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7 ways to incorporate healthy eating habits into your day to day life

Regularly maintaining healthy eating patterns can often be a challenge, particularly in especially busy times in your life when grabbing a quick tasty snack is just too tempting to resist. If you suspect that you may have given in to this temptation a few times too many recently, there are plenty of ways that you can get your diet back on track in a stress-free and efficient way. Have a look at the tips below to get inspired by a few methods and start your journey back in the right direction towards a healthy diet.



#1 Eat your veggies

A good rule to help you out is to aim for making at least half your plate fruit and veggies each meal. That way you can keep track of the amount of valuable nutrients you are getting and have a rule for regulating the other elements of your meal. Another good rule to remember is that the more colourful your plate is, the better it is for you. Eating your greens first is also a great way to ensure that you fill up on the good stuff first before moving onto the other elements on your plate. That way, instead of having your half plate of veggies as leftovers, they have been eaten before you’re too full and you don’t risk missing out on the nutrients they provide you.

#2 Cook at home

The more you cook for yourself at home, the more control you have over what goes into your body. Healthy eating can be fun and allowing yourself to experiment with the wide variety of tasty dishes out there is a great opportunity to flex those creative muscles. Trying a different recipe each week will help to keep mealtime enjoyable. It’s important to look forward to eating as this will further improve your attitude towards food and make you want to be invested in making healthy choices for yourself.

#3 Meal prep

If you find yourself pressed for time or don’t have the energy to come home and cook every single day, try setting aside some time on a quieter day to prepare all your meals for the week ahead of time. Be crafty with ingredients and find yourself some healthy go-tos that you can quickly whip up and have ready for any occasion.

#4 Only eat when you’re actually hungry

Another good tip for a healthier diet is to familiarise yourself with healthy eating guidelines and understand what you should be eating in a regular day in order to achieve a healthy balance. It’s important to eat when you actually feel hungry and not just when you’re bored. Reduce the chances of snacking by ensuring that you start each day with a good, filling breakfast that will sustain you through to lunchtime.

#5 Switch unhealthy snacks for healthy ones

If you do feel the urge for an energy boost during the day, opt for snacks that provide you with a healthy pick-me-up. For example, if you’re used to turning to chips, try a handful of nuts instead. If you fancy something sweet, grab a piece of fruit. There are many healthy snack options that are sure to satisfy your cravings just as well as their less-healthy counterparts

#6 Try keeping a food diary

A food diary is a great method to use to allow you to physically keep track of what you are eating. It’s difficult to keep track of every single thing you eat throughout the course of a day, particularly if you are prone to having a little snack here and there. Writing it down can help you remember and manage the amount of times you reach for the snack cupboard throughout the day, helping you keep track of your intake. Reviewing what you typically eat and refining your choices to better reflect your personal dietary needs is a significant step towards a healthier lifestyle.

#7 Shop with a list

How you plan your shopping trips can be a crucial element for your diet. Ensuring that you have pre-planned what you need to buy before you leave for the supermarket is an essential way to avoid any unnecessary purchases. This practice will also go hand in hand with your meal prepping and can be hugely beneficial for helping you maintain a healthier diet. As an added bonus, shopping with a list and with meal planning in mind will help you to reduce your food waste which is great for the environment. It is also beneficial to read the labels of the products that you buy to understand their nutritional value. Opt for healthier product alternatives such as wholegrain bread over white or low fat milk over full cream. These simple steps can have a large impact on the overall health value of your diet.


Healthy habits can be simple to incorporate into the routine of your everyday life. Informing yourself about a few basic methods that you can use for achieving a more balanced lifestyle is a great first step and a sign that you’re on your way to a healthier, happier you.


Healthy hacks

We’re quickly heading into the social – and too often, stressful – season. So, what are some simple seasonal habits we can adopt to keep fighting fit for the festivities?



It’s time to take the work out of working out. Soak up the sun – and a healthy dose of vitamin D – on the tennis court, in the pool or on a hike around Hagley. Known as the happy hormone, vitamin D has been shown to regulate mood and ward off depression, but it also helps support strong bones, muscles and overall health. Combined with fresh air and exercise and you’ve got the ultimate elixir.

There’s a clever way to eat well that means you can have your cake and eat it too – not that we want you thinking of cake! But if you are, why not think of a healthy wholefood one? That’s right, you can make nutrient-dense sweet foods using vegetables! Think rich beetroot mud cake or kumara brownies. It’s a thing! So why not let you fingers do the walking and find some sweet swaps of your own?

The key to heart health is to keep moving and that doesn’t just mean getting an extra kickboxing class in after work. From building a fence to mowing the lawn, all physical movement plays a role in keeping your heart healthy. So why not schedule some time in the garden or get your DIY hat on and paint the kitchen? Or maybe it’s just a matter of parking a couple of blocks away from the office in the mornings.

Packing your lunch – it seems so simple and yet this small change in your daily routine can help control your mood, your calories and your spending! When you’ve got a healthy lunch to hand, you’re much less likely to find your hand in the company snack box when low sugars hit. Stay energised and productive throughout the day with nutritious options such as nuts, dried fruit, roasted chickpeas and bliss balls.

It’s time to vege up, not out, by increasing your vege intake. Aim to have fruits and vegetables make up half of each meal. Why not make half of breakfast fruit and half of lunch and dinner veges? Better yet, throw some green smoothies in the mix and you can have the best of both worlds! For simple summer dinners, combine a marinade with fresh grilled veggies and your favourite low-fat protein for a great-tasting, healthy weeknight meal.


Roast bolar with homemade spice rub: Beef + Lamb NZ

We can’t think of a better family Sunday lunch or dinner than roast beef with all the trimmings – Yorkshire puddings, rich gravy and crispy roast potatoes.




Serves 6 


1.2kg Quality Mark beef bolar

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Good pinch dried red chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup oil
Juice of ½ lemon

1.5kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
¼ cup oil
25g butter

• Your choice of roast seasonal vegetables
• Gravy
• Yorkshire puddings
(find recipe at


Combine all of the spice mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub over the beef bolar and place on a wire tray on a baking dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and place in the oven to roast for 40-45 minutes for medium-rare beef.
Remove beef from the oven and place on a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil and a clean tea towel and leave to rest.

Place potatoes in a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes, just so they are slightly soft around the edges. Drain and place saucepan back over the heat. Shake saucepan to dry off potatoes. Score the surface of each with a fork to scruff them up.
Place oil and butter into a roasting dish and place in oven to heat. Add potatoes, tossing well so that every surface is covered. Roast for 45 minutes at least until thoroughly golden and crisp. Sprinkle with a little salt before serving.

Serve slices of beef with the potatoes, peas, gravy and Yorkshire puddings if you wish.


Tavern ticks all of the boxes: The Elmwood Trading Company

Marty and Naomi Fuller are the proud owners of The Elmwood Trading Co., a locally loved tavern that has an amazing community around it. Metropol caught up with Marty about how they’ve been getting on since taking over the reins 22 months ago.


Chef Henry Liang and Marty Fuller


With a massive grin on his face he tells us that they’ve been “Absolutely thrilled with the response!

“We wanted to create a friendly, value for money, local tavern – almost like a home away from home. The Elmwood was already going well, it was established but had a lot of potential in its food operation. So, we brought our chef, Henry Liang, his kitchen and some front of house staff from our previous hotel Trevinos,” Marty raves.

A new space meant undertaking the creation of new menus and the addition of daily specials; not to mention adding to their extensive wine list.

Some notable newbies are the garlic prawn hot pots and (a personal favourite of ours) the red curry lamb shank – both pictured.

The Elmwood is extremely versatile with a separate function area as part of the restaurant, where “we can host meetings, seminars, fundraising quiz nights and birthday parties,” Marty says.

“If the event is big enough, we can utilise the whole restaurant.”

If you’re just popping in, they also have a gaming lounge with 18 gaming machines, TAB, huge tv screens and a great outdoor area with year-round heating.

Walking into those double doors you can feel the warm energy radiating from the restaurant, the staff and the lovely owners.

Marty ecstatically says, “we tick a lot of boxes” and we wholeheartedly agree.


red curry lamb shank
garlic prawn hot pots










En Route: Route 72

Craving a bit of socialising after being confined to your homes? Make Route 72 a must-see on your support local bucket lists. You will not regret it.



Found in the heart of Cust – just 40 minutes from Christchurch and 10 minutes from Rangiora – you will find the perfect place for your next dining and shopping escapade at the Route 72 Café Bar Emporium.

An irresistible breakfast menu is available from 9am to 11:30 and an extensive lunch menu from 11:30am to 3pm.

Desserts and home baking, an array of wines and beverages are available, as well as a takeaway menu. Friday nights offer a casual dining menu in summer.

Due to temporary restricted seating we recommend bookings and get togethers during the week if possible as weekends are very busy.

The Emporium is well stocked with your winter needs of possum and merino garments made in New Zealand, as well as household goodies and gifts.

Route 72 is located at 1697 Cust Road, in the heart of the village, phone 03 312 5595, or visit their website. Open Tuesday to Sunday – 8am to 4pm.








Creative Catering

Family business Twentyfour Catering Co has a strong commitment to providing a personal experience for every client, ensuring the highest quality cuisine and service.



From catering for everything –from an intimate anniversary dinner to a corporate event or grand wedding of over 200 guests – no event, size or location is too challenging.

Owner/executive chef Chantelle Quinn works closely with clients to ensure their event features the tastiest fare, all with that trademark exemplary service she is well-known for.

While previously running a restaurant and coming ninth in the third season of MasterChef New Zealand, starting a catering company was a natural progression for Chantelle.

After being asked to cater for a wedding seven years ago, her services became so sought-after that she started focusing purely on catering, quickly building a loyal following of return clients.

“We meet with our clients and create a menu perfectly tailored to their event and unique preferences. We don’t just turn up and serve food, we ensure all bases are covered and every event runs smoothly.”

Using the freshest and best local produce, the company specialise in classic New Zealand fare.

Whether you’re after beautiful canapés or a three-course menu for your wedding, birthday lunch or corporate event, TwentyFour Catering can create a truly sublime feast bespoke to you, using locally sourced, natural ingredients.

Check out their sample menus at or phone Chantelle on 027 356 1212.



The ultimate Christmas feast, this prosecco brined turkey breast is the best way to get your guests talking.



¼ cup (75g) rock salt
¼ cup (45g) light brown sugar
2 sprigs tarragon
2 bunches thyme (about 12 sprigs)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1.25L water
3 cups (750ml) prosecco
2 x 1.5kg turkey breast fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
350g speck or bacon, chopped
500g brussels sprouts, halved
1 bunch thyme (about 6 sprigs), extra

Lemon garlic butter
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind


Place the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, lemon and two cups (500ml) of the water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for four minutes, stirring to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool slightly.

Pour the brining liquid into a large (five-litre-capacity) non-reactive container*.

Add the prosecco and another two cups (500ml) of the water. Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin from the flesh of the turkey breasts. Lower the turkey, skin-side down, into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for two hours (but no longer).

To make the lemon garlic butter, place the butter, garlic and lemon rind in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Using your hands, spread the lemon garlic butter under the skin.

Place the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Add one turkey breast to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for four minutes each side or until golden brown.

Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining turkey. Return both turkey breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Add the remaining one cup (250ml) of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the turkey from the pan, loosely cover with aluminium foil and reserve the cooking liquid.

Wipe the pan out and return to medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring, for four minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat to high, add the brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for one minute or until lightly charred.

Add the extra thyme and reserved liquid and cook for two minutes.

Serve turkey with the sprouts and crispy speck.

* Non-reactive materials include glass, plastic and stainless steel.