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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I prepare healthy fresh meals for one person?

    Related Topic
    I’d love to eat super healthy but I find buying really good fresh fruits and vegetables and buying the variety for one person quite challenging. How can I get a great range and variety on a budget for one person?
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  • 1


    Leah is a Clinical Dietitian with a passion for understanding how the body works. Special interests include: gut and systemic change food and mood mind-body … View Profile

    Hi individual,

    I agree with you 100%.  Being single myself, it can be a challenge. I think the easiest way to think about it is to simply think smaller portions in the buying, and preparation stages.  When I cook a casserole, stew, or dishes like bolongaise I make sure I then make enough to eat, and some to freeze; leave the green vegies out until I'm ready to eat next time.  

    Green vegies hold a great host of vitamins, and other important nutrients which are heat and water sensitive, so it is important to put these in last, and fresh each time you heat up another batch.

    When preparing meat and vege, its about thinking honestly how much is going to be on the plate and eaten, and prepare accordingly.  A guide is 11/2 cup of non starchy vegies such as beans, peas, carrots, pumpkin zuccini, kale, spinach etc, and 1/2 - 1 cup of starchy depending on how much exercise and activity you do.  Meat only needs to be about your palm, and your done.  A healthy meal that is done in 10 minutes flat.  For a bit of extra flavour use herbs, and spices sprinkled on the meat while you prepare the vegies and heat the cooking pan boil the water.  Seal it on a high heat,  add the vegies (hard ones for a 3-5 minute before adding the softer/green vegies .

    A few drawback of eating alone is the lack of social motivation.  Can you invite friends over a few times a week, or at least once a week.  Cook for friends, or social group.  If you like to bake, this is a great way to get your fix, help others and share the love. 

    Understandably it is easier to say, “Oh, I might just have toast, or baked beans, or scrambled eggs.”  These are ok if it happens occaisionaly and it is much easier, to prepare these meals, but they get boring after a while too. 

    So, take out the recipe books, go the library and borrow some, download cooking classes or Masterchef series and learn a few more than eggs on toast.  You, your body, and mind will appreciate it,  and your friends will be amazed the next time they visit. Most of all,  you are worth spoiling and enjoying your own company. 

    Make the most of it, and start learning and splurging. 

    To your health, leah 

  • ferylberyl

    HealthShare Member

    Hi there! I also do the solo cook and eat thing. Stew / casserole type dishes are good. You can make up a big batch and freeze several meals for the future. Stir fry would be another good option, but not one I do myself. Throw in a small amount of a lot of different meat, veg and grains.
    The option I find myself choosing most is the warm tossed salad. A bit of meat / fish / egg, a whole lot of salad or cooked veg mix (too much usually - I suck at portion control and I still clean my plate!), maybe some cheese, and usually some type of grain or ground seed (cooked barley, quinoa, cous cous, sunflower seed, sesame seed, linseed, ground nuts, the list goes on). Chop it all up and toss together in a bowl. The combo of flavours in each mouthful - delicious! And nutritious.
    I also add ground seeds and nuts along with some fruit to my porridge for breakfast. It just rounds out the nutrition factor a bit.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the advice! I'm hungry just reading the suggestions, I think the key is keeping the variety going and maybe just buying fresh everyday.

  • Specializing in weight reduction, diabetes and cholesterol management, high blood pressure, GIT disorders - including IBS, coeliac disease, food intolerance and food chemical sensitivity, childhood … View Profile

    The best thing to do is to buy a small amount of fruit and vegetables from your local fruit store or maybe a fruit market. Try to eat two fruit a day. You can incorperate vegetables by making soups or salads. You can make a large pot of soup and then freeze in portions. Aldi's has a very good range of fruits and vegetables that are quite cheap.

    You can also make a big stew, casserole, boloignaise and freeze in portions. Stir fry is also very good to have as you are incorporating fresh vegetables into your meal. Cous cous is a very good grain source for one person as it is so easy to make.

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Hi All- love your suggestions!

    When I lived on my own I must admit I hated reheat meals- I dont know what it was but I felt that pasta meals etc just werent the same.

    So what I used to do was buy chicken breast, lean meats etc and then as soon as I got home from the shops would be to divide the meat up into small portions (just enough for one) an then freeze them. That meant I had just enough for one person and could cook fresh vegetables etc on the night.

    Just a suggestion :)

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