Back To School Foods And Tips!
Back To School Foods And Tips!
posted onSeptember 7, 2015

Going back to school/work etc can be an exciting prospect (or not..) following a long Summer break. However getting out of that holiday routine can be easier said than done when it comes to food. Following a few weeks of brunches, late nights, and well sun, sea and sangria (and some ice cream for good measure!), any sense of routine is well and truly out the window. So when the ‘back to school/work’ ball suddenly drops…. we find ourselves overwhelmed by the idea of making a packed lunch once again. It is so important to ensure that we enjoy life and indulge in the foods and experiences that we love, especially when the sun comes out… however there is definitely something to say for routine, because along with routine comes balance and a more mindful approach to the foods that we eat – and this ultimately creates the foundation for our overall sense of happiness and wellbeing. Because of this, we have taken it upon ourselves to look into a few fundamental tips to help you shake away those cobwebs and make your of getting back into our healthy ‘back to school/work’ habits by implementing these few easy steps.

BE PREPARED

There’s a reason why some advice never goes out of style, which is why we can’t stress enough just how important it is to be prepared. As the saying goes, “if we fail to prepare, we are preparing to fail.” Sometimes, despite our best intentions, the dark and cold winter mornings get the better of us and make those extra 15 minutes in bed feel a lot more appealing than packing up a lunch box. Next thing you know, we then don’t have the time for breakfast, so either skip it or grab an on-the-go alternative (usually fairly sugar/fat laden), take no food with us, grab a similar style lunch and then continue on the same pattern for the day, leaving us feeling rubbish all evening. So it really is vital to put aside those 10-15 minutes every evening to prepare for the next day, without the risk of the snooze button interfering with your plans! Whether it’s a large salad, quinoa pot or even a sandwich, plus some fruit/veggies of your choice, I can promise that you’ll be so grateful to your former organised self in the long run.

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GET FAMILIAR WITH THE LOCAL HOT SPOTS

For those days where preparation just doesn’t even come into the equation, it’s really useful to know the best places to go when those hunger pangs strike. Aside from learning where the local healthy cafes and stores are, it’s actually more cost-effective to be able to sweep around the nearest supermarket and know the best ways to get the nutrient dense food down you without the added nasties that sometimes come with pre-prepared food. With foods like dried/fresh fruit, pre-cooked quinoa, vegetable filled soups, chia puddings and much more available at your convenience, this is a fool-proof way of knowing that you aren’t compromising too much on your usual healthy diet when you forget your lunch that day!

 

CURB SOME OF THE CAFFEINE

It can be very easy to rely on caffeine to get you through your school/working day, however it can be bad news when it comes to the aftermath of the coffee high; although stimulants like coffee can fuel you temporarily through the task that needs to be done, they provide no longevity in the way that fibrous and energising foods like brown rice, vegetables, natural energy bars (NS snacks!) and fruit can. Enjoying a coffee is something we would never want to deprive you of (of course!), however it is vital to ensure that it isn’t your only source of energy throughout the day; whole, plant-based foods will do the trick abundantly, and not only will your body feel better for consuming these foods, but so will your overall mood and happiness!

 

SPREAD THE PLANT-BASED LOVE!

When aiming to maintain a healthy diet, many people feel as though they should therefore deprive themselves of eating flavours that they love… Cue plant-based cake making; if you are susceptible to that familiar 3pm ‘slump’ even after your healthful lunch time salad, take in a homemade snack to share with colleagues or fellow-students. By sharing round some raw brownies, chocolate fudge or protein balls (for example), you’ll satisfy that sweet craving, have the opportunity to spread the plant-based love and maybe even have some leftover for the day after.

Ultimately, it’s so important to ensure that your working/school days are fuelled by food that genuinely give you the energy that you need, whilst tasting delicious and that make you feel incredible! Making sure you mix it up, keep it interesting, and stay prepared (but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to prepare lunch for the odd day!) will set you up for the best version of yourself to be present at all times throughout the next school/work year!

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SOME OF OUR TOP TIPS AND FAVOURITE BACK TO SCHOOL/WORK FOODS:

Take a few hours out of your weekend to prep for the week

Pre – cook batches of lentils, rice, veggies, soups

Invest in tupperware!

Chop up veggies/fruit for snacks and hummus/guacamole to dip

Make some energy balls/bars

Buy some raw nuts/seeds to munch on throughout the day

Have a good breakfast!

Buy a good water bottle, fill it up regularly, and DRINK IT ALL!

Pre prepare smoothie ingredients, freeze and they’re ready for you in the morning to whizz up quickly!

 

A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE KITCHEN STAPLES FOR STAYING HEALTHY WHEN BACK INTO ROUTINES!

 

QUICK HUMMUS RECIPE

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Makes about a cup

WHAT YOU NEED

1.5 cups/200g tin of Chickpeas

Juice 1 lemon

1 tbsp tahini

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

WHAT YOU DO

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, add to a food processor with all the other ingredients, blend until a creamy puree forms.

 

MAPLE TAMARI ALMONDS

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WHAT YOU NEED

2 cups almonds, 2 tablespoons tamari, 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

WHAT YOU DO

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. In a bowl mix all the ingredients until the almonds are totally coated. Line a roasting tray with parchment paper and evenly spread the almonds out. Pop in the oven to cook for around 6 minutes until crisped up. Remove from the oven and let cool and crisp up!

 

MULBERRY & APRICOT BARS

WHAT YOU NEED

1 cup dried apricots (unsulphured)

1/2 cup dried mulberries

2 cups cashew nuts

1/2 tsp fresh ginger

OPTIONAL:

2 tsp Baobab Powder

*Note: you can make these bars using a combination of apricots with any other dried fruit, don’t feel restricted to mulberries! Experiment!

WHAT YOU DO

Start by pulsing the cashews until small chunks (but not a flour) add all the other ingredients and continue to blend. After a few minutes, once everything is combined and sticks together you can stop the blender. Take out the raw mixture and mould into energy bars. Store in an air tight container.

 

OVERNIGHT OATS WITH A BLUEBERRY CASHEW CREAM

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WHAT YOU NEED

1/2 banana, mashed

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon flaxseeds

BLUEBERRY-BANANA CASHEW CREAM:

1/2 banana (frozen if possible)

1/2 cup blueberries

1 medjool date

2 tablespoons cashew nuts

2-4 tablespoons of water/ dairy free milk

WHAT YOU DO

For the oat mixture, mix all ingredients together in a bowl – make sure the banana is mashed before you add it!

For the creamy topping add all ingredients to your blender and simply blend until totally smooth. Add the oats to the bottom of a jar, or glass and top with the cream. Leave in the fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning.

 

PEANUT AND CINNAMON BUTTER DATES

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WHAT YOU NEED

2 cups peanuts

2 tsp raw honey

1 tsp cinnamon

a generous pinch of salt (I use pink himalayan salt)

WHAT YOU DO

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Put the peanuts on a roasting tray and roast for around 5-10 minutes until golden but not burnt. Make sure to check on them frequently!

Then add the roasted peanuts to a high speed food processor and process for around 8 minutes until totally smooth and creamy. You may need to process it for more or less time depending on the machine you use! Once it looks like peanut butter add in the cinnamon, salt and honey and process again for a further minute. Pour out of the jar and leave to cool (although I love it warm, straight out of the processer..mmm!).

Check out the Recipe section for more ideas here.

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