Conscious Living: Why prep is key to clean eating
Each month, Aksara Inamdar of to Woke Souls shines a light on conscious eating, sustainable living and wellbeing. This month she shares food prep ideas to make clean eating more achievable
Pick your poison: Netflix and a Thai curry, a slice of cake or tiffin from your local cafe, or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s - yes, I said tub, please don’t act like you can’t relate. We all have our fair share of guilty pleasures and really that’s more than okay. How dull would life be if we always followed the rules, stuck to our meal plans, cut out all of our favourite foods, and resisted all of the little things that bring us pleasure?⠀
If 2020 has taught us anything, is it not just that? To find joy within the finer aspects of life, the day-to-day acts, and to allow ourselves permission to really pervade in those feelings. So, what I’m trying to say is treat yourself, you deserve it - and do it without feeling shame or guilt. Whilst we can all practice unapologetically just being, this article is for the times you are wanting to create more of a balanced eating regime. With cleaner eating in mind, I am sharing my top five food preparation tips for your consideration.
In my experience, most of us struggle not with the eating part, but the planning part. For many of us, if we had somebody else preparing and serving our meals - we would likely be more motivated to eat healthily as it would be less effort on our part. When we’re already feeling overstretched, the last thing we want to do is to leave our comfort zone and get creative in the kitchen. It’s much easier to fuel our bodies with foods that are beneficial, if they are convenient and easy to access.
Planning and preparation are both key when it comes to modifying or implementing a new routine, especially when it comes to eating. We’re all aware the hungrier we get, the more we begin to feel a strong desire to eat whatever is the most convenient and desirable option in that moment. Below are some of my personal favourite food prep ideas, I find that they make both meal-planning and clean-eating achievable and pleasurable.
Keep a jar of ready-to-use chia seeds in the fridge. Soak the seeds in water (I use old jam or chutney jars) and store them for ease, so they are ready to use in cake batter, granola, tray bakes, drinks, and/ or as a topper in porridge, fruit salad or yoghurt.
Dips, Sauces and Spreads
Whether it’s a pea or beetroot hummus you’re into, a garlicky tofu dip, or paprika cashew cheese spread - be sure to have a pot or two prepped in the fridge and ready to eat. Combine with oat or rice cakes, sticks of veggies, or a slice of rye bread. Nut butters also work well.
Snacks and Treats
The same goes for treats; we all have cravings here or there, or after every meal like myself. Replace store-bought biscuits, cakes, and other confectionery items for your own reduced-sugar alternatives. I always have a weekly-changing traybake of flapjack, oat cookies, or energy balls.
Switch up your daily (or hourly) cup of coffee for a naturally caffeine free chai, a cup of saffron, almond, honey and cardamom milk (great before bed) or a homemade hot chocolate (plant milk + cacao + agave + cinnamon does the trick). Switch up fizzy drinks for homemade kefir or kombucha.
Make a jar of granola, or prepare jars of overnight oats for ease in the morning, and pack a protein shake. On days where I’m likely to be out a little longer I’ll also pack a jar filled with plant-based yoghurt, granola, seeds and fresh fruits. These come in handy when I’m operating remotely, and prevent me from grabbing whatever is of ease on route.
P.S. For anybody that is Cambridge-based and would like some water kefir grains, mine have rapidly multiplied, so do feel free to get in touch @towokesouls.
Aksara Inamdar is an advocate for the conscious living movement and founder of to Woke Souls. As a creative writer, entrepreneur, and podcaster, she is passionate about making a real difference by using her platforms to inform, inspire and motivate others to live a more enlightened and fulfilled life.
to Woke Souls is a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living and self-love. The site features insights from our city’s most purpose-led, inspired individuals and serves an engaged readership of people seeking to better care for themselves, their communities and the planet.
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