As we get older, it can become more difficult to maintain a healthy eating regime alongside an active lifestyle. Life waits for no one and trying to keep to a hectic pace, as many of us are forced to, often leads to some sacrifices being made. Unfortunately, one area that can suffer more than most when time is at a premium is sticking to a healthy diet. When time becomes a critical factor, it’s all too easy to reach for that frozen ready meal or takeaway menu instead of cooking for yourself with fresh, wholesome ingredients.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options that will allow you to whip up a hearty meal in a matter of minutes which offers a healthier – and often much tastier – alternative to the convenience foods that many of us are overly reliant on. Through the internet and recipe books, it’s possible to create a bank of healthy recipes that can be prepared in around 15-20 minutes and make use of ingredients that you will likely have in the fridge or store cupboard anyway. These meals are ideal for people who may have problems with memory and for whom a long list of ingredients is a hindrance.
As well as preparing easy quick meals, it’s important to view them as part of a balanced diet which includes sensible selections from different food groups and the right types of macronutrients. The Food and Drink Federation’s daily intake guidelines are a good starting point for working out which and how much of each different nutrients your diet needs to provide, though keep in mind that these are a baseline designed for an “average person” and do not address specific needs. Somebody who is more active, such as a person working as a carer, may require more protein for muscle and tissue repair, while somebody who spends most of the day sitting down or lying in bed will generally require fewer calories.
The following tips show how you can make small tweaks to your eating habits and daily regime to improve your dietary wellbeing.
Water – The NHS recommendsdrinking at least 1.2 litres of water every day, which is roughly 6 to 8 glasses. If you don’t like to drink water, you can also drink tea and coffee but try to use as little sugar as possible. Dairy products, such as milk, tend to be quite high in calories so it is best to reduce them if watching your weight and to avoid sugary drinks altogether.
Vegetables – Most vegetable are rich in fibre, complex carbohydrates and other essential nutrients and should be eaten in abundance. If you are conscious about your weight, it may be best to moderate your intake of starchy root vegetables like white potatoes; sweet potatoes make a delicious and healthy alternative.
Fruits – As with vegetables, fruits are an essential source of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in natural sugars, making them an ideal alternative to chocolate or sweets if you feel like you need a treat or an energy boost.
Wholegrain Foods – Replace white grains withwhole wheat, brown grains when eating pasta, bread and rice. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you may wish to look at replacing some of the staple grains in your diet with more portions of vegetables, as bread and pasta tend to be rather high in calories and simple carbohydrates.
Protein – Protein is essential for tissue and bone growth and repair and is primarily found in animal-based products such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. Leaner meats and fish like chicken, tuna and salmon are generally preferable to red meat. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you will need to take extra care to ensure that you are getting enough protein in your diet so be sure to incorporate foods like nuts, tofu, soya beans and meat substitute products like Quorn.
Below are two recipes that are designed to be healthy, easy to prepare and cook as well as have minimal ingredients that would suitable for someone living with dementiaor Alzheimer’s. Please note that these recipes are designed to serve one person. Please increase the volume of ingredients appropriately.
Scrambled Omelette with Cherry Tomatoes
4 Cherry Tomatoes Quartered
20g of Grated Cheese (Any kind you like)
- Heat a non-stick pan with the butter. Pour the eggs into the hot pan and allow the eggs set for 1 to 1.5 minutes.
- Stir or scramble the eggs for a short period of time. Add the quartered tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until just cooked. You may wish to cook the eggs for a while longer depending on how you like them.
- Sprinkle with your grated cheese
- Fold the omelette and serve with the toast. You may wish to cut the toast into small pieces.
Haddock with Salad
1 Bag of Salad
Garlic Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
- Place your Haddock on tin foil and pour spoonful’s of garlic olive oil over the Haddock.
- Wrap the haddock in the tin foil and place in an oven preheated at 200c. Wait for 15 minutes.
- Pour salad into a bowl and (optional) add 1 spoonful of balsamic vinegar for flavour. Toss the salad until you happy with spread of vinegar.
- Take the haddock out of the oven. Place both the haddock and salad on a plate and serve.