A bit of thought and preparation over the festive period can go a long way to avoiding having to contend with those extra pounds when you step on the scales in January. One of the easiest and most effective things you can do is to organise some batch cooking. Having ready made healthy meals in the freezer will help to avoid the temptation for fast food or takeaways. Shop bought ready meals are processed and have hidden ingredients, and microwaving them in their plastic cartons can release toxins. Freeze your home made ready meals in glass dishes and allow to thaw out overnight in the fridge before reheating; this is much healthier. Pick a day to do your batch cooking and make sure you have all the ingredients – often ingredients can be used in multiple dishes to save money. Here are some ideas for healthy home cooked ready meals:
- Chicken or vegetable curry – make this with spices, ginger, onions and chillies and add tinned coconut milk for a milder, creamier option. Use chickpeas or lentils for protein in the vegetable option
- Chilli with cauliflower rice – raw cauliflower can be blitzed in a mini chopper and steamed lightly once thawed instead of rice to accompany chilli
- Vegetable and bean casserole with buckwheat dumplings
- Spicy red lentil soup or lentil dhal
- Cottage pie topped with sweet potato – a vegetarian option can use red lentils and vegetables instead of mince
If you also organise your fridge so that you have at least one raw salad stored in a box, you are quickly able to put a healthy meal together in between those festive indulgences!