Okay… let’s bust some myths. Everyone wants to live a healthier lifestyle and eat better food… right? And yet, some of the most common excuses for not following through on these ambitions include being low on time, not knowing how, or not wanting to cook a lot of food for one person. While these are all valid reasons (I myself have been victim of all of them…and still am from time to time), they aren’t insurmountable. In other words, you can beat these excuses, and live out your healthier life with healthier meals easier than you thought.
Let’s look at the “not having enough time” excuse. While it’s true that the majority of us have too many things to do and not enough time, eating healthily is something we should be making time for. However, it’s not realistic to take 2-3 hours out of every day to prepare 3 meals and a few snacks. The solution? Planning ahead. If you plan ahead, you don’t need to worry about not having time. Pick one day a week and sketch out a menu plan for the next 7 days: what you want for your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Then, make a shopping list. Once you have the groceries, make the majority of your meals in batches. Make a batch of healthy muffins. Stir up a whole pot of chili and freeze it. Cook up some chicken breasts or fish fillets to make easy on-the-go salads for lunch. Have cooked rice or quinoa in the fridge. Cut up veggies for healthy snacks. Make dips or hummus to go with them. The options are endless! And if you take 4-5 hours one day every week, you can cut down on prep time for the rest of your week, and have prepared, ready-to-go healthy meals and snacks at your fingertips.
So, okay, now you have the time… but what about the know-how? Easy, peasy! If you can put together a bookshelf from Ikea, you can make soup or roast a chicken. To make it even easier, follow some of your favourite recipes or cookbooks. They have ingredient lists, step by step instructions, and usually pictures of what the food is supposed to look like. In fact, Discover the Power of Food not only has over 100 gluten free recipes (and the reasoning why they’re healthy), but it also comes with 2 whole weeks of sample menus. You could follow the menus day-by-day, look up the recipes, have the ingredient lists and instructions right there, and voila–your work is almost done for you! You can pick up Discover the Power of Food at any Goodness Me!, or online at www.discoverthepoweroffood.ca.
Now you have the time and the knowledge; all you need is to not be throwing out tons of leftovers at the end of the week. Easy solution. You know that chili you had for dinner? Package some for lunch the next day (or the next two days), and freeze the rest for next week. That chicken you roasted? Makes for a perfect salad the next day. Reuse your dinners for leftover lunches, and freeze any food that you make in big batches. This ensures that you cover many meals in one recipe, and also have meals for the following week as well. It’s a win-win!
Not convinced? Check back to our blog this week for some sample menus, ingredient lists, and more tips and tools on how to plan your week in meals. Routine makes everything easier, so try it this week and see how much easier it is the second time around. Bon appetit!