Eating fresh whole foods is essential for health, no matter who you are. Whole foods like vegetables, fruits and high quality meats are nutrient dense. When consumed together, their synergistic effect provides total nourishment for the body. These foods are free of chemicals, preservatives and harmful additives that disrupt the natural rhythm of the body. Consuming foods in their natural state is important for our overall health.
Eating whole foods probably sounds very compelling and ideal for you! However, with the busy on-the-go lifestyle in today’s world it seems almost impossible to make time for healthy meals throughout the day for most people. Fast food and microwave meals become the norm while sitting down at the table for a wholesome meal is not even an option.
Here’s the best part, you can keep your job, stick to your schedule and enjoy home cooked meals! This does take planning and making eating healthy a priority, but over time this will become second nature to you.
Follow these steps below and you will soon be on your way to eating healthy meals, cooked from scratch!
Menu plan on the weekend for the week ahead. The meals do not need to be exact, but have a general idea of what you are planning to make. Create a shopping list and set aside time to go to the store. Fresh foods are on the perimeter of the store. Try to buy organic if you can. There is no need to waste time roaming up and down middle aisles.
Prep to save time. When you get home, chop and prepare meals for the week. You can make a large salad for the next few days, roast some veggies or bake chicken. The goal is to cook larger portions now, then create meal sized portions and separate them in containers.
Clear out the freezer. Make room in the freezer for extra portions and pre-cut vegetables that you can defrost later in the week or early in the following week. For instance, one bag may contain chopped carrots with garlic and sesame seeds. You can saute carrots in a pan with avocado oil and add a drizzle of sesame oil after for taste.
Make a stew. Use a crockpot for an easy meal, add lots of vegetables, your protein of choice and broth. You can easily freeze some leftovers and thaw the stew when you are ready to enjoy.
Make breakfast and lunches a no brainer. Breakfast can be easy, try making a baked quiche. Whisk eggs with vegetables of choice and put it in the oven. You can reheat slices throughout the week. Change up your breakfast routine so that you don’t get bored. On other days you can try a protein smoothie or even dinner leftovers! For lunch, alternate fresh salads and steamed vegetables with a protein of choice.
Add more flavor. Condiments, sauces and dressings are key to enjoying meals and not getting bored. Most packaged options in the store are high in sugar and salt. Prepare an easy salad dressing in a mason jar with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dried herbs, sea salt and pepper. Use a food processor to make a creamy dressing with an avocado, olive oil, sea salt and fresh garlic. Chop fresh herbs and freeze them until you are ready to use. Add fresh herbs in salads, vegetable dishes, stews and even breakfast foods.
Reduce your expenses. When you initially start cooking from scratch, it may feel expensive. Remember that you won’t be running out to grab prepared foods, which can add up financially over time. Gradually, you will build a repertoire of staple ingredients in your cabinet and your expenses won’t feel overwhelming. Be sure to skip the fancy coffee drinks, sodas and juices. This is another way to cut expenses and stay away from processed ingredients. Be sure to drink plenty of spring or filtered water throughout your day.
Many individuals feel that meal planning will never fit into their lifestyle. It takes time and changing habits to find your groove with cooking at home. Over time you will become confident and determined to always make sure your health comes first with cooking and preparing nourishing foods at home.
Make cooking more fun! Invite friends over or involve the whole family. This is a great way to take your mind off of your to-do list and spend time with people who matter to you most!
For more tips on how to eat healthy without breaking the bank, check out our Facebook page and/or Instagram handle (@thespringatx).
Written by: Eleni Ottalagana
Adapted from: Unified Medicine Institute