We are all busy beings with individual personal commitments, unique personalities and differing preferences. Some of us have more time to spend in the kitchen, others much less. Some of us might love to cook while others may see it as a chore. It goes without saying however that health is a priority for each and every one of us as without our wellbeing, we have very little. Health really is our first wealth. Decide not to ‘find’ the time to nurture your wellbeing but to make the time.
It may be helpful to recognise time-poverty as an invitation to re-prioritise, restructure and reclaim your life. We burn the candle at both ends when we do not make time for our wellbeing. It is inspiring to know that small amounts of time well spent in the kitchen amount to truly enormous, transformative gains.
Time Savvy Tips
Know your favourite, trusted brands and products. Avoid decision fatigue and make shopping easy by getting to know what you like. Identify the products and ingredients that work for you, from your favourite natural beauty and cleaning supplies to fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and dry goods. This way you will make your shopping experience swift and easy.
Make weekly meal plans. These plans assist you with shopping so that you may gather everything required for the week ahead. Ingredients will be at your fingertips and you’ll minimise extra trips to the shops or markets. Meal plans also inspire you and your loved ones to get excited about cooking and eating healthy, vibrant, nourishing food daily.
Buy dry goods in bulk from your co-op or health-food shop and store them thoughtfully. Keep dry goods in glass jars in the pantry so it’s easy to see what you have. Keep activated nuts in the fridge so you always have protein rich additions on hand to add to your salads, smoothies, nut mylks and more.
Keep glass jar basics at hand. GF and legume pastas, buckwheat, quinoa, black, red, brown and wild rices, coconut flakes, raw cacao, chia seeds, homemade muesli, sea salt, spirulina and favourite spices. A clean pantry full of wonderfully nutritious ingredients in glass jars is the joyous outcome of choosing whole foods.
Stay stocked with staples. A small number of good things in the pantry can be used in versatile, creative ways to make a wide array of dishes. Pantries needn’t be overcrowded to be very effective! In addition to the dry goods noted above, forever on hand in my pantry are extra virgin cold pressed olive, sesame and coconut oils, tahini and nut butters, additive free tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) and organic coconut milk.
Order a seasonal, organic fruit and veg box. Try delicious, healthy produce conveniently delivered to your door! Cook with the seasons, support local growers and go organic. Be proactive with enquiries, and see what your community might have to offer.
Pre-prep ingredients when you come home from the market. Chop your celery, cucumbers, carrots, kale and other fruits and vegetables before you put them into the fridge. Store them in glass containers. This approach saves space and makes smoothies and juices swift and effortless to concoct throughout the week.
Enjoy leftover dinner for next-day lunches. A satisfying, time and money saving option. While food is always better eaten fresh, batch cooking and freezing will of course work for other dishes.
Prepare healthy snacks in good-sized batches that last well airtight in the fridge. Great examples include bliss balls, chia pudding, Lemon & Dill Cashew Cheese, chopped carrot and cucumber sticks. If time poverty is a serious issue, make sure you grab a piece of fresh fruit, some nuts and seeds, a thermos of tea or a bottle of water to take with you on your travels. Stay nourished throughout the day and have healthy choices ready for yourself no matter where you are.
One pot wonders are easy, rewarding and delicious too. Save time keeping things simple and minimise washing up! Fall in love with your steamer and up your intake of vegetables.
Keep recipes simple. This book contains only very basic recipes that are ideal for time-savvy cooks but also perfect for more adventurous cooks to take to with added creative flair.
Free your schedule so that you can have some time for yourself. Rest, relax, and enjoy precious time sourcing and preparing nourishing, lifegiving food.
I’m delighted to share the above extract from The Art of Wellbeing by Meredith Gaston (Hardie Grant, £18.64) with all of the charming illustrations © Meredith Gaston. This book has brought me so much joy & happiness & inspiration! It has our highest recommendation (and children will love it too), Eminé x