Best Tips for Cooking for 1 or 2

So, the kids have finally left home! You now have some well earnt quality time with your partner (or quality “me” time). Here are some tips to for cooking for 1-2 people and to keep you motivated to cook!

Create a meal plan and shopping list:

Plan out your meals for the week, so when you go to the shops, you only have to go once! This saves time and money! Then at the end of the week, when we have left over veg, let’s make use of this. Make a stir-fry and cook up all the vegetables. Or make a coleslaw by grating left over apple, the broccoli stem, or literally any vegetable left over and drizzle over some lemon, olive oil, bit of salt and pepper and you have the world’s best slaw! All about minimising food wastage. 

Look for smaller portions or portions that keep:

  • Freezer veg options, fresh part of supermarket already prepared veg, ½ loaf of bread or put it in the freezer
  • Buy a new cookbook or look for recipes specifically for one or two
  • Trade meals with a friend – nothing tastes better than a meal you didn’t have to cook yourself!

When cooking, cook a little extra for later!

When you are in the mood for cooking, using recipes that are for 3-4 people are still perfect as freezing the leftovers gives you an easy lunch or dinner when you are too tired or too hungry to cook. The best suggestion is to cook the rice/pasta fresh and to only freeze the sauce (as the rice and pasta can go mushy and undesirable). Making sure you at least have 3 different types of meals in the freezer gives you some options to choose from. Just remember to label the containers and date them so you remember what the container actually has inside and how old the food is!

Babysitting? Get the grandkids involved in the cooking!

On a day when you have the grandkids, why not bake a healthy oat bar together? This can be cut up and enjoyed together at morning or afternoon tea. Plus, kids love making a mess in the kitchen. What better way to improve their food literacy skills and to create memories they will cherish forever.

Written by Isabella Boccalatte 

Nutrition for Sleep

If you’re anything like me, a bad night’s sleep can absolutely put a damper on your day (and health it seems!). Often we get complacent and hear ourselves saying to others “Oh, I haven’t slept well in years” yet we aren’t doing much to try and fix it (or you’ve been trying and haven’t found something that sticks!). Undoubtedly, sleep hygiene is optimal for promoting a healthy sleep, but if you’ve tried all the regular old tricks, it might be time to think about your food intake and how that might be hurting your sleep.

Sleep is vital for a number of physiological and psychological functions. A poor sleep can cause a negative change in your mood and cognition, affection learning and memory and your perception of pain, immunity and inflammation (1).

 

So what can you do to help it?

Although the evidence in this area is minimal, the following MAY help you get a better night’s sleep:

  • Eating high GI foods (e.g. white potato, pasta, rice) in your evening meal (must be at least 1 hour before going to sleep)
  • Having a high daily protein intake
  • Including tryptophan containing foods in your evening meal (e.g. poultry, eggs, game meat, sesame flour and spinach)
  • Including melatonin containing foods in your evening meal (e.g. tomatoes, strawberries and grapes)
  • Ensuring you’re getting enough iron, zinc and magnesium (1)

What might be hindering your sleep?

  • A high fat diet – this can influence total sleep time
  • Reduction in overall calories – quality of sleep is often disturbed

 

S Halson. Enhancing sleep through nutrition. Mysportsscience. 2020. https://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2019/11/12/Enhancing-sleep-through-nutrition