Five unexpected ways I’m reducing my plastic consumption

Hi everyone, it feels a long time since I blogged over here.  I’ve been busy writing for other people (over here) and on Instagram but I haven’t felt inspired to sit down front my laptop and add anything here for ages. Well, I’m happy to say that has changed. Maybe it’s the new year, or maybe I’ve just had the break away that I needed? Eitherway, it’s nice to be back.

So, how have you been? What’s new with you? Some things for me are very different – like my second year of studying in the bag (say, whaaaat?! Where did the year go?) and others not so much, like my rapidly growing passion *cough* obsession *cough* for reducing how much single use plastic I’m using.

Over the past year I have been slowly switching up into some more sustainable habits and this year I’m determined to keep building on those foundations but go even further if I can. So if you’re already using a reusable cup and don’t go anywhere without your cotton tote bag but feel like you want to do more to reduce your plastic habit, then this is the post for you.

Here are the five unexpected ways I’m reducing my plastic consumption, and there’s not a bad suggestion in the bunch…

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A simple festive soup recipe

Hi everyone,

For today’s ‘surviving the festive season’ post I’m sharing with you my go-to winter soup recipe which comes on so handy when you need something healthy, filling and easy during this crazy time of year.

I make batches of this soup and freeze them so that if unexpected guests arrive you’ve always got something healthy to serve them. Or if you come home after a long day of work or festive shopping you can simply heat this up and in under 5 minutes you’ve got something hot and nutritious to eat.

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Food hacks, Uncategorized

Quick and easy make ahead breakfasts

When I wake up in the morning one of the first things I think about is what to eat.  Which is great if it’s a weekend because I have the time to make something delicious like breakfast burritos, pancakes or French toast and omelettes.  I’ve even been known to have multiple courses (croissants then toast followed by a fry up since you ask) but during the week I simply don’t have time for all that.

Most weekdays I roughly leave myself 30 minutes between my alarm going off and getting out the door to drive to the train station.  This is easily done as my clothes are sorted the night before, my work bag is packed and my food is in the fridge ready to go.

But being quick doesn’t mean I want to compromise on taste or flavour. I want the best of both worlds – and don’t even think about suggesting those instant oat sachets that are stuffed with sugar and other nasties.  They give the illusion of being quick and easy but in reality, they’re junky and you could cook regular oats in the same time (eye roll).

The good news is that there lots of different breakfast options you can make in advance which will take you minimal preparation time, taste amazing and you can simply grab and go during the week.

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Money saving

A healthy shopping list

One of the most common things I hear from friends, colleagues and family who tell me they struggle with eating healthier is that they don’t know what foods to buy. They are comfortable following a recipe and buying the ingredients required but when it comes to a general food shop for store cupboard staples and a general ‘healthy shop’ they struggle.  So I thought a post on what I would buy from a supermarket and some ideas for healthy meal options from that shopping list might be helpful.

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The easiest (healthy) icecream

Chances are if you are in to your healthy eating then you’ll have heard of ‘nicecream’ before.  However, judging by the reaction I received to my recent picture on Instagram of my bowl of nicecream I thought it was worthwhile doing a post on it:  what it is, how you make it and suggestions on what to serve it with.

For the uninitiated ‘nicecream’ is the term people use to describe this faux-ice cream which is made out of frozen bananas.  It tastes and has the same texture of icecream without the dodgy ingredients you’d usually get with the shop bought stuff.  Before we go any further let me reassure you, it’s not one of those healthy swaps where it doesn’t quite match up to the original but you convince yourself to like it anyway because you know it’s healthy.  This stuff delivers the goods. I’ve even tried it on the non healthy eaters in my life and they loved it.

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Food hacks

Quick and easy food options for when you have no packed lunch

Following on from Sunday’s meal planning post I began thinking about those days where you haven’t had time to cook anything beforehand but still want to eat well at lunch.  I’m pretty good with bringing in my own food 99% of the time (as I find it’s easier, healthier and saves me a bucket load of cash throughout the month) but there are times when meal planning doesn’t quite go, well, to plan.

I’ve found it’s usually days when either I haven’t had time to bring in lunch; my lunch plans fell through and I need to unexpectedly buy something; or I made lunch and forgot to pick it up so it’s sat on the kitchen counter at home going warm (which happens more than I would like to admit) when I’m in need of something quick, easy and that I will actually want to eat. Hands up who has ever made or bought a lunch and then ate something completely different because you didn’t fancy it?  Yeah, me too.

It is on these days that I re-visit my go-to list (below) which I have saved on my phone so that I don’t even have to think about it, I can just toddle on down to the shop and pull together a quick and healthy lunch option.

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Money saving

Meal planning 101

This week I’ve had a lot of conversations about meal planning.  I’d love to say it’s off the back of last week’s post about food prep but I think it’s just coincidence.  Although, one of my Instagram posts prompted a request for a meal plan from a family member so who knows?

As with the food prep idea, once I got talking to people about meal planning I realised that not everyone was doing it and the main reasons seem to be either confusion, intimidation or they thought it would take too much work.

Well, worry no more friends.  I am here to show you that just like food prep, meal planning is quick, easy and will make your life infinitely better.  By the time I’ve returned home from a full-on day of work in London unless my meals are planned I don’t have the energy to think about eating something vaguely healthy.  Without a meal plan I would end up eating terribly and spending far too much money.  Or I’d be in the supermarket every night and quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time.  Like Netflix. And wine.

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Money saving

Foods you don’t need to waste money on buying

As you know by now, I’m a stickler for not wasting anything, whether that’s food or money.  Which is why I quickly discovered that especially when you’re on a budget there are some things you really don’t need to spend money on. I’m talking about pestos, sauces, soups and condiments.  The kinds of things that we’ve been told are complicated and too much hassle to make yourself, when in reality the opposite is true.  Most of these things are actually more expensive to buy and usually contain some dodgy ingredients that you’re better off avoiding (sugar in mayonnaise I’m looking at you).

I’m hoping to convince you that by making some simple swaps in your diet you can save a few £££ and also enjoy some quick, healthy versions of your favourite foods.  It’s really not as hard as you might think, or have been told.

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Tips and tricks

Food prep made easy

Lets talk about food prep.   You only have to type #foodprep in to Instagram and you’re overwhelmed with hundreds, if not thousands, of images of perfectly prepared and portioned meals for the week which are set out in pristine kitchens without a hint of mess or fuss – I’m not knocking it, if you’re one of those people then please tell me your secrets because no matter how hard I try I always end up with food all over me and the floor.  So when you see these perfect images where somehow someone has managed to make 25 meals in 2 hours food prep seems like a pretty inaccessible concept doesn’t it?

Well, here’s the thing.  It doesn’t have to be.  If you’re put off by the idea of food prep; or you love the idea but can’t see how you can fit it in to your already busy schedule; or you simply don’t know where to start I’m here to reassure you that it’s easier than you think – and will definitely save you some time mid-week when you’re frazzled and would eat a lump of tarmac if someone else cooked it for you.

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