Welcome to part 3 of our 7 part series exploring “healthy eating” issues. In case you missed it:
Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Eating Healthy When You Never Learned How to Cook
Part 3: Eating Healthy When Limited by Time
Part 4: Eating Healthy When Limited by Money
Part 5: Eating Healthy When Limited by Allergies
Part 6: Eating Healthy When Limited by Picky Eaters
Part 7: Eating Healthy When There Are Multiple Limits to Overcome
“It takes too much time!” is a common reason given for not eating healthy.
Unfortunately, we have filled our schedules up to the brim, and haven’t left much room for food preparation. This is not a problem if you eat frozen dinners and fast food, but preparing homemade, real food takes more time!
Our Beyond Limits for today will share some ways you can make your time in the kitchen more efficient.
But first, I have to be honest with you…
Eating real food will never be as fast or easy as eating convenience food. There are ways to make it faster, but making it instant is not the point.
Why? Because anything beneficial requires an investment. Eating real food is no exception. Is that investment worth it to you? It’s important to consider this first, because all the best tips in the world will not live up to your expectations if you don’t make the choice to invest.
Your body is worth the investment.
That being said, we all have different lives and priorities. There are many good things we can do, but we can’t do all of them. You get to decide what is best for you to do. So before we go on, take a moment to read and think about this quote in regards to your family. Is this the right investment, at the right time?
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
Does this seem important for your family right now? Yes? Great!
One more thing; let’s take a moment to note the phrase “find a way” and notice that it does not say “do it perfectly the first time.” This is a trial-and-error process. But if you want it, you will find a way!
Okay! Now that we have our attitude and expectations set, let’s talk about some ways to make eating real food more efficient.
5 Techniques to Save Time so You Can Eat Healthy
- Plan your meals in advance and make a list (Plan to Eat will make this easy!)
- Buy the items on your list in one trip
- Buy in bulk whenever possible
- Keep regularly used food items on-hand
Some examples are eggs, butter, onions, garlic, your favorite meat (frozen), rice, carrots, frozen peas, or another favorite vegetable.
Make your own “convenience foods”
- Make several batches of meat stock and freeze* in 4 cup portions
- Prepare and freeze “cans” of baked beans, cream of chicken soup, etc
- Soak or sprout large batches of seeds or nuts, then dry and store them
- Cube and freeze vegetables for quick use in soups or stir-frys
- Make and freeze apple sauce
Choose when you cook
- Do time-consuming tasks ahead of time
- Chop vegetables for the week on Saturday
- Cook and slice chicken for salads and stir-fry
- Make muffin-pan quiches for breakfasts
- Make double batches of meals and freeze half
- Make a large meal and freeze in single servings
- Put dinner in a slow-cooker in the morning
Have a back-up plan
- Keep your favorite ingredients on hand (shop smart)
- Have a list of quick meals for these days
- Tuna, or chicken and grape salad
- Fish filets (defrosts quickly)
- Eat a meal from the freezer
For even more tips, check out my “Top 10 Tips to Avoid Cheating.” Just head over to www.bewellclinic.net and add your email address to my newsletter list.
For Small Households:
If you live alone, or there are just two of you, meal preparation can seem even more inefficient. Here are a few extra ideas for you!
- Make a large batch and eat it throughout the week
- Make multiple meals and freeze them in the correct portion sizes
- Make parts of a meal, such as chicken—which you then eat 5 different ways throughout the week (for example: grilled chicken, on a salad, in a stir-fry, in a casserole, and shredded in tomato sauce on top of rice or pasta)
There you have it—5 tips, plus 3 bonus ones, for how you can eat healthy by using your time well. What has worked well for your family? Share it with us!
*A note about freezing: While fresh is often best, freezing does not significantly decrease the nutrition available in food. In fact, food picked at peak season and ripeness, then frozen, has more nutrition than food grown out of season and truck-ripened. And any real food has more nutrition than preserved or fast food!
We reached out to Amy to put together this series of blog posts that we are calling Beyond Limits to provide a little encouragement, and a lot of wisdom, for those of us going through a massive transition with food.
If you are struggling with food allergies, eating more healthfully, or a new way of eating that has been “forced” upon you, please join us:
Join us in Plan to Eat
Amy has put together 15 recipes that are available to you through your Plan to Eat account. Many of these recipes promote healing, some are designed to help avoid common allergens, and some of them are simply to get us in the kitchen cooking real food instead of pulling something out of a box.
All of these recipes are available through the desktop version of your Plan to Eat account by clicking on the Challenges tab and selecting “Beyond Limits” in the dropdown menu.
Join our Facebook group
Do you have a question for Amy? Or maybe you want to connect with others who are going through something similar to you? Our Beyond Limits Facebook Group is a great place to connect with others!
Hint: This is a great place to use the Friends feature to share recipes with other Plan to Eat users!
Up Next: Eating Healthy When Limited by Money