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Handy tips and recipes to fuel your health and wellbeing

We all know health and wellbeing, and ultimately happiness, stems from a healthy body and mind.

An active lifestyle goes a long way towards helping us stay focused, grow healthy relationships, avoid unnecessary stress, and reduce the risk of long-term health problems.

Here are a few suggestions to help you target health and wellbeing as part of your everyday life, because staying on top of your own mental and physical wellness should always be your top priority.

Healthy mind bush walking

When we think of ‘being healthy’, most of us turn our thoughts to diet and exercise.

However, a great place to start is by nurturing a healthy mind and diving into activities that we enjoy.

After all, being an active part of our community gives us the confidence to tackle life’s challenges and pursue our goals.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for choosing which activities offer the most benefit – some may enjoy fishing with friends, while others might enjoy learning a new skill in an online course, working in the garden, volunteering in their local community, or revisiting long-forgotten creative pursuits.

Any passion that leaves you feeling inspired, connected and fulfilled ticks the box. Check out our eight easy ways to be a local legend in your community or find tailor-made suggestions at Act, Belong, Commit.

If you are one of the three million Australians living with depression or anxiety, or are experiencing other mental health challenges, you may find it difficult to keep up with activities you once enjoyed.

Beyond Blue and Lifeline offer a wealth of information alongside phone and online counselling and can guide you towards services to support your mental health.

Healthy body community groups and activities

Physical activity is great for both mind and body, yet less than 50% of Australian adults do enough moderate or vigorous exercise to benefit their health. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day strengthens your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles and bones.

The most popular forms of exercise in Australia are walking, fitness classes and gym, swimming, running and cycling, with football coming in at sixth place as the most popular team sport.

If they’re not your cup of tea, try signing up for a dance class, committing to a regular online yoga workout, or scheduling monthly hiking trips with a group of friends.

Struggling to stick to your exercise schedule or can’t see how you could fit it all in? Make the most of incidental exercise. Tackling jobs around the house and garden can be enough to get your heart rate up. Consider mowing the lawn, weeding the veggie patch, mopping the floors, scrubbing the bathroom or jumping on the trampoline with the kids.

Make a habit of walking or cycling for short trips and you could see yourself meeting your exercise goals without having to fit in any ‘exercise’ at all.

Eat well, live well family dinner

Food is more than just a fuel source – eating is an act of celebration that we share with family and friends through special dishes, culture and traditions.

Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite treats and indulgent dishes completely.

Focus on ensuring most of what you eat over the course of a week comes from the five food groups.

Plan your main meals for the week to include a variety of local or homegrown goodness, including seasonal vegetables, lean proteins and wholegrains to keep you feeling at your best.

Keen to try some new meal ideas? We’ve put together a handful of simple, nourishing, kid-friendly recipes to fuel your family any day of the week. For more recipe options and cooking inspiration, browse through the Kleenheat Kitchen.

Fill the freezer: Chickpea curry (vegan, gluten free) chickpea curry

Pull this together from the pantry or double the recipe and cook a big batch to freeze.

You can switch out the vegetables with whatever you have on hand, whether it be homegrown produce such as okra and pumpkin from the garden, or cauliflower and carrots from the back of the fridge:

  • Finely chop 2 cloves garlic, 2 shallots, 1 chilli (optional), 1cm piece of ginger and sauté in oil until soft.
  • Add ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon ground coriander (or replace all spices with 1 tablespoon curry paste from a jar), fry for a minute.
  • Add 1 tin drained and rinsed chickpeas, 2 large chopped carrots and 200g cauliflower pieces. Stir to coat in spices.
  • Add 1 165ml tin coconut milk. Refill tin with water and continue adding water to the pan until vegetables are covered.

Simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened. Serve with rice or flatbread.

Did you know? Chickpeas have a low glycaemic index and contain lots of soluble fibre, so they fill you up while lowering cholesterol and keeping blood sugar stable.

Quick and easy side dish or vegetarian feast: Grilled vegetables (vegan, gluten free) grilled vegetables

If you love firing up the barbecue, try grilling a selection of vegetables in place of a salad.

Dress seasonal vegetables with herbs and spices and toss through some olive oil for a quick weeknight dinner, or add to them to a green salad or bowl of couscous for something a little different.

  • Slice: zucchini, eggplant, potato*, sweet potato* (*microwave first)
  • Cook whole: corn cobs, mushrooms, okra (try it tossed in spices)
  • Veggie skewers: alternate pieces of capsicum, red onion, mushroom and cherry tomatoes

Cook on the barbecue grill alongside your favourite meat or fish.

Don’t forget to make sure your barbecue’s ready to go with a full gas cylinder.

Grow your own: Okra grows in summer in southern Australia and year-round in the tropics – great in curries, roasted or grilled.

Make ahead for outings, lunches and snack time: Zucchini frittata (vegetarian, gluten free) zucchini frittata

Serve warm for lunch or dinner or refrigerate and bring along to picnics with an ice brick.

Swap zucchini for broccolini if that’s what you have in the fridge, or try the classic combination of spinach, mushrooms and fetta.

  • In a cast iron frying pan, cook 2 cloves sliced garlic in a small amount of olive oil until soft.
  • Add 2 sliced small zucchinis and a handful of fresh parsley, cook until slightly softened.
  • Beat 8 eggs in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Season with pepper.
  • Spread zucchini evenly around pan, then gently pour egg mix over the zucchini.
  • Allow to cook on the stove for a minute or two before transferring to a 180oC oven.
  • Cook until egg has set (around 10-15 minutes, but keep an eye on it).
  • Allow to cool in pan slightly so egg starts to come away at the edges, making it easier to slide out onto a plate.

Market tip: Smaller zucchinis are the most flavoursome. Pick two small zucchinis over one large one when shopping.

From the pantry: Microwave fruit porridge (vegan options, low gluten) porridge

This porridge mix can be thrown together in a couple of minutes on a cold morning or can be made even quicker by premixing a large jar of ‘porridge muesli’ ahead of time.

Use up bruised or half-eaten fruit to switch the flavours around or try dried fruit, frozen berries or even a dollop of peanut butter. Let the kids experiment with their own combinations.

  • Mix 1/3 cup rolled oats and 2/3 cups water* in a deep, microwave-safe bowl.
  • Add your flavourings. Try:
    • chopped dried apricots with almonds, chia and desiccated coconut, or
    • sliced peach or grated apple with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir vigorously. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
  • Let it sit for a minute or two then serve with your choice of milk. Taste test before adding any sweeteners.

*If cooking on the stove you can use half milk and half water, but this may spill over as it heats up in the microwave.

Toddler tip: For babies and young toddlers, let porridge cool and solidify in a flat container in the fridge, then cut into strips and serve as a finger food.

Choose homegrown, choose Kleenheat

Kleenheat knows the value of homegrown goodness – after all, we’ve been supporting the needs of local households and businesses for more than 60 years.

We believe there’s value in choosing local, so if you’re not a Kleenheat customer choose local today and let life flow.