When you’re flying solo, taking the time for healthy eating can seem difficult.  It’s just easier to pull something out the freezer than make yourself a proper meal. Food is EXPENSIVE in Australia, which has meant I’ve had to master the art of cooking for one on a budget. I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way.  If you’re looking to build some healthier habits, bachelors and bachelorettes, read on for some good places to start.

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Ice, ice baby

Fresh produce is wonderful, and you should always have some around.  That being said, when you’re shopping for one, it can be difficult to use produce before it spoils and goes to waste.  Browse the frozen foods section of your grocery for vegetables you use frequently but not daily, and always keep your freezer stocked.  You’re far more likely to throw some green stuff into you’re food when it’s pre-chopped and always ready to go – plus frozen produce is often picked and processed at peak ripeness, when it’s usually at its most nutrient packed.  For an easy way to start your day off right, throw some frozen greens, frozen fruit, non-dairy milk and a banana in the blender, give it a whir and drink up.  Smoothies are customizable, single-serving and a great way to get some of your 3-5 in right off the bat.

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Make Morrissey proud

Meat takes time and preparation, and its very rarely sold in single-friendly portions.  Plus, you’re often left with the painful butcher counter choice between high-quality, responsible meat at prohibitive prices and more affordable but slightly frightening factory-farm chicken legs.  We’re not suggesting that you go full vegetarian over night.  We are saying that exploring other protein options can be nice on your wallet and your health, with the added benefit of discovering delicious new simple culinary options – from garbanzo beans to quinoa.  Who knows?  You may be frying up tofu in no time.  After all, it only takes 5 minutes- and it won’t carry salmonella.

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Nosh and nibble away

Find healthy snacks you like.  Not healthy things you think you should eat.  Foods you like, that just so happen to be of nutritional value.  Nuts, dried fruits, popcorn, trail mix, fresh fruit, rice cakes and peanut butter… the options are endless.  Keep those things around and snack as much as you want, knowing you’re putting good in to get good out.  Leave the wholesome stuff out in the open where you can see it, and pack the splurges away.  That way you’re more likely to go for the good-for-you-stuff, and save the indulgences for when you really want them.

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Your oven is not for storage

You’re mission here is not to get a cookbook and learn the nuances of a new gourmet meal every night.  Unless that gives you joy, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do any fancy dicing and sautéing.  That being said, you’re more likely to enjoy healthy meals if you take the time to make a delicious, proper meal that wasn’t frozen 15 minutes before you ate it.  Choose a few memorizable, measurement-free recipes and keep the ingredients around.  With a little practice, you can make a multitude of delicious dishes for one without ever cracking open a cookbook or touching a measuring cup, from coconut curry to pasta marinara to simple beans and rice.  You’re the only one eating it, so you may as well experiment – besides, on nights when you’re cooking for two, expertly navigating you’re way around the kitchen will make you very impressive.  Culinary skills are sexy- you may be prepping dinner for two more often than you think.

Photo Credit: bengt-reTed Eytan, Andrea Nguyen, Steven Depolo and Migle