This is a collaborative post by Mary Davis with tips and tricks for healthy eating.
When your schedule is very full, it is not easy to make meals you’d like to. It can be all too easy to fall into the non-healthy zone. Often, you look for a quick meal when you’re hungry and don’t have the mental energy to come up with something for dinner, let alone make it.
To help you eat healthy all week long, here are some tips and tricks.
Prepare fruit and veggies in advance
Most people find that they eat a lot more fruit and veg when they are prepped, and it is so easy to do so! They make for great snacks or when you get home from work and ‘need something now’. They also make it easier to throw together a stir-fry or side.
- Keep your fridge stocked with chopped raw vegetables, such as cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, etc. that you can reach for on their own or with a healthy dip such as hummus. You can keep them raw or cook them up quickly and save some time on the prep.
- If you prefer warm veggies, prep some vegetables such as simply steaming some asparagus or baking some sweet potato that you can reheat later. Non-starchy vegetables are the best ones, as they are very good for your body.
- For fruits, if you like bananas for smoothies, peel and freeze them so they are ready to go for your breakfast.
Keep your pantry stocked
Looking in your pantry and not being able to come up with something to cook is not encouraging and can lead you to make an unhealthy food decision. So keep your pantry stocked with the healthy essentials so you always have your favorites and basics. It is also helpful to have those ingredients that can make a healthy meal taste different with one simple ingredient, such as a spice.
Use the microwave
The microwave or a simple stovetop reheat makes having prepped food a lot easier and taste a lot better. Put in the time to meal prep and you can simply reheat your meals or part of your meals later.
Buy pre-chopped items
Pre-chopped items can be more expensive, but they can also make cooking a lot easier. Sometimes, that convenience is just worth it. If you like cauliflower rice, for example, there is pre-made frozen cauliflower rice that you can buy that saves a significant amount of time.
Meal prep/cook in batches
When you are in the swing of cooking, meal prep and cook and batches. If you make it a habit, you dedicate one or two days a week to cooking and have healthy meals for the rest of your week. This can also help cut down on food waste and save you money, as you don’t have to toss that chicken that you can’t remember when you opened.
Try one-pot meals
Clean up takes time, and one-pot meals make that a whole lot easier. A few ideas for one-pot meals are veggie and protein stir-fry, pad thai, soup, and many more.
Leftovers are not to go to waste! Leftovers protein from the night before can be used as a salad topper the next day for lunch, leftover salad can be had the next day as long as there isn’t dressing on it, and you can make leftover veggies into a breakfast scramble or side for any meal.
Make a meal plan for the week
One of the best tips to eat healthy all week long is to get organized. Make a meal plan and make all the decisions on one day what you’ll have for the rest of your week. This way, you avoid the overwhelm of ‘what do I eat?’ and already know what healthy option you have the ingredients for and ideally prepped at least partially.
Healthy recipes are usually quite simple, so in the end, preparing nutritious and delicious food is quite easy. If you have the ingredients prepared beforehand, it is even easier!
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.