If you want to succeed at living a healthier lifestyle and eating healthier, your first attention should be to food preparation and organization. When you already have meals ready for supper and just have to warm them or have everything ready to make the meal for the evening, you’ll be more likely to eat the healthy meal, rather than stopping for take-out for supper. Let’s face it, you’re tired after a long day and the idea of spending lots of time in the kitchen isn’t very inviting.
Clean your cupboards out and get rid of junk food.
If you’ve been a junk food junkie for years, you may have a stash of candy bars in the freezer or several bags of chips on the shelf. Those aren’t the only food that you need to clear out of your cupboard. Getting rid of processed foods like Spaghetios or boxed mac n’cheese is also part of getting organized. If you don’t have the food available, you’ll be less likely to eat it. It would require an extra step of leaving the house to buy it, which gives you time to change your mind.
Plan meals, then create a shopping list.
Creating a shopping list is important, but you also have to stick to it. That means no impulse buying in the store. When you plan your meals, make sure you have all the ingredients. To save money, find recipes and meals where you can use any that are left. Even though it may seem easier to shop on your way home from work—it’s the worse time to shop. You’re tired, your hungry and your less likely to have resistance. That trip could end up with far more food in your cart and not all of it will be healthy. Do your shopping and meal prep on the weekend or when you have time to eat before you shop.
Make double the recipe and freeze half.
When you’re cooking for the week, double the recipe. Half of it should be for the meal that week and the other half can be frozen in individual trays to be ready for weeks ahead. By doing this, it won’t take long before you’ll only have to prepare one or two days of meals on the weekend for the coming week. You’ll also have everything premeasured in individual servings sizes, so there’s no counting calories or carbs necessary. Always remember to date freezer containers.
- Don’t stop with just planning a week’s worth of suppers, plan out breakfasts and lunches, too. It’s especially important for those that aren’t morning people that are ready for meal prep when they get up.
- Have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables cut up and ready to snack on in the refrigerator. The whole family will start eating healthier when it’s ready to eat. Premeasure individual servings of nuts or trail mix and have them ready, too.
- If you end up with any leftovers, consider it for a lunch or change how you use the ingredients. Fresh vegetables that aren’t used and need to be can go in soups or be grilled to top a salad.