We get it. It’s almost winter (someone tell the recent Auckland weather gods) and we are all getting a bit lazier by the day. Those virtuous summer days filled with salads, smoothies and outdoor exercise quickly become a distant memory and the imminent layers of clothing do little to perk the motivation. Get your mind off those comfort meals for just a minute, and your head out of that second bowl of apple crumble, justified purely by your successful existence through 5pm sunsets and the occasional need for a scarf.
Being healthy, even if you are a self-confessed sloth, may be easier than you think. With some small and simple changes even the laziest loaf can make seriously beneficial changes. Most don’t even involve getting off the couch. Yeah, now you’re listening.
Cut The Crap
Honestly, the next person that tells us we can’t eat x, or that so-and-so is the new superfood is getting locked in a very small toilet cubicle with Naz on a rampage. It’s fricking hard to keep up with what we should be eating, but there’s general consensus around a lot of what we shouldn’t. It’s common sense for the most part—whole foods, in near-natural states (with some exceptions, raw kale we’re lookin’ at you), no ingredients you can’t pronounce (again, with the likes of quinoa & acai around, there are exceptions).
One exception to the exceptions, is that white devil who has been getting a lot of press lately. No, not a certain hair-mare politician, but sugar. It’s not doing us any favours, that’s become really clear. Dependent on lazy levels you may choose to avoid sugar at differing degrees, but a blanket rule for all of us should be never add it yourself, and wherever you can avoid others who add it for you.
Fermented foods are real winner for improving digestion, and require minimal effort now that the local market is saturated with ready-to-eat fermented products. Try kombocha kings The Organic Mechanic for their gingery, effervescent bevvy, Raglan Coconut Yoghurt—keep your eyes peeled for the new blackcurrant & Heilala vanilla and mango & turmeric flavours we’re coveting, and the OG fermented condiment, sauerkraut. They’re at the supermarket now people, don’t tell us they’re not trying to make it easy.
Hack Your Meal
Healthy need not require five hours of slow cooking or a similar amount of time trudging various stores for a plethora of ingredients. Take heed with ones of our easy food hacks and you’ll spend less time and energy than jumping in the car to get takeaways. Even healthy ones.
Some of our favourite meal hacks at the moment, and especially pertinent for the dreaded cooking for one scenario:
- Pumpkin soup: they’re $1 so quit your excuses. Microwave the whole thing for five minutes and flip the power struggle of cutting it up on it’s head. Cube and put in a pot with a couple onions, some garlic and a good qual’ stock. Freeze for later moments of weakness and avoid loosing the staring battle with that packet of Tim tams.
- Roast veggie salads: potentially a use for the rest of the pumpkin if you don’t fancy a freezer full. Roast root veggies and add some greenery near the end. Serve with feta or halloumi and sauerkraut. Winning with minimal effort.
- Cheat’s Shakushuka: If you’ve been out for brunch almost anywhere in Auckland you’ll have seen a version of this baked eggs dish on a menu guaranteed. Make it at home for the ultimate ‘brinner’. One or two cans of chopped toms in a saucepan, whatever veggies you have on hand (even frozen peas if you’re feeling particularly lazy), some pre-ground paprika/cumin/chili/cayenne pepper. Crack in some eggs, put the lid on until set. Serve with yoghurt, hot sauce and coriander if you can be bothered.
Let Someone Else Do It For You
Auckland is rife with people looking out for your health and willing to take out all effort required on your behalf, bar parting with a few dollar bills. Bird On A Wire, Ripe Deli and Jess’ Underground Kitchen are all ready for you to pop in on the way home to grab a healthy meal to enjoy in front of your laptop like the glut you are. No judging around here.
If even the driving part proves too difficult, but you’re willing to do a tiny bit of cooking, opt for a food delivery service that literally only requires a click. My Food Bag and Farro Fresh Food Kits deliver the goods to you for convenience and taste benefits all around. If the prep part makes you wanna dial for some horrific disk disguised as food, WOOP! may be the best bet for you, and your friends will think you’re really fancy when you gram what you just “cooked”.
Find What You Love
Moving onto the other thing that keeps us healthy, but unfortunately does involve, well, moving. Focus less on what the trendy exercise of the month is, and just go for what works for you. Take advantage of some introductory offers and take a taste test of a few different things before finding exactly what it is that works for you. It might be that it’s just where all your friends go, the place that persistently plays re-runs of Friends on repeat, or the place with the hottest trainers… if it gets you going, it’s a mighty good place to start.
Feed The Mind
When we’re talking health, it’s not just about weight or the scale of your Suzanne Paul-esque natural glow. Health is a more holistic state of wellbeing and while it might sound corny, it largely comes from within. Surround yourself with people and things that take the effort away and you’ll be much more likely to be healthy as a result. Yin yoga is the ultimate in relaxation with only a tiny bit of exercise thrown in, which does wonders for your mental clarity, joint and ligament health, and has detoxifying and digestive benefits to boot. Google savasana or ‘corpse pose’ and see how relaxing getting healthy really can be.
Want to keep healthy at work? Here are 11 Healthy Snacks To Keep At Your Desk.
Image credit: Bridesmaids