Nutrition consultant Karen Cummings-Palmer talks us through the little changes we should make to improve our health, and how just underrated the freezer is.

Reassess your appliances

Whether it’s your favourite celebrity or your 80-year-old nan, everyone knows somebody who disapproves of microwaves. “I don’t even own a microwave” has become the new badge of healthy eating, with many believing that owning one will turn you into an obese, radioactive mutant who is unable to absorb nutrients from anything other than 99p cheeseburgers. But rather than setting it alight as soon as you step in the door tonight, why not think back to the whole reason we all bought a microwave in the first place: so we could speedily heat up plastic food like supernoodles. So putting all the will-radiation-from-it-kill-me-or-not aside, Karen suggests that our health is being affected by the bad habits microwaves encourage, rather than any mention of the r-word. We should steer away from relying on it for our meals, as eating food from re-heatable packets certainly won’t contain any of those great natural elements our body needs.

Instead, the freezer should be your new best friend. Fresh herbs can easily be bagged up and stored in the freezer, which can then be added to 10pm dinners, or for an extra bit of flavour when you have nothing else in the fridge apart from a few old leeks and a potato. Become healthier by relying on your freezer, so you can make meals ten times better than a ready meal, in about the same amount of time it takes for that microwave to ping.

Don’t settle for any old dairy, only eat the good stuff

Milk has had it tough recently, real tough. Far from the “Got Milk?” adverts that permeated the childhood of 90’s children, the dairy world has now taken a 180 degree turn, and the calcium kids have grown up into rebellious vegans. But which one is right? Karen says that if you’re going to have dairy, try to have it in small portions, and only the high quality stuff is good enough for you (who knew dairy and dating could be so similar?).

As natural is key, always go for the full-fat variety, as it’s full of all the healthy proteins, rather than subsidised with sugar and water: “Semi-skimmed, just like low-fat, is a con”. Buying Italian cheeses with the DOP mark ensures that they come from a reliable, quality source, which not only means they could be healthier, but they taste much better too.

Use sly tactics to curb cravings

No matter how much avocado we polish off for breakfast, or how much quinoa we cram down for dinner, we will always still have cravings. Even Giselle Bündchen has cravings. Probably. It’s likely that you already know by now what you’re supposed to be snacking on (if only eating just a few squares of dark chocolate was as easy as the Internet constantly tells us it is), so if you’ve read all the rulebooks and still can’t stop the cravings, then perhaps it’s time to acknowledge your mentality and relationship towards food. If willpower is your problem, Karen says your new bff the freezer may be the answer. She suggests decanting a handful of nuts and keeping them in there – they’ll defrost fast, and not only will they already be in portion sizes before you look down and realise you’ve devoured the whole bag, but the fact that you have to get them out the freezer each time you want more may help to keep your wandering hands at bay.

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