erformance Chef Varun Shivdasani sits in a chair

How to make nutritious meals on a budget – top tops from a leading Performance Chef

The rising cost of living continues to negatively impact many in society with difficult financial decisions having to be made. As the weekly food shop increases in price, how can you eat well whilst sticking to a budget? 

In the latest episode of the Experts in Health podcast, Performance Chef Varun Shivdasani discusses the benefits of being creative with food and working within a realistic price range to achieve nutritional goals. 

“People equate healthy eating with eating shoe leather, or something unappetising… understand that healthy eating need not necessarily be boring and bland,” he told host Dr Chris McLeod 

“It’s about where you can control. Minimise wastage [and] use what’s left over to create something new. You have to be creative.” 

Varun has been championing healthy eating for over 20 years, working with elite sports teams ranging from the Premier League to the NFL, to Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic teams.  

He emphasises the importance of minimising food waste, highlighting the issue of sustainability and its prominence within the catering industry. 

“Eating whole, unprocessed food is really healthy anyway, so I think we need to go back to that, grow your own food.” 

The benefits of meal preparation are touched upon, including the financial advantages of effectively planning meals, as well as the explicit wider health benefits. 

“Being creative, making those correct decisions in the supermarket, [and] shopping intelligently. 

“Most of the things that are going to be going out of date will be reduced drastically. You can pick up some really good stuff and improve the quality of your meal.” 

Varun shares tips around engaging children to participate in meal preparation and teaching the importance of high-quality nutrition alongside the whole family.  

“A lot of kids will try new things if they have participated in the process, even it’s as simple as kneading the dough or shredding the chicken.” 

The episode also considers how exposure to healthy eating practices from a young age can foster positive habits that can be carried through to later life, impacting overall health and wellbeing. 

The Experts in Health is a podcast that highlights the latest research and trends in health. 

Season one welcomes seven guests across a host of different disciplines and can be viewed in full on the Loughborough University YouTube channel.  

Experts in Health is also available in audio form. Listeners can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and TuneIn. Season two will be released in Spring 2024. 

Notes for editors

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