Strategies for when you’re busy to eat well


Presenter: Katherine
Guest: Louise D’Allura
Guest Bio: Louise D’Allura, growing up in an Italian Family where food and vegetable patches are an essential part of life, Louise started her career at Nutrition Australia, then worked in corporate health wellness and later in occupational health. Louise now runs the business Meal Planning Your Way.

Segment Overview
Louise joins us today to talk about Strategies for when you’re too busy to eat well.



Health Professional Radio

Katherine: Thank you for listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Katherine and today our guest is Louise D’Allura. Growing up in an Italian family where food and vegetable patches are an essential part of life, Louise started her career at Nutrition Australia and then worked in corporate health and wellness and later in occupational health. Louise now runs the business “Meal Planning Your Way” and Louise joins us today to talk about strategies for when you’re too busy to eat well. Welcome to our show Louise.

Louise D’Allura: Hi Katherine, thank you.

K: Now I’m really glad that you’re with us today because we’ve done segments from a show in the past about people being too busy to eat and then they fall into these really bad eating habits and the food entering that they consume possibly have too much fat and sugar, mainly because it’s a convenient food.

L: Yeah.

K: I’m sure you came across these things.

L: Yeah.

K: So some people, you know because of convenience some people do cook up large batches of food on the weekend for week night meals, maybe they freeze them or just have them on hand. But eating this way, although it saves time can be a little bit boring, don’t you think?

L: Oh definitely.

K: Yeah, so how can we have quick nutritious meals if we’re all time poor?

L: And I think that whenever we try to deal with that question of “What’s for dinner?” really can increase our anxiety that we just start a nervous twitch every time we hear it. So I guess what I really encourage people to do is I guess look at ways that they can really get their dinner multi-tasking. So we know the general idea of multi-tasking and for humans it doesn’t work so well because our brains need to compensate and do one thing at a time otherwise we’re wasting a lot of energy, mental energy and time energy, all of that. But when it comes to meals, I guess what I’m talking about in terms of getting dinner multi-tasking is thinking about things like every single time you have the other oven on so you might be Roasting a chicken or anything, you might be cooking pie or you’re just in a process of making muffin or you just finished. It’s looking at how you can do something that will get you ahead, I guess what a really simple example of that would be roasting sweet potato. I don’t know, are you a fan of sweet potato Katherine?

K: I love sweet potato.

L: Oh very good, me too. And it’s one that I really like to use as an example because most people love sweet potato. Even if you’re not a fan of sweet potato as I’m suggesting these ideas that’s thinking about maybe you know pumpkin or some other delightful vegetable, but every time the oven is on, if you could be thinking about roasting something for example like a sweet potato, it then allows you to … I mean for the next couple of nights or something like that you really don’t have to worry about going to huge lengths to put together delicious tasty meals when you are so time poor.

K: Right. So if you pre-roasted this sweet potato or whatever you want to roast pumpkin or whatever, you’ve got this lovely roast potato cool down, put in the fridge.

L: Yup.

K: So you’re saying that because you have this on hand. I mean what can we do with a sweet potato because a few of our listeners might be thinking, “Well I’m not gonna have a meal with just like sweet potato.”

Both: (laughing)

L: Exactly. So I guess one of the first things I will do is suggesting a really looking at creativity with a salad. So you know for example we know the basic ideas, you can do sweet potato salad with you know some baby spinach red, onion. You could add a little bit of interest to it by topping some peas.

K: Right.

L: Adding in some other fruits or flavors like you know seed, pumpkin seeds or a sunflower seeds

K: Right.

L: Bean into that as well. Add a bit of protein to that. You can do something like a pan fried halloumi or some sort of salmon or something like that, just to add a little bit of interest because then all you’re doing is just assembling and that is a quick meal… You might have some cooked fish but a pan fried halloumi will literally will take five minutes.

K: I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

L: I know.

K: Okay, that’s really great advice. So yeah, you can do so many things like you said and salads can be quite a hearty meal as well especially if you bulk it up with a lot of like you said protein, things like that. Now what about leftovers? You know some people would take their leftovers for lunch. But if you’re anything like myself I can’t really eat, I don’t want to waste food so I normally just put in the fridge but leftovers – having the same thing two days in a row even a little bit boring. What can we do with leftovers? You’ve got some tips and principles for such dilemmas.

L: Oh I love leftovers. And I have to confess that, I don’t tend to use the “L” word, for I don’t like to say leftovers because leftovers our the concept is totally underrated and I can’t well very much my mission in life is to help people see how we can look at leftovers in a brand new way because one of the most startling statistics is we are the nation in Australia waste $2.8B, so that’s billion dollars every single year in food waste. Okay, just on leftovers and it’s not even fruits and vegetables, it’s a whole other …

K: On leftovers? Yes, because I think that’s shameful which something like if you put that in to people’s perspective I think it’s between 30-40% of your shopping a week which is a lot.

L: Yup, so if you want to save money this is a really good strategy.

K: Right and not just money but it’s good for the environment, and if anyone’s ever done any kind of farming or whatever you know how long it takes to grow food and yes the last thing you want to do is waste it. And you know we’re always taught that there are people around the world that do go hungry, so yeah so we’ve got all of that you know the guilt that, everything going on. So before we get in to what we can do with leftovers if you don’t like that “L” word, how can we refer to them?

L: So I refer to them as “revamp” and the whole philosophy.

K: Oh revamp.

L: Yeah, Revamp philosophy.

K: I was gonna suggest “bonus food” but anyway, (chuckles) revamp…

L: So revamp is about transforming leftovers from boring rerun into an exciting sequel. Okay and there are four principles and I think in terms of how to create great revamp and this is one of the in different studies they found, one of the biggest reasons why people throw out so many leftovers was because people didn’t know what to do with them. So that’s where I created, okay there are four principles – the first one is looking at “Ingredients” and I’ll go through the four and then I’ll give a really quick example of how people can apply it. So “Ingredients” is one principle, “Flavour” okay is one, looking at “Cooking Method” is another and “Texture.” So how to see how those apply is as looking at something to simple as chicken fajitas. So think about you might have chicken tenderloin that you’ve cooked with paprika and lime juice 3 to 4 minutes each side, added in some sliced onions and you have some … You had fajitas within that night, you cook a bit extra then the next night what you can do is something like an Asian salad. So using that revamp principle of “flavor,” you can then introduce something like fish sauce, some lime juice, sweet chili sauce then you’re gonna be looking at the next principle of “ingredients” and then to make it different we’ll be adding coriander, some noodles, some sprouts, some cabbage, you know like what I’m saying? It’s really converting it into that Asian salad and it’s so much quicker which is even better. So I guess one other example would be on the other side of things to be looking at that chicken fajita could be chicken a laksa. So that’s where you might change the cooking method, either simmering it in a beautiful coconut milk broth and then adding some laksa paste in terms of flavor and changing ingredients. You can have some you know noodles or prawns and those sorts of things. So it’s really trying to revamp your leftovers so they will be a little bit more exciting.

K: Right and if people didn’t know, they would not even remember that it was from that same meal because like you said, fajitas would have things like coriander, paprika, lime juice and that blends itself well like a curry based dish because the curry’s quite over powering that it would kind of overpower the paprika so you get you’re not really having that Mexican flavor coming through anymore.

L: Exactly.

K: Well all good advice. For those that would like to know more, you can go to Louise’s website which we’ll give you a link to and there’s lots of ideas on there. And thank you so much for your time today.

L: Oh my pleasure. Thank you so much.