Eating healthy is a key pillar in managing your diabetes and is something that should be prioritised. In today’s busy lifestyle when you are juggling your work, kids, home management as well as trying to fit in that gym session, we often forget to pack something quick and easy to eat at work or on your way home. Meals that are bought instead are generally high in energy, fat, salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates. These don’t do any favours for managing your blood glucose levels, how you feel after eating them or your health. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Here are some tips and meals ideas for when our schedule is tight.
- Plan your weekly meals – planning meals in advance for the whole week will not only save you time but also money. It also helps you to plan your shopping list instead of wandering around the shop trying to figure out what to cook.
- Prepare for week day meals on the weekend – whether it be bulk cooking or portioning out snacks into smaller containers, (nuts, snack bars, biltong or salad etc.) this practice will leave you more time in the week for that gym session or family time.
- Make more food for dinner so you have lunch the next day – by preparing more food at dinner this practice ensures that you have planned your meal for the next day. Dinner meals often contain more vegetable and salad so it’s a great way to ensure you are getting more vegetables in. When dishing up at night, have your lunch box ready so you can dish up at the same time.
- Get equipped – Ensuring you have the correct tools will help you to shave off time.
- Tupperware – different shapes and sizes for snacks as well as freezing bulk meals
- Pressure cooker (optional) – this helps decrease your cooking time and enables you to have those hearty delicious meals that usually take a long time to prepare e.g. roasts, hearty stews and soups.
- Slow cooker with timer (optional) – prepping in the morning or if you get home in the afternoon all you have to do is turn it on and it will do its thing without any management from you.
QUICK MEALS IDEAS
- Overnight oats – mix your choice of plain oats, FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® or FUTURELIFE® ZERO WITH Oats™ with milk, milk alternative or water and spices. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning add more liquid and top with your choice of fresh fruit and healthy fat such as 1 Tbsp. nut butter or seeds. See link for recipe https://futurelife.co.za/jarred-futurelife-smart-oats/
- Fruit salad and yoghurt – Chop up all sorts of seasonal fruit and make a big bowl of fruit salad (apples, pears, citrus, pawpaw, berries etc.). Dish up a ½ – 1 cup worth of fruit salad and mix with your choice of plain yoghurt and top with chopped nuts or seeds. You can even add our FUTURELIFE® Bran Flakes with Probiotic Sachets to up the fibre content to help improve digestive and immune health.
- Smoothies – These are quick and easy to prepare and a great way to get in your 5 fruits and vegetables a day. You can portion out your fresh fruit and vegetables in separate re-sealable bags on the weekend and add to the freezer. In the morning all you need to do is take out your fruit & veg pack, any of our FUTURELIFE® powdered products, your choice of liquid (milk, milk alternative or water) and healthy fat, then blend together. Place this in a shaker or travel mug and you can drink it on your way to work. For more recipes and how to make a diabetic friendly smoothie, read https://futurelife.co.za/making-your-oats-more-diabetic-friendly/
- Boiled egg, fruit and a small handful of nuts – Did you know that hard boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for one week?2 Add your choice of fruit or low GI, whole grain and high fibre toast such as FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ and a healthy fat, and you have a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
- Crustless quiches3 – Take a greased / non stock muffin pan, add your choice of pan fried or raw vegetables. Mix together 6 eggs and 100 ml of milk, pour into each tin to cover the vegetables. Sprinkle the tops with grated cheese. Bake in the oven, at 180°C for about 15 mins until lightly golden and just set. Cool for 10 mins before running a knife round the edges to carefully remove the quiches. Pack 2 – 3 quiches depending on the size, and that is a 4-5 day breakfast or even lunches. Add your choice of carbohydrate or fruit.
- FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ casserole muffins with ham and cheddar cheese, see https://www.diabetessa.org.za/futurelife-smart-bread-casserole-muffins-with-ham-and-cheddar-cheese/
- Leftovers from dinner – Follow the healthy plate model, fill ½ your plate with non-starchy vegetables, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grains or starchy foods. Add a healthy fat such as 1 tsp of olive oil, 5 – 10 olives, ¼ avo, 1 Tbsp. of salad dressing, lite mayonnaise or seeds.
- Choose 2 slices of low GI, whole grain and high fibre bread, try our FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™.
- Add your choice of lean protein (e.g. chicken, tuna, cottage cheese or hummus etc.), a healthy fat (e.g. margarine, avo or mayonnaise) and bulk up your sarmie with fibre by adding fresh veggies such as sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, rainbow coleslaw or even some legumes such as sprouts. See our article on the humble sandwich:https://futurelife.co.za/the-humble-sandwich/
- Quinoa or whole-wheat cous cous salad – take the left over or pre-cooked frozen rice, quinoa or cous cous and add in some left over protein and vegetables. Another easy option is to add quinoa, chopped spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion with 30g feta cheese or ¼ cup of cottage cheese. Follow this link for another quick easy recipe: https://www.budgetbytes.com/spinach-chickpea-and-quinoa-salad/
- Make a salad – add your choice of greens and vegetables with either your leftover dinner protein, tinned fish (pilchards, sardines and tuna), tinned (rinsed) legumes or boiled eggs and a healthy fat such as 1Tsp. of olive oil or 1Tbsp. of seeds.
- Rotisserie chicken and roast vegetables – great staples to keep in your fridge! Make a big tray of roast veg. Add chunks of baby marrow, pumpkin (or butternut), tomatoes, peppers, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms, onion fresh herbs and dash of oil. Enjoy this with your choice of protein such as the chicken. Remember that if you are going to add your starchy vegetables (pumpkin, butternut, potato or sweet potato), leave out your traditional starch such as rice, bread or pasta.
- Whole wheat wrap or pita bread with your choice of protein and salad – a quick easy option to use leftover roast chicken or other protein. Slice up your choice of protein, add a healthy fat such as avo or lite mayonnaise and fill with lettuce (baby spinach more nutritious), tomato, cucumber, grated carrots, sliced peppers etc. For a Mexican option try chicken tacos. Use rotisserie chicken or defrost and roast a frozen chicken. Fill a corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, coriander, ¼ avo, black beans top with a spoonful of salsa and some plain yogurt3.
- Frozen fish fillets (uncrumbed) – brush with 1Tsp. oil, top with fresh spices and place in the oven to bake. Serve with steamed veg or a salad and either sweet potato wedges or whole grain starch. You can even use some roast vegetable made for the week.
- Stir fry – Stir fry is another easy option. Keep a frozen vegetable stir-fry mix in your freezer. Sauté on the stove with vegetable oil, add some heated chicken or steak, legumes, frozen prawn or shrimp and serve over brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat noodles. Add a dash of low sodium soy sauce for flavour.
- Zucchini noodles – these are a great lower carbohydrate pasta option. Here is an easy tomato, bacon and Zucchini noodle recipe. See recipe https://www.kimscravings.com/easy-bacon-tomato-zucchini-noodles/
- FUTURELIFE® Shake – For those days where you forget to prepare, add your choice of either FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ or FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™ to 200ml water or milk in a shaker or travel mug. Give it a shake and there you have it…a high protein, high fibre, low GI meal in less than 2 minutes
No more excuses, try some of these quick easy meal ideas when you are pressed for time. These meals contain a combination of lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. All the nutrients needed to keep you going throughout the day!
- FUTURELIFE jarred oats Recipe. Available at: https://futurelife.co.za/jarred-futurelife-smart-oats/
- The incredible egg. Egg Storage how long do they last? Available at: https://www.incredibleegg.org/cooking-school/tips-tricks/egg-storage/ Accessed: 28th May 2018
- Goodtoknow. Muffin tin crustless vegetable quiches recipe. Available at: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/muffin-tin-crustless-vegetable-quiches Accessed: 28th May 2018
- FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ casserole muffins with ham and cheese. Available at: https://www.diabetessa.org.za/futurelife-smart-bread-casserole-muffins-with-ham-and-cheddar-cheese/
- FUTURELIFE. The Humble sandwich. Available at: https://futurelife.co.za/the-humble-sandwich/
- American Diabetes Association. Quick dinner ideas. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/food-tips/quick-meal-ideas/quick-dinner-ideas.html Accessed: 28th May 2018
- Kim’s Cravings. Bacon, Tomato and Zucchini noodles. https://www.kimscravings.com/easy-bacon-tomato-zucchini-noodles/