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Fátima Aguirre gives us the keys to achieving a healthy and organized family

Fatima Aguirrea graduate in Biochemistry and an expert in Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Health, is the founder of the Organized Healthy Family project. A gastronomic adventure that began in an almost organic way to improve the habits of his own family and that has ended up helping the more than 100 thousand followers who follow his advice on nutrition on social networks.

On his website he says that When he became independent “he didn’t even know how to fry an egg” and, now, she shares her shopping lists, quick and easy recipes for all audiences, organizes weekly menus so that families can cook healthy, and has even written a book in which she explains how she managed to organize herself as a mother of four children.

From MagasINwe were able to talk to her so she could tell us a little more about her project and give us the keys to achieving a healthy and organized family like hers.

Fátima Aguirre in the kitchen.

How was the Organized Healthy Family project born? Was the world of nutrition always your passion?

Not at all! In fact, the project was born precisely due to a lack of interest and knowledge, both in the world of nutrition and in cooking and healthy living. About 5 years ago, I was leading a very unhealthy life, I decided to quit smoking and that made me gain 15 kilos. So I finally put myself in the hands of a nutritionist, with the bad (or good) luck of finding one who had a diet concept that left a lot to be desired.

On the fifth day of eating grilled chicken with salad, and about to give up out of sheer boredom, I decided to do a little research on how to cook vegetables in different ways. I began to become so passionate about the subject that I decided to expand my training (Biochemistry) and learn about Nutrition. And that’s how this project began, with the idea of ​​helping more people see that eating healthy does not have to be boring, nor is it at odds with a lack of time.

As an expert nutritionist, what do you consider a balanced diet?

For me, a balanced diet is one in which in your daily life you prioritize the consumption of food over that of products, avoiding the consumption of ultra-processed foods and always prioritizing the consumption of vegetables. A diet in which real food, and especially vegetables, are the protagonists, accompanied by quality proteins and carbohydrates.

On your networks and on your website you share weekly menus, shopping lists, recipes… Are organization and lack of time incompatible realities?

On the contrary… Organization is the solution to lack of time! I would say that, today, the biggest obstacle we have to leading a healthier life is lack of time. And since we can’t take more hours a day, it’s about optimizing them. When we are organized, time runs much more.

For beginners, could you tell us what is the key to achieving the perfect menu, what are the tricks that never fail?

I think there is no perfect menu…. The perfect menu will be the one you have planned according to your circumstances and have been able to carry out. There is no point in planning a menu if our reality or our daily lives do not allow us to put it into practice. There will be a perfect menu for each person and each circumstance.

That said, for me, a perfect menu is one that is as balanced as possible (without going crazy trying to achieve perfection), that uses seasonal products, consists of simple recipes and that helps us take a worry off our shoulders, not create a new one.

Sometimes the little ones don’t like certain foods. With four children, has it been difficult for you to introduce the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables into their diets?

Children learn by imitation, and what they see at home is what is natural to them. When they are a little older, evolution and change must be done slowly, progressively. We cannot expect to go from eating macaroni with chorizo ​​every Saturday to enjoying ratatouille with hake from day one. But if, little by little, we introduce small changes, it will become easier.

I always advise that, when we are going to introduce, for example, a new vegetable or flavor that they have never tried before, we do not present it to them as a main part of that meal. Rather, it should be a very small garnish, let them see it and try it, and thus, little by little, they become familiar with that food and begin to recognize its appearance and flavor. It has to be progressive and at its own pace.

Among its content we can find desserts and sweet recipes. So, do ‘whims’ have a place in a healthy diet?

Of course! In fact, in a healthy lifestyle, you also have to take care of your social life and mental health. I am not in favor of having anything “forbidden.” I think it just creates more desire and anxiety, and especially with children. For me, the importance with the issue of “whims” is the frequency with which they are taken. When they are specific, sporadic things, I think you have to enjoy them. They should not be part of our daily lives because then they begin to affect our health.

A report published by Save the Children places Spain at the top of the ranking of childhood obesity in Europe. Why do you think this problem exists in our country?

I think it is mainly due to two things: lack of time and the cost of the products. It is a reality that, nowadays, we have less and less time to dedicate to the kitchen. At home, the usual thing is that both parents work full time and, when they come home tired, they have little time that they also have to dedicate to cleaning the house, running the washing machines, ironing, helping with homework, etc…

This inevitably results in families having to look for faster alternatives to organize their meals. And this is where the problem of product cost comes into play. It doesn’t help at all that in a fast food chain you can eat a hamburger for less than €3, and that some vegetables, a dozen eggs or some canned legumes cost us much more.

What is the best advice you could give to a family that, due to lack of organization, does not eat an adequate daily diet?

If you set organization as a goal, as a priority, and manage to dedicate a small amount of time each week to planning meals, you will discover all the advantages it has. For me, having the weekly menu scheduled, even if I have spent half an hour or an hour organizing it, results in enormous time savings throughout the week. In addition, it is an incredible money saving, since you buy only what you consume.

in my book Healthy cooking in a snap for the whole family (Zenith, 2022), there are a lot of tricks to learn to organize better, and tips so that children also learn to eat better.

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