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Staying Healthy in the Big Smoke

It can be tough to stay healthy when you live and work in a busy city like London. I know only too well how hard it is to stick with good, nutritious meals instead of grabbing a quick bite from a fast food place or takeaway point.

I’ve been on a real health kick this year and have been trying my best to avoid pigging out just because it’s quicker than cooking. There are loads of ways to save time and maintain a balanced diet, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.

If you need to make quick meals at home, you should definitely invest in a microwave. I know a lot of people believe that microwave food is automatically unhealthy, but it really doesn’t have to be. I cook myself a big batch of something delicious at the weekend (lean mince chilli, or vegetable-packed Bolognese), then freeze it into smaller portions to heat up through the week.

A good tip is to freeze your food into larger, shallow dishes so it takes less time to reheat in the microwave. You can also make a lot of great breakfasts in the microwave – porridge is about 50 times quicker than it is on the hob!

There also seems to be general consensus that you can’t eat healthily if you’re picking up meals out all the time. However, Soho is a great area for healthy-eating as there are a lot of cool, quirky independent cafés. There’s a branch of yoghurt chain Snog on Brewer Street and smoothies filled with natural goodies like blueberries, strawberries, bananas and sweet dates are perfect to grab if you run out of time in the morning.

Occasionally, I like to have a veggie week where I eat a completely herbivorous diet and wind up feeling super-slick and full of energy. Places like Beatroot (near Berwick Street Market) are also great for a speedy lunch, with anything from curries to rice salad and they even have fake sausage rolls for those trying to wean themselves off the meat!

If you prefer to make your own, it’s possible to re-think your weekly shop, so you have a good stock of healthy foods available to you. Buy tinned foods, like tuna chunks and mixed beans so you can give your quick salads a protein boost. Pick up fruit and veg that needs little-to-no preparation, such as trimmed green beans and cabbage. Finally, keep a bag of dried fruit in for a quick snack now and then; a handy way of avoiding the biscuit tin!

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