Some people claim that healthy eating takes a lot of time and is complicated. But it doesn't have to be this way. If you know how to do it right, you can incorporate more healthy food into your life!
1. Use this trick to store fresh herbs.
Fresh herbs like basil, mint, oregano and sage flavor your food without adding any chemicals. However, sometimes you might get a huge bunch of basil or mint, use only a few sprigs, and the rest goes off before you know it. But there is a trick to make your fresh herbs last for a long time! Simply remove the leaves from the stems and place them into an air-tight glass jar, and store in the fridge. Just make sure that the herbs are absolutely dry. Using this technique, mint and sage will last up to two weeks. Basil, oregano and cilantro will last from seven to 10 days.
2. Freeze ripe bananas to make amazing smoothies and ice-creams.
This is my favorite trick! When you freeze bananas, they change their taste, and when you blend them – they give any smoothie an amazing creamy texture. Simply peel some very ripe bananas, put them into a zip-lock bag or a container, and freeze at least overnight. Then add to your smoothies instead of regular bananas.
If you blend frozen bananas with a high speed blender or a food processor, it makes an amazing ice-cream, which tastes so creamy and rich! You might need to add some water to facilitate blending. You can also add raw cacao for a raw chocolate ice-cream or some berries (frozen or fresh).
3. Make your own dressings and dips, and store them in a glass jar
Store-bought dressings have plenty of preservatives, chemicals and bad fats. Even the healthy ones still have preservatives and ingredients that are not ideal for you. So the best thing is to make your own dressing. There are plenty of recipes for healthy salad dressing available. Just make a big batch and store in a glass jar or a bottle for up to a week.
An even better hack: place your dressing ingredients (for example, freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice, fresh herbs, some salt and pepper) in a glass jar, put the lid on and shake well until the ingredients have mixed. That's an easy way to make your own dressing. For some of the recipes, though, you might need a blender. (Unfortunately, shaking a jar doesn't do a great job blending a mango.)
4. Always have healthy food on site.
You'll eat what's available. If you have healthy snacks handy, you'll eat them when you're hungry, and there's less chance that you will eat something unhealthy. When you get very hungry, you might make bad food decisions. But if you have plenty of healthy food at home, you're more likely to eat healthy. Duh.
5. Make a healthy breakfast the night before.
Yes, mornings may be hectic and super busy. But you have no excuse for not preparing your breakfast the night before. A great way to do it is to make chia pudding or soaked oats in a glass jar. You can even make it in layers, e.g. soaked oats in almond milk, then a layer of blended fruit, etc. it takes about five minutes to make, then you place it in a fridge, and bam! You have a healthy breakfast in the morning.
Another breakfast hack is to prepare all your smoothie ingredients a night before. So in the morning all you have to do is chuck them in a blender. This takes less than three minutes.
6. Thicken soups or sauces with cauliflower.
People love a nice texture! Creamy, thick soups, smooth sauces and mashed potatoes all taste good, but contain enormous amounts of fat, usually the unhealthy kinds.
Luckily, there is a super veggie: cauliflower. It's low in fat, low in calories, and high in fiber and nutrients! Simply add the steamed or lightly boiled cauliflower to your soup or a sauce, and blend it. You'll be pleasantly surprised by its thick and creamy texture. If you like to make mashed potatoes, use cauliflower instead of potatoes. It tastes very similar, and is lower in calories and easier to digest.
7. Instead of flour, use oats.
White wheat flour is highly processed, devoid of nutrients and also contains gluten. For a healthier option, replace white flour with oats. Simply process dry oat flakes in a blender, food processor or a coffee grinder.
If you're sensitive to gluten, make sure to get gluten-free certified oats. Oats naturally do not contain gluten, but are often cross-contaminated with tiny bits of wheat, rye or barley.
8. Replace wheat pasta with veggie “noodles."
Wheat pasta is very processed and also contains gluten, which many people are sensitive to. It is also very mucus-forming and is not good for your digestion. Therefore, you can replace your pasta with veggie “noodles" made of zucchini, carrot or cucumber. You will either need a vegetable spiralizer, or a simple peeler. If you use a peeler, just cut the vegetables into a flat noodle shape. Vegetable noodles, mixed with a sauce, become soft and their texture resembles real pasta.
9. Make your own flavored water.
Soda and processed drinks are so out of date. They've been proven to cause weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. If you're craving a delicious drink, you can make amazing tasting and absolutely healthy flavored water.
Add some fresh herbs, like basil or mint; some citrus juice, like lemon or orange; or fruit and vegetable slices, like sliced strawberries, cucumbers, orange, ginger, etc. My favorite combo is lemon, fresh ginger and mint. It's best to make it before going to bed and let it infuse during the night.
10. Ditch milk for a home-made almond or other nut milk, and replace butter with avocado.
Dairy products are also the food of the past. They contain so many antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. Plus, cow's milk is the food for baby calves, not for grown-up humans. Also, so many people are lactose-intolerant even without knowing it. Almond or other nut milk is so easy to make, and you can make a bigger batch and keep it in the fridge.
Butter is full of saturated fat, which clogs your arteries and leads to a heart disease. Instead, replace your butter with a heart-healthy avocado. It tastes so much better and is cruelty-free.
Osha Key is a transformation coach based in Southeast Asia. Her work focuses on helping women revolutionize their lives by using unique tools to change their identity, tap into their limitless potential, and connect to their purpose in life. She received her bachelor's in economics from Kaunas University of Technology, and completed her advanced holistic nutritionist certification at the School of Natural Health Sciences.