How many of you have made a pact with yourself to start eating better now that a new year is here? I’m sure there are a lot of heads nodding right now. However, come the second working week of the year – which were currently in right now – the hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows are getting ordered from the coffee shop again (don’t look at me!?), and those 3 pm visits to the vending machine for a Galaxy start sneaking back (yeah now even I’m looking at myself right now…)
I’m not currently making a ‘thing’ to be healthier, but I am aware of how much money I spend on junk food from working in an office, which is a bad combination. Eating poorly and spending excessive money are two things I really want to keep an eye on, so I thought I’d put together some tips I’m taking on to try and kick the habit. At least for January anyway!
I came across this 5 step guide for better office lunches over at Adzuna last week, and its basically this which has gave me the little kick I needed after analysing my own habits.
1. Make your own bakes
So this doesn’t mean you have to spend time baking away in the kitchen and watching the oven for some crazy, creative bakes the evening before work. However, have you ever realised that roll out pastry actually goes a really long way? And instead of buying those fast food pastries, pies and sausage rolls from Greggs (or alternatives, but lets face it, they are the pastry kings!) you could easily make your own and have more control of the fillings?
I had a go over Christmas with roll out puff pastry and I made soooo many spiced apple turnovers with it, that made me realise all the other fillings I could be creating. Why not fill with sweet potato chunks and chickpeas for a veggie version, or fill with your favourite grated cheese, slices of ham and onion for days when you want to be a little naughtier?
Roll out pasty can cost just £2 for 2 rolls, in which you can make at least 6 bakes…
2. Bring quality coffee in from home
I’m probably the most guiltiest person in the world for ordering coffees from expensive coffee shops, and this one will be a hard one to break. There’s just something about those frothy Caramel Lattes I can’t get enough of. However, at around £2.80 a go, it’s a habit which needs dropping, and fast!
Flask coffee doesn’t need to be a bad things, especially if you make quality, decent coffee in the first place. I’m currently awaiting the delivery of a professional coffee machine to have at home, you know the types, the ‘fancy’ ones which let you put your coffee pod in and you get a smooth, barista style coffee served up. So I’ll be trialing making my coffee’s at home first, and then transferring into a flask and having this as my everyday coffee commute.
Although more pricey than using instant coffee, they don’t work out anywhere near the price of coffee shop drinks, and you can shop cheap Tassimo Pods online which makes the cost per cup cheap, and delicious! Or, why not bring a coffee machine into work, and all chip in for the pods? Again, far cheaper than going to Starbucks!
3. Make use of salmon/smoked salmon
This sounds like a specific one, but lately I’ve been reading up on the health and beauty benefits of salmon, and I’m determined to get it into my diet. I’ve thought about ways to have healthier lunches at my desk at work without paying silly money, in which I thought about the following: I’m going to purchase a pack of smoked salmon and keep it in the work fridge. On some evenings, I’ll cook a portion of spaghetti, and add some tomatoes and rocket leaves. Then, I can tear up pieces of Salmon and add them in for my lunch the next day.
Or for a breakfast option, toast a bagel at work, spread with cream cheese or avocado, and top with smoked salmon. Voila!
4. And not forgetting avocado!
I briefly mentioned that classic ‘A’ word just before, and lets face it, Avocado is still going strong as the nations favourite super food. A pack of 4 can cost around £2 if you shop right, and if you bring them into work, you mash them up and add them to toasted rye or sourdough. Again, healthy and not breaking the bank. Buy avocado from any take out food place and you’ll be paying a small fortune…
5. Pile up your leftovers
So this is one I’ve been focusing on for quite a while. It;s really simple and probably one that many of you already do, but when I make my evening meal, I make huge portions so that there is always leftovers for my lunch the next day. The most versatile option is chilli – I like to make a Quorn chilli with lots of kidney beans and fresh ingredients like tomatoes, peppers and onions. I sometimes scoop up the leftover chilli and rice wrap it up in tortillas or tacos, and treat myself to burritos!
Or, I’ve been buying those Chapatti breads too, and if I have a left over homemade curry, I pile it up over a chapatti bread. A pack of 8 Chapatti wraps are so affordable and taste amazing with curries!
As you can tell, no ground-breaking, Earth-shattering ideas that probably haven’t crossed your mind before, but each one is definitely helping me to stay away from the vending machine, and build up those pennies in my back pocket…