Stop Making Excuses & Start Eating Healthy

5 Jan

Often times friends of mine will say I wish I could cook/eat like you. Well, the fact of the matter is, you can… if you really want to.

I’ve heard it all before – you don’t have time, you have picky eaters in your house, you have a big family to feed, your not vegan. Come on people, change must start with you committing to making a change, not making excuses. Whether you want to eat more like me because you know that giving up animal products will improve your health, you are trying to lose weight, or because you think my meals sound and look really tasty, you can and all you need to do is make it happen, simple as that.

The reality is that even though I don’t have a second job, I don’t have kids, and I may have more time to relax than you do, rarely do I want to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner. I certainly have no interest in doing so after work! So what’s my secret? I have three, and because you have humored me by reading my blog I will share them with you.

1. I plan a weekly menu.

This should come as no surprise to you since Weekly Menu is a category on my blog. Sure it takes some time to decide what I am going to eat for an entire week but the pay off is huge! Having a plan = sticking to a plan, done! Weekly menu = weekly shopping list, done! Weekly shopping list = savings at the grocery store, done! Look at that, in the short time it takes to prepare a weekly menu I have stuck to my good eating habits, saved time shopping, saved time trying to decide what to make for dinner each night, saved money because I am not buying frivolous items at the store nor am I going out to eat (unless I planned to go out to eat as part of my weekly menu), I ROCK!

2. I prepare as much food in advance as is possible and/or necessary for the week.

This is essential for me to stay focused on my nutrition, but it can be very helpful for those of you that really feel the time crunch at dinner time. Here are some easy ways to prep your food:

  • Wash your produce when you get home from the grocery store. This will save you valuable minutes later in the week when you are trying to get dinner on the table.
  • Chop, dice, and slice your fruits and veggies. Have your onions diced and ready for a saute, have your carrots sliced and ready to dip in some hummus, have fruit ready to eat on your counter top. If you are familar with the term mise en place you know that the best chefs have all of their ingredients prepared before they start cooking. This will make your dinners easy to assemble, you’ll never have to prepare a healthy snack again, and you will have to wash your knives and cutting boards less often.
  • Cook up a big batch of grains (ex. brown rice, quinoa, barley), enough to last you through the work week. Having grains in the fridge can be a lifesaver. One day I came home for lunch and I was starving, rather than reaching for a bag of chips and chowing down I took a peak in the fridge. I have a container of brown rice sitting there and was inspired to make a delicious, quick, and satisfying meal that has now become a regular – the burrito bowl, all you need is some rice, beans, salsa and you are ready to eat something delish. On days when you can’t be bothered to cook a darn thing, reheat the grain and serve it as a side dish or underneath some leftovers. It’s as easy as that.
  • Always keep a bowl of mixed lettuce in your fridge – if you don’t have the time/desire to wash and chop your greens, buy some in a bag.  I highly recommend that you take the mixed greens and put them in a glass bowl on a shelf in your fridge (rather than the vegetable crisper), that way you are more likely to eat the greens before they spoil and you can easily scoop a handful into a bowl, drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and some nuts and you have a wonderfully yummy lunch, snack, appetizer, or dinner.
  • Make a dish that will last you for several days or   double a recipe.  A great make ahead dish that I eat almost weekly is chili, it doesn’t take any time to make, it cooks on the stove while I do something more interesting like washing laundry, and it improves in taste as it sits in the fridge. You can also freeze these items so that they are always on hand, not my style, but definitely an option.

3. I start preparing dinner the minute you get home from work.

Well, first I take Olive outside 🙂 but then I start making dinner. If I don’t, I know I will get lazy and will not stick to the weekly menu – which means spending money, wasting food, or losing focus on nutrition.

Here is my easy 5 step process.

  1. Get your grain going first, it will take the longest.
  2. If you are having pasta, start the water boiling now.
  3. Then start chopping your onion while your pan heats up. It doesn’t matter what it is you are making, it should include sauteed onions, so get it going.
  4. While your onion is sauteing you can chop up the rest of your veg, by the time you water is boiling and/or the onions are sauteed you will be done with all of the chopping you needed to do.
  5. All you need to do now is heat everything up, add some seasoning, let it simmer, then serve. It really is as easy as that.

Now that you know how it’s done, get in the kitchen and make something amazing! If you like to start new challenges with a plan set some time aside on Saturday morning to plan your weekly menu and make a list of how you can prepare for the busy week ahead. If you are still feeling a bit skeptical or have specific questions please comment on this post, I want to hear from you.

For those of you that feel pretty confident planning your meals please share what healthy meals are you going to be preparing next week, I know others who are following this blog could use some inspiration.

Happy & Healthy Eating!

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3 Responses to “Stop Making Excuses & Start Eating Healthy”

  1. Danielle January 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

    FANTSTIC!!!!!

  2. CBA January 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM #

    You might find inspiration from Joe Cross who changed his life by juicing fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Cross/784070916#!/people/Joe-Cross/784070916?sk=info

    • CBZ January 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

      CBA should be CBZ (lol).

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