Plan Smart to Eat Smart

This is a great time for new beginnings, especially for your health and well-being. Due to our daily hectic schedules, with responsibilities for work, home and family, it’s harder to find the time to prepare nutritious, healthy meals!

Most of my clients want to eat a healthier diet. However the challenge is how can they make it happen in their hectic lives? The good news is if you are motivated, you can use this hectic energy to help you implement healthy, dietary changes.

The first key is planning your meals ahead of time. Planning will help you make healthy choices while doing your grocery shopping. This way you know what items you need, which in the long run also will save you money.

Enjoy a few powerful tips to help you plan healthy meals for you and your family:

 Plan for your week on the weekend –Either Saturday or Sunday, plan out your meals for the upcoming week. Then grocery shopping can be accomplished in one or two trips (saving you time). I highly recommend you make a weekend trip to your local farmers’ market to buy your vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, jams, herbs and even flowers. The food is fresh, delicious, nutritious, saves you money and supports your local farmers!
 Set aside at least a couple of hours during the weekend to start preparing your meals. You can chop the veggies, or cook the entire dish and put it in the fridge or freezer. Make it a family fun event and have other family members, kids or friends help out. This creates a special bonding time with families, especially with everyone’s hectic schedules. Kids especially will have fun with this. Hidden benefits are kids most likely will eat the meals they helped prepare and you will teach them healthy habits that last a lifetime.
 “Cook Once Eat Twice”– When it comes to healthy eating, you really can’t beat home-cooked meals made from scratch. It can be stressful having to rush home from work to prepare a fresh meal every evening. “Cook Once Eat Twice” can save you time during the week. Prepare more than one meal’s worth of food so you have leftovers for another meal.

 Store healthy snacks in your refrigerator, pantry and at work – Make sure you have healthy snacks handy to avoid the temptation of the vending machine (which is stocked with less healthy options such as cookies, chips and pastries). If a refrigerator is available at work, store hummus with celery sticks, carrots or broccoli along with apples with almond butter.
 If you always are traveling in your car – Keep a handful of nuts, raw veggies, dried fruit or an apple (with nut butter such as almond butter) in your car. This will give you energy, balance your blood sugar and prevent sugar cravings.

* Fresh, whole food always is better than processed food. Many “energy bars” on the market make “health claims.” However, keep in mind most of them contain sugar, additives or processed food products. On top of this, they are hard to digest. If you have to use packaged foods, it’s always a good idea to read the labels to make healthier choices.

 Stock a few healthy frozen options so you don’t have to call in for pizza or go to a fast food restaurant or drive-thru. This way you won’t get caught with nothing for dinner. Make a point to combine frozen meals and fresh veggies (even if it’s just celery or carrot sticks with dips).

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