By: Tami Martina
Eating healthy shouldn’t just be a one day or month long event. It should be a lifestyle. You’ll never feel and look as great as you could without a proper diet. You can workout everyday for hours and if you eat like crap you’ll never lose that extra weight and your body will never be as happy as it should be. So why don’t more people adapt to a lifestyle of healthy eating? The two main complaints that I hear include:
- “It’s expensive to eat healthy.”
- “ I don’t have enough time to cook healthy.”
So for the first complaint “It’s too expensive,” I agree it can be. The fact is, I do spend more money on groceries but I am also buying fresh produce and meat and I feel good about what I’m putting in my body and what I am cooking for my family. On the flip side of spending more money on groceries I spend way, way less on going out to eat. I save restaurants for special occasions and only go to places that I really like. That way it’s like a treat. As for the time that is involved in cooking healthy, I came up with 5 tips to make life easier while make healthy meals at home.
- Plan Your Meals For The Week and make a shopping list as you plan. I like to rotate basically the same 5 meals for dinner Monday thru Friday, just so I don’t have to think about it too much. They are meals that my family and I all like and they are not hard to make. And of course they are nutritious. I save new recipes and meals that may take longer to prepare for the weekend because I know I have more time for cooking then.
- Shop on the same day (or the same 2 days each week. Fresh produce and meat go quick in my house so I shop 2 days a week.) I chose two days a week because I don’t want the meat to spoil. My main shopping day is every Wednesday because it’s double ad day at Sprouts. There are better deals on Wednesdays so you can save money. I also chose Wednesday’s because this day works well with my schedule. My second shopping day tends to be Sunday afternoon to tie me over until Wednesday. Whatever day works for you, stick to it and have your list ready with your meals planned out so you stick to your list and don’t stray. Also never go grocery shopping hungry! All the bagged and processed food that are highly addicting will yell at you to buy them! If you’re hungry you’ll be too “weak” to say, “NO!”
- Food Prepping daily actually makes life so much easier. This may sound like a lot of extra time but don’t worry it’s not. By food prepping, I mean make extra steamed veggies for dinner so you have some to throw in your egg scramble in the morning or even for your lunch for the next day. I always make extra food during dinner so I can do this. That way I don’t have to worry about the next day breakfast and lunch because they will be basically “ready” so I can throw everything together easily. This also helps if you have planned out your meals for the week. You can make more ahead of time because you’ll know what you need for the meals you’ve planned for the next couple days.
- Buy plenty of tupperware and food storage containers. I like to have all different sizes of storage containers for leftovers, lunches to go, and for homemade dressings and dips. It may sound silly but I hate using the wrong size tupperware to store something because it gets lost in your fridge. Plus having sizes that fit in a lunch box will make it easier to pack your lunch. Bringing your own lunch rather than buying food when you are out for the day is more expensive and you are cheating yourself of the nutrients. Remember you bought all that healthy food at the grocery store and you don’t want it to go to waste so you can spending more money eating out 🙂
- Use things like your crockpot and microwave. During the week and even sometimes on the weekend I rely on my crockpot for cooking meat ahead of time. Save money and buy big packs of chicken thighs and cook it all while you are working during the day. Use the meat for dinner and like I said before you will have extra to throw into a salad for lunch the next day. Also save time steaming veggies in a rice cooker or even your microwave. Depending on the size of your rice cooker or steamer you can throw a good amount of veggies in there and have them ready for dinner and other meals during the week. If you want to steam vegetables really quick put chopped up broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts in a microwave safe bowl and add a little water on the bottom. You then cover the top of the bowl with a plate or microwave safe lid and cook for 6-7 minutes. You need to be careful when you take them out because they’ll be extremely hot. AND, there you go, a bowl of steamed veggies that took only 6 minutes to make!
*Bonus Tip: Make lunches the night before so you don’t have an excuse in the morning to not to do it. Plus it will save you time in the morning and you’ll feel happy you don’t need to do another thing while trying to get yourself and possibly your kids out the door. I make lunches right after dinner because the food is still out (since I haven’t put any leftovers in my different sized tupperware yet lol). By doing this, it also makes clean-up easier because you won’t have to do it twice.
So there you go, a few tips to start you on your healthy eating lifestyle. These are easy things to do and by not wasting food and going out to eat all the time you will save money! Give these tips a try this week and let me know how they work for you!