Share Tweet It is very easy to fall into the trap of eating what’s convenient. Convenient food is often unhealthy and financially crippling in the long term. This article shares a perspective, five tips and resources for Gen Ys to use their strengths for long term health and financial benefits. Gen Y’s have great potential to adapt recipes. Photo – Avocado with Mango, Rocket, Walnut and Feta salad Routine Food Versus Adapting On The Fly. While chatting with my mother in law (traditionalist born 1922 – 1945) about recipes, it highlighted to me that her value of conformity, obedience and rules reflected in her cooking habits. Her signature Avocado and Mango salad is often a hit and as a result is regularly requested by her family and friends. However, she will only make it when she can access and present it with all the exact ingredients. This made me wonder, can the need to have exactly all the right ingredients for a recipe be an excuse for unhealthy or convenient eating? Are you someone who has to follow a recipe – step by step or are you like me someone who feels limited by having to follow a recipe? The Gen Y values of self-expression and accessibility are key strengths for living a healthy, accessible and creative life. Here are my 5 Gen Y tips on how to achieve this by adapting of the fly: Look at what produce is in season Before Googling for yummy recipes, google what is in season in your region. (Resources available below) It’s time to ask…. is this local? Not only can this develop your food networks plus support local businesses, it has a great impact on your health, the environmental and your community. Ask yourself…. what can I substitute? Once you know what is in season (and preferably local), think of some yummy recipes and how you can start substituting things. With practise, more confidence and creativity will come. E.g. I sometimes a substitute rocket for beetroot leaves. What can you use that brings a story to share over the table One of the reasons my husband and I love supporting local produce is the stories we can share. E.g. in summer my husband and I order a local fruit and veggie box from a Gen Y couple who grow their own produce (20 kms away from us). It’s delicious and is our most popular time of year for hosting people. What can keep things cheap for you? We have four veggie garden beds in our back yard. Not only do we reap the extra nutrition from eating produce from the back yard but is also helps to keep our costs down. Here is our planter guide. Yes it’s on our toilet wall – where many good plans can come from. Here are some food resources you might find helpful to adapt your meals. Free Season Food Guides tells you what fruits and vegetables are in season and are available at different times of the year. Australia: Seasonal Food Guide Australia provides guides for the five major capitals in Australia.Gen America: Sustainable Table provides guides for each of the 50 American states, the month (optional) and the produce (optional) . Western-/Northern Europe: Terfloth provides a PDF calendar for fruits and vegetables. UK: Eat Seasonably provides a handy A4 pdf disc South Africa: Food 24 provides a simple list of seasonal fruit and vegetables for South Africa. China: Rod L’Huillier, on the Welcome To China blog provides a rough guide to fruits you are likely to come across in travels around China. Before you go grocery shopping next, spend some time planning your meals and how you can adapt. A small change each week can have a big impact in the long term.