You may think that because I’m a health coach that all of our meals are straight A healthy and packed full of veggies. Well you will be surprised to know that I am just like you when it comes to a busy lifestyle and preparing meals. There have been many nights when my hubby and I get home from work late and neither one of us feels like making dinner, so it’s been a frozen pizza, (gluten-free for me), pulled out and baked or we’ve also been known to pull out Ore Ida frozen tater tots or French fries and just have those. That hasn’t happened lately, but it used to happen quite frequently.
Nowadays, I try to prepare some nutritious meals ahead of time. It’s not hard, it just takes some planning.
A healthy, savory meal is the true form of bliss, for some of us at least; but even if it’s not, your body still relishes it. Although, the thought of cooking after a hard and stressful day at work can be less than appealing, there are ways to get around that.
Sometimes you just don’t have anything to cook! That happened to me last week. I didn’t make it to the grocery store and I was scraping the pantry to find things to make a couple of nights. Thank goodness for canned salmon and frozen veggies.
Scenarios like that can be very stressful, but, there are numerous things that can be done to ensure that cooking is not a chore; you can be stressed out but still have a nutritious and pleasurable meal.
Compromise is the last thing that you should do with your health, and there is no need to do it. All you need to do is some planning. Plan your meals ahead of time; some might prefer a week ahead, some a few days, and some a few meals.
Efficiently planned meal schedules will save you a lot of labor; keep your body healthy and your spirits glowing. Read the following tips to learn how you can plan ahead to have healthy meals with minimum fuss.
- The pantry- Keep your pantry stocked, but stocking it with some thought put into the future will make you thank your past self several times over. Having food that is healthy and can be eaten quickly is essential. Be sure to keep eggs, vegetables, fruits, dried fruits, spices, herbs and condiments, on hand and enough of them. Eating a little extra fruit so it doesn’t waste will not hurt you at all, but fast food will. So be sure to stock up!
- The freezer- There are a lot of food items that freeze well, cooked and uncooked. Frozen vegetables like peas, carrots, broccoli and more are reassuring, so are frozen fruits. They can last several weeks and months without being harmed much; no excuse for them not being there, unless of course there is no room left in your freezer.
- Big batches- It’s a lovely and tranquil weekend, cooking feels easy and relaxing. How about cooking a big batch and freezing it? This way you can have some of that tranquility later on in the week too. A lot of cooked dishes like stews, loaves, soups, casseroles, etc. freeze well. You can also cook a really big batch of tomato sauce and freeze it; it can serve as a base for other dishes in the future. This is one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. Especially in the winter.Not only will you be saving time, you will also be saving energy. Put the cooked tomato sauce in an ice bath to cool it quickly, and then pop it into the freezer in freezer safe plastic bags or containers. Don’t forget to label them! Frozen foods often last a long time, but they are susceptible to freezer burn. A fresh fruit homemade sorbet will be a nutritious and delicious dessert, making large quantities will help again.
- The extra mile- How about cutting up a few extra vegetables which can be used as snacks with some mustard, yogurt or anything else that you like? Seems like a fine idea, try it. You can also make extra rice which can be used in the next meal or stir-fried the next day. You can also hard boil a few extra eggs; with their shell intact, they remain fresh for a week in the fridge. Make some extra chicken and use the leftovers for another dish which requires cooked chicken.
Doing some extra work when you are free and have ample energy will save you a lot of hassle when you don’t. Plan ahead so that you can always have a healthy meal in a few minutes.