When we think about living a healthy lifestyle, there are many factors to consider. Exercise, diet and stress management are a few important parts of this equation. What each of these have in common is that they take time, something we often feel short on. When it comes to diet, we often take the quick and easy route to preparing meals, which can mean eating fast food or processed foods. However, it is easier to eat cleanly and healthy by preparing the majority of our meals at home using whole food ingredients. Here are some helpful tricks to maximize your time at the store and in the kitchen!
BEFORE GOING TO THE STORE
Plan your meal. Look at your entire week and loosely plan the meals you will have. Planning meals ahead of time will allow you to most efficiently use vegetables and meats for multiple meals, reducing the amount of spoiled food in your refrigerator, and saving you money.
Don’t go hungry. Being hungry will increase the odds of impulse buying or splurging on things you are trying to avoid. Have a healthy snack before you go!
WHILE YOU’RE THERE
Stick to the outer perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find most whole food ingredients like produce, seafood or meats. The inner aisles are where most processed food products live, the foods that are high in refined grains and sugars, sodium and preservatives.
Prepare your meal. Choose a day when you have more time, like a Sunday, and prep healthy snacks or quick meals for the week. This saves time, and makes it easier to eat healthy throughout the week. For example, you can prepare five Ziplock bags containing a variety of vegetables, then take one with you each day to work. Also try preparing a weeks worth of smoothies by filling freezer safe bags or containers with spinach, cut up bananas, and berries, and placing them in your freezer. Each morning, you can quickly put the contents into your blender and add your daily choice of liquids and supplements like almond milk, flax seeds or hemp protein. This allows you to buy in bulk and will save you time and money.
With a little preparation and meal planning, you can make eating healthy easier and more accessible!