Busy girl dinners

 

Zero to plate in 15 minutes

Zero to plate in 15 minutes

So it has been brought to my attention (well I asked actually) that some of you out there want some quick healthy meal ideas for nights where you are short of time. This can apply to any of you ladies out there, mums, late night workers, studyers, or just girls out there being girls, multi-tasking and not having much time to spend making dinners.

 

Now I consider myself a busy girl, even though well, ahem,  I’m much more like a busy lady than girl these days. Regardless, I’m always saying yes to things and always ending up with not much time to cook dinner, especially during the week, yeesh!  So here are some things that I do to help with the busy times …

 

Plan your meals.

Oh the horror, the bore, the OCD. But seriously, it’s necessary! I never thought I would be one of “those” girls, but turns out, life is actually much less stressful if you pull out a bit of the “planning natzi” in you and plan the week’s meals. Not only does it help me with budgeting, but it helps me to plan quick meals on days I know I will be home late (or out all day) and will be wanting a quick option.

Meal planning like a boss

Meal planning like a boss

I plan out the week’s meal options before the start of the week. I write down what I’m doing on each of those days (and I’ve gotten so anally retentive that I also factor in the weather) and then decide what we will eat that night. From there I do my online shopping and work out what I need to do on my prep day. Dinners are SOO much quicker when you have all of the ingredients and meals are half prepared already.

 

Prep day.

Yup, sounds like more boring and time consuming doesn’t it. Prep day isn’t actually a whole day. Most of the time it’s an hour or so of prep, but basically it is the things I do to make sure most of the meals for the week are mostly prepared. I co-ordinate this time with when I get my shopping delivered so that everything is done from the get-go. The things you can do with prep day are:

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  • Cut up meat into portions, marinade, put in zip lock bags and then freeze. These are AWESOME for when you get home late, just whack in the microwave to defrost and then cook.
  • Pre-prepare salads – wash and spin some salad leaves in either a salad spinner or by putting in the middle of a tea towel, grabbing all four corners and spinning it in a big circle with your arm. Cut up carrot, cucumber, capsicum, cabbage, snow peas, etc and put with the lettuce. Add some cherry tomatoes to the mix too (they keep amazingly because you don’t have to cut them). Keep in your fridge in between two dry tea towels, it will keep nice and fresh all working week. All you need to do before serving is add some avocado, feta, olives and seeds and you’ve got an amazingly quick dinner side to go with your meat you marinaded from the point above.
  • Slow cook meals or batch prepare meals. Things like bolognaise sauce, stew, pulled pork, slow cooked chicken, chilli con carne, all great options to pre-prepare and freeze. All you have to do when you get home is whack it in the microwave, put on some pasta or better yet 90 second rice/quinoa and by the time you go and change out of your clothes you have dinner already sorted.
  • Make some pizza bags. Make pizza dough, chop toppings, grate cheese, put it all in zip lock bags or containers and freeze. Move from the freezer to the fridge in the morning and by dinner time all you have to do is heat the oven, scatter over the pizza and within 20 minutes will be enjoying a delish, healthy homemade pizza.
  • Chop vegetables and container them. If you have planned to have steamed veg then cut and mix them on prep day. It cuts out about 5-10 minutes of your prep time if all you have to do is empty them into the steamer.
  • Roast veggies. Cut up pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potato, egg plant, whatever roasted veg takes your fancy and roast it on prep day so you can add that little bit extra to salads, sandwiches or just have as sides throughout the week.

 

Slow cooker batch meals

Slow cooker batch meals

Supermarket meal list

Do you ever go into the supermarket to get something for dinner and wander aimlessly around for about 20 minutes getting hungrier and hungrier before getting so hangry and frustrated that you just buy something crappy for you? Well writing yourself a list of quick supermarket meals you can throw together may help out. It means that when you are faced with the no-time situation all you need to do is go straight in and get what you need. It will stop you getting tempted by the crap. Some of our quick supermarket eats are

  • Yiros – marinated lamb, yiros bread, salad, grated cheese.
  • Hot chicken and salad bag. Bread rolls on the side or wrap it up in wrap bread for carbs.
  • Pasta, pasta sauce and broccoli. Even better if you make and freeze your own pasta sauce, extra points for that one.
  • Steak and steamed veg seriously will take you 15 minutes, TOPS.

 

Quick yiros salad

Quick yiros salad

 

Simplify

And lastly, just keep it simple! Healthy doesn’t have to mean gourmet. Baked beans on rye toast, or eggs with rice and asparagus (ahhh random!!) is a-okay. Simple meals are qupre quick and a great way to throw something together when you are short of time and can’t be fecked slaving over a stove.

 

Random healthy eats

Random healthy eats

So if you are a busy girl and want to eat healthy, try some of my tips! Don’t forget to tell me yours too… what are your go-to quick meals?

 

Happy cooking,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

 

Budget week – 10 tips on how to reduce your food costs

Budget week

Budget week

So every now and then, I get sick of spending so much money on food. Sometimes I spend a ridiculous amount of our money on ingredients at the supermarket because well, cooking, it’s my passion (even though I hate that word in that context). But it is. So sometimes, after seeing all the Woollies and Coles entries on our bank statement I decide that it is time to pull in the purse strings and have a good ol’ budget week!

 

I’ve been instagramming some of our budget week pics, but I thought I’d write a bit of a post about ways you can keep your food budget under check! These are my tried and true tips, but I’m SURE you all have your own that you can tell me too, so comment below if you have some!

 So here are my top 10 tips for saving money on food (plus one bonus cheeky tip)…

Curried sausage casserole with brown rice

Curried sausage casserole with brown rice

  1. PLAN, plan and plan again. It’s so important to plan your meals before you go to the shops. Write yourself a list and stick to the list. I use to be rubbish at that and would pick anything and everything I saw, as well as the list. Not recommended, trust me.
  2. Shop without your kids. When I shop with the girls, I speed through, trying to get it done with all three of us alive and avoiding tantrums so I buy way more than I need because I’m not concentrating, or I forget the things I need so on top of an already over budget shop, I have to buy more. Most supermarkets these days are open late night every weeknight so it’s easy to go after the kids are in bed. And I tell you this for free, it’s damn right peaceful in the shops at night. Sometimes I like to just wander the aisles aimlessly because I am kid free! If you can’t get out alone, try the next tip….
  3. Shop online! I’m terrible at estimating my budget as I shop. Sometimes I think it’s a big shop and it’s not, sometimes I think it’s a small shop and I’m that person at the checkout with their jaw on the floor thinking, did I really spend THAT much. One of the best ways for me to stick to a budget has been to shop online. I can add everything to my trolley that I need and if it goes over budget I can easily sit back and decide which items I need to take out. Rather than feeling like a scab at the checkout getting the operator to take things off or trying to decide in a hurry because Miss 2 is pushing Miss 4 who is screaming blue murder.
  4. Shop in season. Fruit and veg are cheaper when they are in season. It’s hard to work out what is in season these days because you can access almost every fruit and vegetable ALL the time, but if you go around the fruit and veg section choosing what’s cheapest, you are probably eating within the season.
  5. Buy home brand. I KNOW, I get it, it’s not ethical, it’s not local, it robs farmers. But when I am trying to budget conscious, that is one ideal that I have to give up. It makes a HUGE difference to the price tag at the end of my shopping.
  6. Have some cheap, really basic meals on your menu. I’m thinking like: toast and baked beans, eggs on toast, egg in a hole, that sort of thing. I used to HATE doing this. I felt like I was making boring food for the kids and that husband would think that I was being lazy. Turns out none of them care! The girls love egg-in-a-hole nights or baked beans and husband loves the fact that there’s less to clean up after dinner. And I’m less stressed when I know that meal prep is going to be really
  7. Look at the portions you are providing. I am a typical European girl who loves to over-cater when it comes to food so I would cook up massive meals and portions. Which was a waste of money, because all it did was make husband and I gain weight, and the girls serves get wasted. So we have cut portions down. Meat especially and it really does make a difference in how much we spend.
  8. Grow your own. Simple as that. Start a veggie garden, grow some fruit trees. Get some chooks. You will supplement your shop with fresh delicious foods that you don’t have to buy. Save your seed to eliminate the need to buy seeds or seedlings the next year. I really REALLY love gardening which you will know, so I wont bang on about it too much but it is seriously cool.
  9. Save fancy meals for once or twice a week. This is my HARDEST. I love cooking, and I love cooking new recipes I see. I seriously don’t think I will ever get to the point where I have tried all of the recipes I want to. But in terms of cost of ingredients, basic meals are usually the cheapest. So I hold off my urges until the weekend and make fancy meals with fancy ingredients then.
  10. Buy things in bulk. I buy nuts, grains and seeds at a bulk shop and it works out MUCH cheaper in the long run than buying small bags at the super market.
  11. This is the bonus tip, eat at someone else’s house!! When I decided to do my budget week, I had 7 meals planned out and shopped for (online of course). I then realised that I had not factored in 2 family birthdays where we would be eating at someone else’s house, and then we also had a last minute family dinner at my mother in laws too so that knocked 3 meals off my plan for this week. That’s my bonus because those weeks will become meals for next week that I don’t have to buy. Obviously I’m not condoning you to turning up at peoples house uninvited for eating, but as a young family, accepting invitations from parents and parents-in-law for dinner is GREAT!.
Zucchini slice

Zucchini slice

So there are SOME of my tips for keeping your shopping budget tight. But I want to hear yours. Comment below your tried and tested budgeting tips…

 

Bye for now,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

 

 

 

 

Weight Loss Eating Plan

 

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Okay I know I said Friday but it’s all done annnndddddd here it is early!! The Dietitian Mummy Weight Loss Eating Plan.

https://payhip.com/b/f7oR

Eating Plan Cover Final

You asked for a weight loss meal plan and here it is! I have structured it as an eating plan rather than just a meal plan. What is the difference? Well an eating plan gives you a guide of how many serves of which foods to eat each day. It then tells you what a serve is and allows you to plan and build your day of eating. You can adapt it to your week, your family and your likes. It gives you the opportunity to adapt your plan to suit dairy free, gluten free and food intolerances.

 

But then if that all sounds too hard, there’s also a meal plan in there! For 2 weeks at that. All planned out and ready to go.

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It is also based on real food. No hard to pronounce foods, no searching health food stores for certain (expensive) products. Just real, honest, food.

 

It is an eating plan (which is accompanied by meal plans) but it is soooo much more.

 

In The Dietitian Mummy Eating Plan you get…

-weight loss information

-the eating plan instructions

-4 weight loss levels for women, including a breastfeeding level

-serve size guides

-recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner

-2 weeks of meal plans

-tracking sheets and blank meal plan for planning

 

All this written by an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, mum, food lover and weight loser!

 

So follow this link and be on your way to weight loss. Once you have bought it, join us on facebook to ask questions and achieve your goals along with others along the same path!

 

https://payhip.com/b/f7oR

 

The Dietitian Mummy.

Meal planning = healthy meals

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Hello everyone,

 

Today I have decided to have a chat with you about meal planning. Wait, don’t tune out just yet, hear me out. Meal planning is not all about the smug, organised folk with meal planning spreadsheets on their fridge (ahh yes that’s actually me, minus the smug-ness, I’m more embarrassed about it most times). Most people hate the thought of meal planning but it really is one of best ways to make sure you and your family eat healthy, nutritious meals. And planning your meals is super important if you are trying to lose weight.

 

Meal planning printable set

Meal planning printable set

When you plan, you help to stop yourselves from taking the easy (and most often unhealthy) option. When you plan, you actually make the home-cooked option the easy option. Planning takes some time but it’s worth it for the pure fact that it takes the stress out of the weeknight meal production.

 

When you plan: You return home from work or an afternoon outing, the kids are wired and going crazy, and you know you have about 20 minutes to get some dinner on the table before they go completely bananas, you look at your meal chart on the fridge and swiftly get all of the ingredients that you know are all “in stock” in your house and make your meal in time.

 

When you don’t: You return home from work or an afternoon outing, the kids are wired and going crazy, and you know you have about 20 minutes to get some dinner on the table before they go completely bananas, you look in your pantry and fridge and there’s ingredients there but nothing actually matches into an actual meal or you have a meal in mind but half of the essentials are missing. You realise you have been staring into space for 20 minutes and the kids have actually started going completely bananas. You think f*&k it and either text your partner for take-away if you have one, or you haul the kids into the car and hit up the drive through.

 

So how do I plan?

Now, I would like to say that the planning process takes place on a Sunday afternoon, in peace with a cup of tea in hand. But it doesn’t. It tends to happen sporadically over the week, kids on the lap or being entertained some way, until Sunday afternoon comes around and I realise the online order needs to be made or I will miss out on the Monday delivery time!
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I have a few sheets that I use for planning, you could make your own, or buy mine here.

 

The first sheet is my actual weekly planner. I used to print this out every week until I spied a friend with a laminated planner on her fridge so I copied that idea. MUCH better. On this, I write the dates, and fill in any events that are on during the week that will impact meal choice. I also put in my work days to remind me when I will be needing a really quick option. From there I decide on the meals for that week.

 

After that I transfer the meals onto a second sheet. Yes seems really anally retentive but if I don’t, I always end up forgetting something. So on it goes and then I write down all the ingredients needed for the meal. Then a quick check of the pantry to cross off anything I already have. After the shopping is done this sheet is also really good for looking back on to remember what I had intended on putting in each meal.

 

So after this sheet is complete, I will add the ingredients onto a list along with all of the other essentials we need from the shops. If I am online shopping I generally skip this step and just run around like a nutter, tablet in hand, checking what we need to buy.

 

So that is it! That’s how I keep on top of the meal situation in our household. There are days that I just can’t be bothered to plan and the next week always ends in some really dodgy meals happening, so I try to push past the annoying barrier so that I know I will have a healthy week ahead. And don’t get me wrong, there are also nights where we look at what was planned for the night and think, stuff that and DO have takeaway, but that’s fine, because we know that for the most part, the meals are healthy, non-processed and nutritious.

 

Happy planning,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

The Dietitian Mummy Weight Loss Plan

Cover finalWoohoo, it’s finally here! I am soooo excited to have this program ready to roll gals, it’s been a long time coming.

So what is it?

Well you might have read my recent post about why diets don’t work and if you haven’t, start there. I’m pretty passionate about this because I see clients time and time again who have been ruined by following ridiculous diets. So what could I do about it? Offer an alternative.

If you’ve tried diets and it hasn’t worked for you then this is for you. If you have limited time and mental energy for huge life overhauls but still want to lose some weight, then this is for you. If you are a mum who just wants to get it off and keep it off, then this is definitely for you.

The methods I have written in this program are tried and tested techniques and challenges I use with clients every day and have seen great changes in so many clients.

What will I get on the program?

– You will receive an “8 week program” which consists of 8 weight loss topics that I find essential for weight loss in my practice.  While it is written as an 8 week program, it is absolutely self paced so you can take 8 weeks, or 16 weeks or a whole year if you like.

– Goal sheets to go with each week (topic) and instructions on the challenges for that week.

– You will get access to a closed facebook group where you can log on to ask questions or get support from fellow mums following the program. I will be popping in once a week to answer questions.

And all this for just $60! Sound like a sleazy car salesman? Yes, but seriously it’s $60 well spent considering how much money we can waste jumping from diet to diet!

 

What is my experience?

I always like to tell clients my background in weight loss so that they gain trust in my methods before we start and you can see that I have a fair bit of credibility. First and foremost I am an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (university degree trained). I have worked as a Dietitian for 8 years and have worked on weight loss research studies, in weight loss surgery support and also as a Dietitian for SA Health seeing clients for many reasons, one very commonly – weight loss. Plus I am a female, a mum who gained copious amounts of weight during pregnancy, a food lover and also someone who continually battles with food behaviour issues. I get you!

 

So there you go, here it is, click this link to purchase The Dietitian Mummy Weight Loss Plan and start your weight loss “journey” (oh so cliche) today…

 

The Dietitian Mummy.

Cut your own chickens

Before you go any further there is a warning on this post. If you are vegetarian and inadvertently clicked on this post not reading the title, you may find this post a wee bit confronting. To avoid having abuse directed towards me, please close the window now as this is about to get messy.

My two little birdies about to go under the knife

My two little birdies about to go under the knife

When it comes to food, I tend to have a few goals for deciding on the food that this family eats. Apart from the obvious goals (tasty and nutritious most of the time) I try to be more aware of our food, less wasteful, less processed and lately because we are saving madly, cheap. Well it just so happens that butchering chickens myself tends to tick these goals.

I find that cutting up my own chicken helps me to respect the chicken that died for our meal that little bit more. I think it helps  seeing just how much waste there really is when animals are cut up motivates me more to use every little bit of the animal so I make sure I am doing it justice. I know, sounds totally ridiculous because I am eating it anyway, however if I can make a chicken last for as many meals as possible I feel like it was worth it (and yes I know, it’s never worth it but you know what I mean).

 

It’s also insanely cheaper! We have a local butcher who regularly has twin pack of chickens for $7.99. While I’m aware that it is not likely that they are ethically produced if they can sell for that price, it ticks my money saving box and supports our local chicken producers rather than big business ones. So I can get at least 4 meals from one chicken so I’m looking at about $1 a meal for the meat portion (and that’s not to mention chicken stock I make with the bones too) which definitely floats my boat!

I first thought about doing my own chicken stock when reading my Marion Grasby cookbook but it wasn’t until I got Save with Jamie that I started cutting up my own chickens and seeing the wastage of the carcass (uurrgghhh I hate that word). So Jamie has the best guide about how to do this, and would heavily recommend the cookbook but here are my very brief tips on how to cut up your own chicken and get in touch with your food.

1. First you want to get your bird breast side up, on a chicken board with a very sharp knife.

2. Grab your bird’s legs and use the tip of your knife to cut open the skin to allow you to pull the leg away. Actually break the joint of the leg until the leg joint pops out (yup it feels as brutal as it sounds) and then put your knife as close between the two bones and chop down. Repeat on the other side.

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3. Grab a wing and do the same kind of movement but the joint wont actually pop out. Put your knife where you think the middle of the joint is and have a go. If it is really too hard to cut then try with your knife a little higher into the bird. Repeat on the other side.

4. You are now left with a bit of a funny looking bird with just big ol’ breasts facing up at you. Most times I will take the skin off, which makes finding the place to cut much easier. Theres a bit of bone and cartilage that splits the breasts and you want to slice as close to that on one side from tail to tip (for want of better words). Then start using your knife to kind of shave down as close to the bones as possible to get the fat part of the breast off. Once the fat part is clear, turn your knife and work away from you to shave off the end. When you get to the tail end stick the tip of your knife in and cut away from you to kid of flick it off (trust me it will make sense after practice). Do the same with the other side and expect it to feel a bit awkward (be careful of slipping and losing fingers).

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5. Then you are left with the bones (ahem carcass). I usually have a fair bit of wastage in terms of meat I didn’t cut off properly. I’m not too concerned because I’m using this to make stock and will sometimes lift out the bird once the stock has been going for about an hour and pull off any good meat to use in soup.

6. If you want you can cut the legs into thighs and drumsticks. Just cut between the joints. These portions are just perfect for my HFC so hit it up!

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7. Bag up your bird and wash your hands, board and knife thoroughly. No-one wants chicken poisoning, trust me I’ve seen my sister have it!!

 

As with everything, it takes a bit of practice to get it right. I find that the more I do it, the cleaner my portions are and I’m quicker at it. I can cut up a chicken in the time it takes the oil for my stock to warm up now.

So have a go, I’m going to go out on a limb and sound like a complete loony but it can actually be quite fun!

 

Stay tuned for my homemade chicken stock recipe which I use my chicken bones in.

 

Happy cooking,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

 

Diets don’t work y’all!

Whos sick of diets? Because I am. Sick to death of them I tell you. Sick of seeing them, sick of hearing about them, SICK of cleaning up after them!

By the time most people come to me for weight loss they have tried a few (or a hundred) diets and come in feeling shitty about their weight, shitty about food and the most shitty about themselves.

I hate diets, I really do and I hope you want to know why because I am going to tell you 😉

Number 1. Weight loss is not one size fits all!
Every SINGLE one of us are different. Our lives, our culture and our family situations. So why on EARTH would one diet fit everyone? If weight loss was one size fits all there would only be 1 diet, not a multi-million dollar industry designed to make money for the companies! If a diet doesn’t work, it’s not you, its the diet.

Number 2. Diets tell us that we are failures.
Not only do they not fit everyone but when we don’t lose weight on them, we are told that we are bad people, we dont have enough will-power and are not good enough. Maybe we should try another diet we are told. I’m sorry but this is bullshit. Diets fail because they are stupid, not the other way around. If you don’t lose weight on a diet it’s likely that it was because the diet didn’t suit your lifestyle or that it was a crazy fad diet OR more importantly because of the all important diet cycle.

And finally Number 3. Diets are desinged to keep you on diets.
People who design diets are clever. They know their way around the diet cycle. They know that if you try one diet, you are likely to try another, and another and this is fuelled by the cycle. Let me explain….

You start the diet cycle by going on a diet. You start well and lose some weight.

Because you restrict your kilojoules/calories your body lowers its metabolic rate (your metabolism) so your body burns less kilojoules than it did before you started the diet.

Your brain kicks in and starts telling your body to store fat because it thinks you are in a famine and need to stock up for survival.

Somewhere down the track you run into some troubles (like a really bad week or a weight loss plateau) and you start feeling the urge to eat crappy food.

You break your diet, eat about a kilo of chocolate and start telling yourself “I’m not good enough” “I’m a failure” “I may as well give up now”.

You give up and put weight back on.

Because of your lowered metabolic rate you put on more weight than you lost and end up heavier than you were before you started.

You start thinking, I need to go on a diet……. and the cycle starts again.

Who does that sound familiar too?? Probably many of you.

But what if there was another way? What if you could gradually lose weight in a supportive and non-diet way? What if you learnt good habits as you went along and felt better about yourself the further along you went. And what if The Dietitian Mummy was about to add in a shameless plug for a new way to do this?

I have been working hard on a weight loss program for busy mums out there that does not involve diets in any way shape or form. It involves learning about why you put on weight in the first place and gives you challenges that help you break these habits for good. It will also involve entry to a closed facebook group where you can ask me questions and also talk to other mums doing the challenges too.

So stay tuned for more information. It’s coming soon…..

 

The Dietitian Mummy.