Wellness & Nutrition

Healthy lunchbox

I got a new job about 6 weeks ago. I’d worked from home before. I’m on a tight budget. I want to eat healthy. The solution: Take a packed lunch to work.

I wanted something healthy, filling, substantial, affordable, easy and quick to make and eat, not funny-smelling, something gluten-free, and something that doesn’t need to be heated up in the microwave.

This is my unique solution: Substantial lunchbox salad (600g)

Healthy lunchbox ingredients

Healthy lunchbox ingredients

Ingredients (seasonal)

    • carrots
    • pineapple
    • a tangerine/naartjie, seeds removed
    • apple
    • cucumber
    • strawberry
    • lemon
    • fresh basil
    • fresh mint
    • 1/4 cup gluten-free raw, rolled oats
    • a handful of raisins and currants
    • 1 Tablespoon of desiccated coconut
    • 1 Tablespoon seed mix (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds/flax seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds)
    • cinnamon


Healthy lunchbox ingredients in the 'chopper'

Healthy lunchbox ingredients in the ‘chopper’

Put the fruit, vegetables, and herbs in the chopper part of a blender / food processor. Chop for a few seconds to desired texture.

Healthy lunchbox ingredients, chopped

Healthy lunchbox ingredients, chopped

Add the dried fruit, oats, coconut, and cinnamon.

Healthy lunchbox plus additions

Healthy lunchbox plus additions

Mix in to combine with a spoon.

Healthy lunchbox, mixed

Healthy lunchbox, mixed

Pack into a lunchbox.

healthy lunchbox ready

Healthy lunchbox, ready

Make it the evening before and store it in the fridge overnight.

Seeds and raw oats become more digestible when they soak in the juice of the fruit from the salad overnight.

This makes 600 grams. That’s pretty substantial!

Do you have any other suggestions for me?

What do you have for lunch at work?

Living healthy in South Africa

This is what I got for R260 / +-$26 from Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa.

healthy living South Africa

400g strawberries
3 papaya
1Kg apples
1 Queen pineapple
1Kg naartjies/tangerines
6 x bananas
250g mini Italian tomatoes
1Kg rolled oats
6 Xl free-range eggs
2 x 165ml coconut milk
cauliflower & broccoli
1Kg carrot
English mustard powder

Healthy grocery shopping South Africa

Here’s what I got for R380 (+- $38) from Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa.

healthy grocery shopping South Africa

800g Macadamia, Brazil nuts, cashews, large, plain
500g linseed/flax seeds
250g poppy seeds
2 x 165ml coconut milk
400g strawberries
1Kg apples
3 papayas
1 Queen pineapple
5 bananas
1 English cucumber
1Kg naartjies/tangerines
250g mini Italian tomatoes
30g fresh basil
30g fresh mint
400g green beans
1Kg carrots
500g popcorn kernels

= 6-7 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 1-2 lunches, and 6-7 dinners.

It starts in the cart

I’ve been quiet, I know…

Here’s my Sunday shop: R330 (+-$30) healthy food from Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket, Cape Town, South Africa.

I should add that each post in this series represents the food that I eat in a week. I don’t let anything go to waste. I always get 6-7 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and snacks. To anyone that says ‘eating healthy’ is expensive, I beg to differ.

I’m doing this series as a visual representation to myself. I’ve recently started a full-time job, and I thought it would be hard to keep up, but I’m managing! Kudos to anyone working and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and even more to anyone also supporting and caring for a family!

2014.07.20 healthy grocery shopping South Africa

100g raw almonds
100g raw walnuts
100g hazel nuts
100g Brazil nuts, cashews
1 Queen pineapple
1Kg pink lady apples
3 papayas
1Kg Avocado
5 bananas
half tray tangerines/naartjies
500g seedless raisins
250g cherry tomatoes
30g mint
1Kg carrots
cauliflower and broccoli
250g mushrooms
1Kg rolled oats

What does your weekly grocery spend look like?

This is what I got last time.
This is what I generally keep in stock at home.

It starts in the cart

This is what I got for R360 (+-$36) at Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa.

2014.07.13 healthy grocery shopping South Africa

100g Hazel nuts
100g Walnuts
100g almonds
150g cashews, Pecans, Brazil nuts
6 XL free range eggs
40g Ground cinnamon refill
500g pea flour
130g rice cakes
half tray of naartjies / tangerines
3 papayas
3 avocados
1Kg Pink Lady apples
5 bananas
1 cucumber
250g tomatoes
400g green beans
250g mushrooms
cauliflower & broccoli

is what I got last time.
Here, you can see what I generally keep in my kitchen.

How do you manage your grocery shopping?

Natural salad dressing

Several years ago I remember buying bottled salad dressings that I found in the condiments aisle. I barely even go down that aisle these days and I can’t see myself ever putting a bottle of salad dressing in my basket again.

It just makes so much sense to make my own. I started making ‘chop chop salads’ salad last year, and I would add oil, apple cider vinegar, and every spice in my spice rack before eating my salad. Dressing my salad took as long as making it, which brought me to the idea of making my own salad dressing out of the ingredients I was already using.


Fresh ginger
Fresh garlic (I used 2 cloves)
Fresh parsley (+-30g)
Fresh mint (+-30g)
Flax seed oil / linseed oil (+-125ml) (this oil is high in Omega 3)
Apple cider vinegar (+-125ml) (this is an alkaline/alkalising vinegar)
Black pepper
Dried mixed herbs


  • Peel the garlic and ginger. Chop in the chopper.
  • Rinse the parsley and mint in water. Remove all the stalks. Drain the leaves. Add leaves to the chopper. (you can use stems and leaves)
  • Funnel this into a glass bottle. I felt like Houdini after I funnelled (haha) all this into the bottle.
  • Add all spices. Top up with Flax seed oil and Apple Cider vinegar.
  • Close the bottle and shake. Store in the fridge.
1 natural salad dressing ingredients


2 natural salad dressing preparation separating herb leaves from stems

separating herb leaves from stems (this step is optional)

3 natural salad dressing chopping garlic and ginger

chopping garlic and ginger

4 natural salad dressing chopping herbs

chopping herbs

5 natural salad dressing herbs in the bottle

use a funnel to get the herbs in the bottle. I should have used a bottle with a wider mouth.)

6 natural salad dressing adding spices to the bottle

adding spices

7 natural salad sressing adding flax seed oil and apple cider vinegar to the bottle

topping up with flaxseed oil and apple cider vinegar

I’ve made a few batches of this dressing, and it lasts a couple of months or more. I top it up with apple cider vinegar and flax oil from time to time, too. I use it in salad, I add it to guacamole, and add it to just about anything that needs a dressing. I’m pretty sure it’s high in vitamin and minerals, too.

Do you make your own salad dressing?

It starts in the cart

This is what I got for R290 (+-$29) at Pick ‘n Pay supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa. I have decided to cut out dairy for a month or two; no more full cream yoghurt for me boo hoo. I stocked up on coconut milk. The one I buy is a product of Thailand, and the only ingredients are coconut milk and water. This means that it separates. The ones that do not separate have chemicals added to separation.

2014.07.27 healthy grocery shopping South Africa

150g Pecans, Almonds, and cashews
100g Brazil nuts
6x165ml coconut milk
500g seedless raisins
1 queen pineapple
7 tangerines
4 papayas
4 bananas
500g mushrooms
30g mint
1Kg carrots
2 brinjals
cauliflower & broccoli

This is what I got last time.

This is the other stuff I generally keep at home.

How do you manage your grocery shopping?

Breakfast smoothie

I use to tell myself that I couldn’t eat fruit for breakfast because it just made me feel hungrier. Now I’m in the habit making fruit smoothies for breakfast and I love it! I start the morning by downing 500ml water, followed by a fruit smoothie 30 minutes later. I feel like it has a great cleansing effect in the morning. I’m sure my liver loves it! An hour later, I have a handful of nuts or some oats and yogurt.

pineapple papaya banana tangerine smoothie ingredients

Raw ingredients


Preparation and portions

pineapple papaya banana tangerine smoothie ingredients (3)

Ready to blend

pineapple papaya banana tangerine smoothie

Breakfast! (there was a little more)

What’s your breakfast routine?

My R270 (+- $27) healthy food spend

I ate pretty unhealthy (unhealthily?) on the weekend but this healthy spend should get me back on track.

This is what I got for R270 at Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa.

healthy food shopping South Africa

150g cashews, almonds, Pecans
100g Brazil nuts
100g Walnuts
2 x 165ml coconut milk
1 litre plain full cream yoghurt
1.5 kg avocado
3 papayas
+-6 small bananas
1 pineapple
half tray tangerines / naartjies
2 brinjals (aubergines)
cauliflower + broccoli
400g green beans
1 onion
250g mushrooms
500g popcorn kernals

This is what I got last time.
This is the other food that I generally keep at home.

What does R270 worth of groceries look like for you?

Be healthy y’all!

Refreshing carrot salad

The warm winter days in Cape Town this past week had me craving something refreshing and juicy. I usually make chop chop salads to help fill my raw food quota, but I was craving something a bit sweet.

carrot salad ingredients


tangerine / naartjie
sunflower seeds


I did this all with the chopping function of my blender, and added the raisins at the end.

carrot salad

Be healthy, y’all!