconut cream, freeze the rest. You can also freeze normal cream, to help reduce food waste. You can also use the leftovers to make this healthy 20-minute laksa recipe!

9. Grated ginger and lemongrass

Who really gets through all the ginger and lemongrass in one recipe? I grate ginger and freeze it. And I chop up lemongrass too.

10. Store bay leaves in the freezer

They will still be perfect to add to your cooking.

11. Slices of banana bread

When I make chocolate banana bread, I don’t want to eat the whole thing. instead, I cut it into slices and freeze them individually. When I want a treat, I can simply toast it. It really helps me savour baked goods and not feel the need to demolish them in one go. Apply this technique to brownies, cookies etc.

12. Bags of breadcrumbs

When half my bread loaf is stale, I put it in a food processor and turn it into breadcrumbs. They freeze wonderfully. I sprinkle them on roast vegetables when I want some crunch, with garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Or parmesan!

13. Overripe tomatoes (or the rest of the tin)

Squish in a bowl or blitz in your food processor then freeze in bags. You can add garlic and herbs if you like. Write down the number of tomatoes per bag. I also freeze the leftover half a tin of tomatoes or passata. Freeze shakshuka sauce, ready for a quick breakfast.

14. Don’t waste tomato paste

Only used half the paste? Freeze the rest for next time. Or buy tomato paste in the squeezy bottle.

15. Avocado

Because avocado has such a high-fat content, it freezes really well. While I wouldn’t use defrosted avocado for a salad, it’s great in salad dressings like this avocado dressing or in smoothies.

16. Overripe bananas

I stockpile overripe bananas because I love them in banana bread, banana nice-cream and smoothies.

Banana+Ice+Cream.jpg

17. Healthy soup

Soups help me eat healthily so when I make a batch, I double it and freeze the rest. When I don’t feel like cooking, future-me has a healthy meal sorted. Try this Hearty Minestrone soup, Quinoa Lentil Soup or BEST Curry Lentil Soup. They’ll stay fab in the freezer for about three months.

18. Portion sized dinners

Got leftover spaghetti bolognese? Freeze it. Made lots of meatballs? Freeze it too. I try to ‘cook once, eat twice’ so I always make lots. The trick is to freeze meals in single portion sized containers so they defrost quicker (essential when you’re hungry!) and you don’t need to defrost the whole thing.

19. Shelled Edamame beans

I love edamame in salads (like this Zesty Thai Salad), poke bowls or as a snack (with a bit of chilli salt). You can find frozen edamame in the frozen section of any good Asian grocer.

20. Eggs

Whisk up your eggs and freeze in ice-cube trays, ready for an omelette.

21. Pesto

And most of your other condiments will freeze wonderfully, ideal if you’re going away for a while and won’t get through them.

22. And some frozen treats…

I also love to keep frozen dumplings in the freezer for a delicious option because… dumplings are amazingly yummy. I try to make frozen desserts too. Health is about balance and your freezer doesn’t have to be perfect. It simply helps you make healthier choices.

I love keeping Salted Peanut Butter Balls in the freezer or Raw Chocolate ‘Brownies’.

More freezer tips

  • Before freezing, try to get rid of as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  • Reuse your bags to reduce plastic waste and save money.

Find more fabulous recipes, health advice and more on Lyndi’s website. Puchase Lyndi’s book here https://www.lyndicohen.com/book

10 Things to Avoid to Raise Children With a Healthy Relationship With Food

10 Things to Avoid to Raise Children With a Healthy Relationship With Food

Lyndi Cohen | May 5, 2019

Chances are, you were raised by parents who had never heard of the phrase ‘healthy relationship with food’.

While your parents may have said or done things accidentally that impacted your relationship with food (making it harder to enjoy food without guilt, stop eating when you feel full and love your body), you can help raise your children to have a healthy relationship with food.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want your child to learn how to eat intuitively, live healthily and love their body.

To raise children with a healthy relationship with food, here are 10 things to avoid


1. Don’t refer to food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’

Sometimes, it’s perfectly healthy to have a piece of cake at a birthday party. Therefore, birthday cake is not ‘bad’, it’s just something we eat sometimes, not every day. That is balance!

Labelling food as ‘bad’ demonises it. If children think a food is ‘bad’, they may end up hiding food from you, eating more when no one is looking and feel guilty and bad when they do it eat (and this can all lead to emotional eating and yo-yo dieting later on in life).

Try instead: Ditch words like ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘treat’, ‘crap’ or ‘junk food’. Refer to ‘sometimes’ or ‘everyday’ food. Don’t underestimate how important this is!

2. Don’t say the ‘f’ word

Children are sponges. They listen to everything you say. The way you talk about food and bodies really matters…

Never, ever, use the ‘f’ word. And the ‘f’ word is ‘fat’.

Resist the temptation with all your might to use the word ‘fat’ or ‘fattening’, especially when talking about your body, their body or someone they know.

3. Don’t bitch about your body or other peoples bodies

  • See someone on the TV or on the street who you think should lose weight? There’s no need to make a comment.
  • Feeling uncomfortable in your body? Don’t call yourself fat or tell your child how much you hate your own body. This is for your benefit and theirs.

This is a big one that’s often overlooked. When you make comments like this, you’re NOT teaching your children how to eat healthily. You’re teaching them to hate their bodies and teaching them that they must worry about their weight.

Teach your children how to eat healthily. But don’t teach them how to hate their body. There’s a big difference.

4. Don’t tell them to “finish everything on your plate”

When you do this, you’re teaching your child to ignore their hunger. You’re teaching them that they should only stop eating when the food is finished. Truth is, you want them to stop eating when they feel full – regardless whether the food is finished or not. Being told to ‘finish everything on your plate’ often encourages overeating and eventually, emotional eating when they get older.

Obviously, you don’t want to waste food. Try this… At meal times, ask them “how hungry are you?” You can get them to pick a number out of 10 to help work it out. Explain that hunger is your bodies way of telling you it’s time to get more fuel.

You can also let them plate up their own food. Keep the food they don’t eat for when they get hungry again.

5. Don’t say, “You are so picky”

If you tell your child they are a picky or fussy eater, they will believe you. If you tell your children they are fantastic or if you tell them they are fat, whether it’s true or not – they will believe you.

Don’t define your child as a fussy eater. They will start to identify with it and believe it’s true… Most likely, this is a normal developmental stage.  Don’t draw attention to fussy eating. Try to make mealtimes enjoyable and stress-free, creating a safe environment (and the right mindset) for them to try new foods.

6. Don’t congratulate them for eating more than usual

Rewarding children for eating more than normal reinforces that more food is better. The truth is children should be eating when they feel hungry. This may be more or less depending on their hunger that day.

7. Don’t diet

If a parent is always dieting, cutting out whole food groups, avoiding ‘fattening foods’ or having special food at dinner time, children grow up thinking that is healthy and normal.

Don’t restrict food or diet. Try to lead by example. (I’ll help you learn how to stop dieting for good and get a healthy relationship with food via my Keep It Real Program…. Even if you’ve tried everything before).

8. Don’t eat in front of the TV

When you eat in front of the TV, you condition your brain to get hungry every time you turn on your screen. Eating while distracted by a TV also makes kids more likely to eat mindlessly so they are more likely to overeat.

I know this is such a hard one! And yes, occasionally, you will let the kids watch TV and eat. But if you can, most of the time, try eating at the table together.

9. Don’t make kids set the dinner table

This may be controversial but wait for me to explain. Often, the only involvement children have with meal prep is setting the table. And it’s the most boring, tedious and unfun activity. Am I right?! Children are capable of helping in the kitchen – and they enjoy it.

If you can, get your children involved in the kitchen.  Don’t refer to it as a ‘chore’, even if that’s what it is. It should be fun. They can combine ingredients, chop food (depending on age) and shake the salad dressing, pour it and toss.

10. Don’t beat yourself up

You’re never going to get it right all the time. You’re human. Parents are perfect.

Apologise or explain when you’re wrong, correct yourself if you say something you shouldn’t have and remind your children (often) that you will love them no matter what they weigh. Children to need to hear they are good enough just the way they are.

Lyndi Cohen

You can pass down a healthy relationship with food to your children… even if you’ve been dieting for years, struggle with your weight and obsess about food. When you have a healthy relationship with food, your children will learn by example.

If you’ve tried everything but nothing else has worked, check out my Keep It Real Program. It’s been called ‘life-changing’ by many.

Find more fabulous recipes, health advice and more on Lyndi’s website. Puchase Lyndi’s book here https://www.lyndicohen.com/book

Share your tips for healthy kids with us on Instagram with #myTWC!

Chilli Lime Barbecue Cauliflower Steaks

Chilli Lime Barbecue Cauliflower Steaks

Lyndi Cohen | April 30, 2019

 

You’ve probably eaten cauliflower as rice, mashed, boiled and baked – but have you ever tried it grilled on the BBQ?

My meat eating husband really loved these (even though he didn’t think he would). The flavour sings with tangy, smokey vibes.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan and want a delicious option for BBQs, these chilli lime cauliflower steaks are your solution!

If you eat dairy, you can sprinkle with fetta for a little bit extra flavour. Keep the leftover florets and use in another recipe (like Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Nuggets).

Don’t love coriander/cilantro? Swap it out for parsley.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 as a side

Ingredients

Cauliflower Steaks1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon harissa powder
1 teaspoon honey
A handful of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and lime wedges to serve

Method

1. Heat the BBQ or pan to med-high heat. Trim the cauliflower stems/leaves and cut the cauliflower into 2-3cm thick slices.

2. In a small bowl, add olive oil, lime juice, salt, garlic, lime zest, paprika and harissa powder. Whisk ingredients then brush each side of the cauliflower pieces with the mixture

3. Place on the BBQ or pan. Cook for 5 mins on either side until nicely grilled. Serve with coriander and lime wedges.

 

Find more fabulous recipes, health advice and more on Lyndi’s website.

Share your delicious vegetarian meals with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Why Don’t Smoothies Keep Me Feeling Full? How You Can Supercharge Your Smoothies

Why Don’t Smoothies Keep Me Feeling Full? How You Can Supercharge Your Smoothies

Lyndi Cohen | March 10, 2019

 

Why Don’t I Feel Full After Having Smoothies?

I’ll be honest, I never used to find smoothies filling. An hour later, I’d be hungry again and thinking ‘why did I bother?’ or ‘what’s all this smoothie hype about?’

I like to chew. In my mind, chewing is eating. And, sometimes, I drink so quickly that I blink and I’ve finished my ‘so-called’ meal.

Turns out, there is a trick to making a smoothie that keeps you feeling full. It’s not tricky and I’ve got a stack of simple tips for you to keep in mind.

 

To Make a Smoothie Which Keeps You Full, Add in ‘Extras’.

Adding in ‘extras’ to your smoothie will help ensure you stay full and give you longer lasting energy. It’ll help ensure you get a good mix of nutrients and a balanced meal.

To feel full with smoothies, you’ll want to add in

  • a good source of healthy fat
  • a good source of carbohydrates
  • a good source of protein

 

So that’s why for this Healthy Chocolate Smoothie recipe I’ve added; avocado (for fat), oats (for carbs) and milk (for protein). The dates are for sweetness and the other ingredients are for flavour or texture.

 

There is a Difference Between a ‘Snack Smoothie’ and a ‘Meal Smoothie.

One of the reasons you may not feel full after smoothies are that you are having ‘snack smoothies’ by mistake – when you really need a ‘meal smoothie’.
Snack smoothies are not intended to keep you full for hours. They are simply there to tide you over for a couple of hours, at most.

If you want to feel full for a while, you need to look for ‘meal smoothies’.

The main difference is that a snack smoothie is lighter on ‘extras’ and a meal smoothie is loaded.

 

How many ‘extras’ should I be adding to my smoothies?

It depends on how hungry you are and when your next meal is planned. If you’re not planning to eat for a while (3-4 hours), go for a ‘meal smoothie’. If it’s only 1-2 hours before eating again, choose a ‘snack smoothie’.

A ‘meal smoothie’ might have 2-4 ‘extras’, plus a flavour boost. e.g. Oats, milk, avocado, nut butter for ‘extras’ (and dates or cinnamon for flavour).

A snack smoothie might have 1-2 ‘extras’ plus a little flavour boost. e.g. milk and a banana for ‘extras’ (and 1 tbs honey and vanilla for flavour).

 

Examples of Power Packed ‘Extras’

Smoothie with hemp and chia seedsFat: 1/4 avocado, 1 tbsp nut butter, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp chia seeds, pumpkin or flaxseeds, 1/4 cup coconut milk.

Carbs: 1/3 cup oats, 1 piece of fruit, 1 cup of berries or 1/2 banana, a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of yoghurt.

Protein: A handful of nuts, a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of yoghurt, a scoop of protein powder (although, here are my thoughts on protein powders, you can go for TWC’s approved protein blends with simple whey proteins or the vegan plant-based options using a lot of the nuts & seeds mentioned here as extras), 50g silken tofu, 2 tbsp hemp seeds (if that’s your thing).

Ideally, you want one of each group to get a balanced meal – but that’s up to you. We’re all so different.

 

Can I add too many extras to my smoothies?

There is a point when you can add too many extras. The aim is to eat what your body needs, not more or less. Goldilocks was onto something…

For example, I don’t think you need to add 1/2 an avocado (which would be two ‘extras’) to a smoothie when 1/4 will fill you up just fine.

If you stick to 1/4 (which is one serve of healthy fats), it means you can use another ingredient to add more flavour, protein or fibre instead of using up all your ‘extras’ on one ingredient and one group of nutrients.

The more types of ingredients you use, the more varied the nutrients – and this nutrient variety is essential.

 

What To Do if Smoothies Still Don’t Leave You Feeling Full…

Green Fitness Smoothie BowlYou might want to try a smoothie bowl instead. These are thick ‘meal smoothies’. And they have toppings like muesli, nuts, seeds, coconut or fruit adding another ‘extra’.

PLUS, you have to eat smoothie bowl with a spoon so they take much longer so that by the time you’ve finished, you might feel full. Eat too quickly and your body doesn’t have enough time to do this.

Be mindful of portion sizes though. Use the ‘meal smoothie’ formula above to work out the extras. I would recommend including 3 extras in the blender and then add one more extra on top for crunch (=4 extras).

TIP: To thicken a smoothie, add more ice to the recipe or start with a base of frozen fruit & veggies (you can hide neutral tasting veggies like cauliflower and zucchini really well this way!).

You can also try ‘meal smoothies’ like this Chocolate Smoothie recipe. And if it still doesn’t keep you feel, then… now you know. Smoothies aren’t right for you.

Ultimately, the healthiest food for you is the food that makes you feel good. Don’t go hungry because you like the idea of being a smoothie drinker. Eat food for breakfast instead, like this delicious 5-minute breakfast or these overnight oats!

 

Find more fabulous recipes, health advice and more on Lyndi’s website.

Share your whole foods healthy smoothie creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC!

 

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