One of the number one questions I get asked is how I make eating healthy easy.
How do I stay on track in this 24-hour convenient food laden society? Call them temptations, cravings, or rewards. Food, and non-food products are available to us on demand at anytime of the day. So how do you stay focused if you are trying to eat healthy? Cooking from home ensures ingredients that you know are safe for you. Many times restaurants uses junky oils and byproducts of who knows what source.
I have been at this for about a half of a decade now, and the only way I have found is to BATCH COOK. This means preparation for the week generally completed in one day. Having food lined up in containers ready-to-go keeps the crazy busy weeks that much easier. Batch cooking sounds daunting, but if you are just starting out, pick recipes that are 5 ingredients or less. Follow these tips for success:
Pick out 3 recipes with 5 ingredients or less and low prep time. You can google these tag lines if you don’t have any favorite recipe books.
Google is at our fingertips. Search categories such as Paleo, Clean Eating, Whole Foods and Primal. Whatever you call it, we should be eliminating certain foods from our palate.
Make a list and stick to it at the grocery store. The first few times might seem daunting if you have never cooked at home. There will be an initial cost of certain spices and condiments, but these last a long time. It will get easier. And please, bring your reusable bags.
Breakfasts should consist of mainly healthy fats and proteins. See my healthy fats guide. Consuming less sugary breakfasts will keep your energy train steady throughout the day. Many yogurts and cereals contain more sugar than a piece of pie!
Make sure you have time to eat the food you have prepared. Salads can take a long time to chew, so if you know you will be short on time during the week pick a recipe that will fit your schedule.
Foods might not be ready to combine until that day. Take for example, this week I am doing grass-fed burger patties with avocado. Don’t cut the avocado and spread it on your patty until you are ready to eat. By Friday your coworkers will be wondering what the brown mush is.
Invest in to-go glass containers. I purchased a few boxes of Pyrex glass bowels in a variety of sizes. Although they are a little heavier in my lunch bag, they keep harmful plastics out and more durable over time.
Pick a day to spend time in the kitchen. As much as I love my weekends, Saturday or Sunday are the only days I can find time to prep. I only spend a few hours on cooking, so it’s not an all day investment. Batch cooking actually saves time during the week. If you are cooking one chicken breast, it doesn’t require more time to add in 5 more.
Eggs, meats and vegetables can be purchased cheaper if you know your source. Follow the signs for eggs on the side of the road. These chickens are generally eating their natural diet of bugs, grasses and living under the sun. Their shells are harder and yolks darker. Butchers from your local meat shop can be cheaper and from a better source. Try to buy pastured grass fed as much as possible. Seasonal vegetables from farmers markets, or organic from the grocery store is best.
Snacks could be just just a handful of nuts. It’s easy to go nuts with the nuts, so think 10-15. One type of vegetable/fruit cut into small pieces for the week like a cucumber, carrot, or an apple. One bag of jerky spread into 5 days is very cost effective.
Start with these simple steps for your next week’s preparation. Eat with love from the fruits of your labor the next time you feel overwhelmed about cooking. Make this a habit and I guarantee you will feel better!