The Ideal Balanced Diet: Well-Balanced Diet

WHAT’S THE SECRET to a healthy, well-balanced diet? Fine-tune your cooking skills. Research shows that people who regularly rattle the pans at home consume fewer kilojoules than those who dine out – and not just because they know exactly what’s gone into that marinade. According to WF dietitian Caitlin Reid, people who mix up their in-house menu have a healthy eating edge. “Different food groups provide us with different nutrients, so eating a variety makes it more likely that you’re meeting your nutrient requirements,” she says.

To up the health-factor of your homemade dinners, Reid suggests adding at least three veggies in your evening meal and reducing the amount of animal protein you eat by including plant-based sources, such as lentils, beans or nuts. Think spag Bol with beef and lentils, or stir-fry with cashews. This month, use our tips to get creative with your cooking and discover a few new dishes… Make Decemberthe month you… challenge Pick an in-season fruit or vegetable that you’ve never cooked with before and find a recipe that makes it the star ingredient. Raid your fridge and challenge yourself to create something fresh using the stash you already have.

The Ideal Balanced Diet: Well-Balanced Diet

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Take a pic of recipes you want to make and store them in a folder on your Show us how you’re cooking up a storm by tagging #WFChallenge Get creative on Instagram! in the kitchen phone, so inspo is at your fingertips when you hit the grocery store. Buy one cut of meat and experiment with two ways you can use it. Think shredded Chinese pork and almond meal schnitzel. Invite a friend around and get them to teach you their favourite dish – then set the table and enjoy it together! Try a delivery service like Hello Fresh (hellofresh. com.au) – they’ll send you all the ingredients you need to make new recipes you might not have thought to try.

Always cook with meat? Pick the vego option! Go globetrotting from your kitchen. Close your eyes and randomly pick a country on a world map – then cook a dish you’d find on the menu there. (Here’s hoping we get Mexico…) Experiment with sides. If you’re a meat-and-threeveg gal, try swapping your usual mash, broccoli and carrot for a healthy slaw or roast veg with couscous. Challenge yourself to a new cooking method. If you always cook your salmon in a pan, give baking it a go.

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