Eating Healthy in No Time

by Lemony 1 on November 19, 2014

A little strategic planning ensures you never need to fall into those emergencies. I’ve found these six strategies help me and my patients maintain consistently healthy meals even with the tightest schedules.

  1. Make a list. Take some time one day every week to sit down and make a shopping list. Then visit the grocery store and purchase all of the ingredients for those recipes in advance. Keeping a list and sticking to it saves time, money, and unhealthy food from “landing” in your shopping cart. Another helpful hint: never go to the grocery store hungry!
  2. Go frozen. Frozen vegetables (preferably organic) become a real timesaver, especially if you already have some in your freezer and can avoid the need for last-minute grocery store stops. Ditto for frozen grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and organic berries. Shopping at warehouse stores can become a real time — and money-saver. Just buy the very best quality you can find. If you have the freezer space, you can take advantage of sales and coupons and stock up for weeks or even months with these essentials.
  3. Choose pre-prepped. If chopping doesn’t fit your tight agenda, choose fresh pre-washed organic leafy greens, like spinach, kale, arugula, and even Romaine. Pre-cut produce is also available at many markets, which drastically reduces kitchen work. They might be a bit more expensive, but if you’re short on time they’re worth it.
  4. Don’t be afraid of canned foods. Carefully chosen canned and jarred foods, such as vegetable or chicken stocks, sardines, wild Alaskan salmon, artichokes, and roasted red peppers, make it easy to toss together last-minute meals. Always choose lower-sodium versions and read labels carefully to be sure that gluten, dairy, sugars, and other unwanted ingredients aren’t inadvertently sneaking into your diet. If choosing canned food, opt for PBA free cans whenever possible.
  5. Schedule a preparation day and make it fun. Once you’ve shopped and have a well-stocked kitchen, you’ll want to prepare for the days ahead. Choose two days during the week (I find that Sunday and Wednesday work) when you are going to spend a few extra hours in the kitchen, cooking and preparing as much as you can in advance. That means chopping veggies, whipping up sauces and marinades, and cooking brown rice and other whole grains in advance. Get your kids involved, create some great conversation, and make the process fun rather than a chore.
  6. When you’re really time crunched, at least go healthy. Even when you do your best, you’ll have days where everything falls apart and even throwing together a simple salad topped with pre-cooked wild salmon becomes impossible. Because you prepared, you’ll have nuts, seeds, and other healthy snacks to steady blood sugar levels so you’re not ravenous by dinner. Many grocery stores now have hot bars with healthy selections. Stopping by Whole Foods Market on your way home for a rotisserie chicken along with sautéed pre-cooked vegetables makes a simple “fast food” meal without the sugar and damaged fat in drive-thru foods. Always do the best you can under the circumstances rather than aim for perfection.

Previous post:

Next post: