Catherine Burns

Make food last most of the week

  • Taking food to work: buying lunch is rarely as healthy as making it yourself

Iím writing this from my phone in the dark, sitting next to Belle whoís sleeping fitfully on an air mattress. She usually sleeps on a top bunk, but she has a fever and a throw-up bug ó that seems like a bad combination, especially given that the bunk is at the same height as the ceiling fan, if ever there was a method of distributing vomit far and wide, that has got to be it. (Are you reading this over breakfast? I hope not!)

Anyway, tomorrow is day two of the new school term and, like yesterday, Iíll be spending it at home, mopping this tiny brow. My work e-mails and to-do list are piling up, I keep shuffling clients into new spots and I feel as if time is running away with me. Thereís lots to look forward to at work, but I do need some time to get things ready. Iím not gonna lie, the working-mommy juggle is tricky at the moment.

So, in case I really do run out of time, let me give you a quick heads up. This month, I have Nutrifit starting on Thursday 14th and Beat the Couch kicking off on the 28th.

Nutrifit is our six-week nutrition intensive and perfect for getting yourself back on track after the summer. Lots of people do it for weight loss, but thereís a whole host of other benefits too. We focus on body composition improvements instead of weight and put preventive health protocols in place where relevant.

And although following the Nutrifit nutrition guidelines can help to prevent chronic disease (such as diabetes and heart disease) the motivator for many people is the simple change in how they feel day to day. Following a great nutrition plan makes all the difference to your general wellbeing and can optimise energy levels, balance hormones and radically improve your mood and concentration.

In addition to Nutrifit, we also have the tenth season of Beat the Couch on the horizon. Beat the Couch began as a one-off experiment ó and here we are, five years and 550 participants later. Iím just finalising all the details, but to celebrate this milestone, weíre going for a big pack with lots of graduates joining us for a rerun too.

If you are unfit, or if your fitness has lapsed, if you have never run or if it feels like forever since you did, then this is the programme for you!

We have an amazing success rate and are really proud of the community and camaraderie we have built over the years. Preliminary information is online at www.natural.bm now.

With all this under way and the back-to-school season in full swing, life is busy. But when life gets busy, itís easy for nutrition habits to go downhill. Iím as guilty as anyone in that regard. The cost, of course, is the impact on your health, but itís often more expensive on your pocket too. Buying lunch is rarely as healthy as making it yourself and itís certainly not as economical. Bringing your own lunch is far and away the more green option as well ó no more disposables.

If you do get takeout at lunchtime, then my favourite option, hands down, is the Harvest Bowl at Devilís Isle. You can ask for a small one and I usually add chicken and avocado. Itís super healthy and totally delicious!

If you can, though, try making a recipe on Sunday that will take you through lunchtimes from Monday-Thursday. (That way you can buy lunch on Friday, feeling good about the rest of the week.)

Iíve been inspired by Jamie Oliver lately ó heís doing a brilliant series on dishes with just five ingredients. Theyíre simple to cook, but packed full of nutrition and flavour too. Easy on the budget and easy for beginner chefs, so a great way to get your kids cooking. You can follow on Instagram @jamieoliver or buy the book 5 ingredients online.

So, with that concept in mind, Iíve got a great little recipe for you below. Itís good as a lunch or a quick dinner. I use the Waitrose white basmati and wild rice combo (from Supermart) as a base for this ó if youíre having white rice, always pick basmati as the glycemic index is much lower than American long grain white rice.

You can also reduce the starch by rinsing the rice both before and after you cook it. (For the lentils, I get mine in the fresh veg section at Supermart. Iíll do a little series of lunches of these so youíre set up for a few weeks. Let me know if you love it or if you have any requests. Have a great weekend one and all ó and letís make it healthy.

Mediterranean Wild Rice Salad

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

2 cups Waitrose basmati and wild rice mix.

1 box vac-packed puy lentils (or 1 tin Eden organic garbanzo beans)

1 jar Waitrose sun-dried tomatoes (in olive oil)

4 tbsps toasted pine nuts.

1 box arugula (or other dark green leaves)

(salt and pepper to taste ó these donít count as ingredients!)

Method

1. Rinse the rice well and then cook until tender. Rinse again with cold water and drain thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils (or garbanzos) well too. Drain.

3. Slice the tomatoes into bite- sized pieces, reserve the oil.

4. Toss the rice, lentils and tomatoes together, add some oil from the jar of tomatoes, some sea salt and white pepper to taste. Store air tight until ready to use.

5. When ready to serve, pop in a bowl with the green leaves and sprinkle 1 tbsp of pine nuts (per person) on top. Easy!

ē The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the Managing Director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a Registered Dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda<;/i>