Dasha Gaivoronski chopping vegatables

Being busy is the biggest excuse used for neglecting one's diet, but we know that it's just that: an excuse! With the right tools, we are all capable of maintaining a healthy diet... even when we're smokin' busy. That's why we reached out to Ryderwear athlete, the queen of #Fitspo and ultra busy Mom, Dasha Gaivoronski. She knows a thing or two about staying nourished on the go!

1) AMP: Always Meal Prep!

I personally used to underestimate and neglect this whole meal prepping thing. I was just eating ‘whatever’ and, even though it has always been about healthy choices, I used to overeat and over-snack, which resulted in constantly being bloated and having low energy levels. Getting into a routine of organizing my food for the week ahead was a game changer. Now I can't imagine Sundays without cooking up my meals and portioning them into these plastic containers you see all over Instagram. When you've got healthy meals at hand it reduces the chance of making poor food choices because, let's get real, us humans can't think straight when we're hungry. 

2) KISS: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

You don't need to overcomplicate your food. I usually cook chicken breast in the slow cooker or grill some fish, bake up some veggies such as cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, and steam or poach broccoli, peas, and mushrooms. I'm not a massive fan of vegetables and usually mash them all together so it turns into a delicious blend. I also love oven baking sweet potato with a sprinkle of chili flakes and curry powder #yum. As for other complex carbs – I usually cook a big batch of brown rice and add it into either lunch or morning snack. I love keeping it simple as the idea of spending too much time in kitchen freaks me out. My fave meal is my afternoon snack because I have a massive sweet tooth and will use my snack to treat myself. Either with a home-made protein cookie or a piece of fruit with PEANUT BUTTER (yes, all caps were intentional. In my opinion, PB is life!)

3) BFF: Blender Friends Forever

I'm not the biggest smoothie lover but, when I'm really time short in the morning, I love whipping up a nourishing meal replacement smoothie. I usually blend up ½ a frozen banana, a small handful of frozen blueberries, a larger handful of spinach, a scoop of good quality protein powder, 30g rolled oats, a tablespoon of chia seeds and some water - depending on how thick you like your smoothie. Sixty-seconds in the blender, toss it in a to-go cup and off you go! If you want to drink a smoothie every morning, you can prep all the fruits and veggies portioned in plastic baggies to leave in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to blend, you just need to add your protein powders and liquid, toss in your pre-packaged freezer fruit & veg and blend away! Ryderwear has a good Green Smoothie Bowl recipe you can adapt as a regular 'ol smoothie. Check it out here.

4) SOS: Slow Over Speed

Two words... Slow Cooker! This is a busy babe's best friend! As I mentioned above, every Sunday I slow-cook chicken breast for the week along with my veggies like carrots, onions, and capsicum. I just throw it all together in the slow-cooker and let it do its thing! That way, I can pay more attention to my son or take a little me time. Once your food is all cooked, my #protip would be to keep the leftover chicken stock. That might sound strange but I absolutely love drinking the stock; instantly brings childhood memories and makes me miss my mama. So I heat it up and drink it from a mug as if it were tea. Russians are weird, I know!

5) MVP: More Veggies Please

Vegetables are quite important! They are a great source of dietary fiber to help reduce bloat and prevents constipation, they are naturally low in calories and, most importantly, rich in vitamins and water which help remove excess sodium out of the body (bye bye annoying water retention). I love mashed veggies (like cauliflower and carrot, broccoli and sweet potato, pumpkin on its own with a dash of curry powder). For Leon, I make veggie-based sauces for his pasta (pumpkin is his moooost favourite and I also add some toasted pepita seeds) and always chuck some colourful vegetables in pretty much all his food. I don't have to sneakily add them, mask them or hide his veg, since I've always been conscious about his nutritional habits (teach them young, remember?) he loves the taste of natural whole foods!

5) AI: Add Iron

I believe that by following a well-balanced diet consistently, one can prevent many health troubles. However, as iron is a mineral which is essential for female health and important for both male and female energy levels, it's one not to miss. I personally check my iron levels regularly in order to determine whether they are low. For preventing iron deficiency, I love incorporating tuna and salmon, beans and chickpeas, oysters, as well as lightly cooked spinach into my diet. It's not hard at all, I could easily live off salmon and oysters. And for better iron absorption, eat some foods rich in vitamin C alongside your iron foods!

6) HOHA: Hydrate Often, Hydrate Always

We all know that proper hydration is crucial but even I find it extremely hard to keep up with! To make sure I'm drinking enough. I always consume at least 500ml warm water upon waking up with half a lime squeeze and, throughout the day, I constantly make a conscious effort to drink more. For me, fresh lime really makes adequate water consumption easier! Sometimes I opt for mineral water, and that adds up as well! Extra tip: Buying a fun bottle you can fill and are happy to carry around with you will help remind you to drink! Keep up with our #fitspo queen:

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