I have really been making an effort to eat better. To me, the healthiest way to eat is to eat as close to nature as you possibly can, eating mostly meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables and fruit, and reducing processed foods. Whether you have a family to cook for or not, it can be difficult to eat healthy all of the time when you have a busy schedule.
I have found that doing just a few things simple things each week goes a long way towards making it much easier to stick to a healthier lifestyle.
There are things that I do to make eating healthy easier:
- menu planning
- grocery planning
- daily prep
- weekly prep
- pack an emergency cooler
1// MENU PLANNING
The very first thing I do is to pull out the sheet I made myself…Weekly Menu Plan. Feel free to download it!
Usually when you see a blog post about meal planning, you come up with meals that you want to make, and then develop a shopping list of items you need. I do it from the opposite direction.
- Using my Menu Planning sheet, I start going through my freezer, refrigerator and my pantry. I list whatever meats and vegetables I have in the freezer, then whatever vegetables I have left in the refrigerator, and then I use the pantry section for potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and any fresh veggies I may have on the counter from the garden.
- I start putting together meals from what I have. Feel free to label those meal blocks with the days of the week. I don’t like to, because I never seem to stick with my original plan. I may have fish scheduled for Tuesday and end up eating it on Friday. I also have a section for all of the prep items that I am going to get ready.
To make things simple, and to keep myself honest, I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day during the week. I can eat something fun on the weekend. I always make sure that I have at least one cheat meal a week to look forward to.
I then move to the next step…
2// GROCERY PLANNING
Now I print out my Grocery Planning worksheet. Feel free to download this one, too!
- I start plugging in all of the regular items I buy…coffee, milk, eggs, salad stuff…
- Next I plug in all of the things that I have noticed that I need to complete my Menu Plan.
- Then I go through the sales at my usual grocery stores, and write down all of the deals on meat and fish. These will go in to the freezer for the future. I don’t buy for this week. I buy what is on sale and save it for next time.
- I try to go to ALDI for as much as I can. They have a really good selection of produce and their prices are great…I especially love their Pink Moscato. Yes, it has a screw top. Last week their strawberries were priced at 99 cents, and they were $2.50 at the grocery store down the road.
3// DAILY PREP
- Every night I fill up water bottles and put them in the fridge for the next day. I have two huge 64 oz. jugs I got at Family Dollar last summer that I love! Crystal Light mix or Dasani drops in your water makes it easier to drink!
- I decide what is for dinner tomorrow, and make sure that I have anything out of the freezer that may need to thaw.
- I check my cooler and gym bag to make sure that I have bottles of water and protein bars.
- I record everything I have eaten, any exercise I have done, water I drank, and how I slept in the My Fitness Pal app and sync it with my FitBit.
4// WEEKLY PREP
So let’s take a look at what I do on a typical food prep day:
- I marinate and grill a bunch of chicken breasts and keep them in the refrigerator to have on salad for lunch all week.
- I make a huge bowl of salad and keep it in the refrigerator to have with the chicken breasts.
- I make sure there are plenty of healthy fruits and veggies for snacks…I cut them up and put them in plastic bags, if needed.
- I make a tray of bacon to eat with breakfast.
- I hard boil a dozen eggs to keep in the refrigerator for snacks, breakfast or to cut up on salads.
- I make deviled eggs!
- I portion out my Plexus supplements once a week so that I don’t have an excuse not to take them. Plus I keep bottles of water and sticks of Slim in my cooler.
- I keep a bowl of sugar-free jello and a can of whipped cream in the fridge for when I just have to have something sweet.
- I downloaded an app for my iPad called Paleo Go-Go that lists what meals are acceptable at almost any fast food and chain restaurant.
5// PACK AN EMERGENCY COOLER
Most of my diet slip ups happen because I am tired and/or lazy. Everyone seems to spend their time on the run. Whether it is running between work and home, or school and practices, or a combination of all of these, it is especially hard to stay strong when you are on the run. I pack a cooler and take it with me everywhere I go. I keep it stocked with bottles of water, Dasani drops, Plexus Slim, almonds, cashews, pickle packs, dried fruit, Quest bars, jerky…all sorts of healthy snacks so that I don’t find myself eating taquitos and a pretzel at QT when I am tired and hungry.
I especially love this backpack cooler because it doesn’t look like a cooler! Not that I would EVER try to take a cooler in to an event where I am not supposed to have a cooler, like a baseball tournament where waters are $5/bottle. Just saying.
What do you do to make it easier to eat healthy?