One of the most important things for my day-to-day healthy living is my food intake. Nutrition isn’t just about not eating certain foods, it’s also about putting the right foods in. I can trick myself into thinking I’m eating okay, as long as I’m not eating “junk”, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
As I shared before, I haven’t been feeling great for the last 2 months (you can read more about that here). That means that there have been many, many days when I haven’t felt like cooking or prepping food. While I’ve had cereal for dinner far more than I’d like to admit, healthy eating isn’t optional for me. I need proper nutrients to keep my body strong and healthy. It’s essential.
I know sometimes life can be busy and hectic, but if you’re able to prioritize 2 hours in your week to food prep, I’m confident you’ll be on track to eat healthier all week long!
There are three things that have worked really well for me that can do in 2 hours if make the time:
Plan Your Weekly Menu
You simply need to decide what you want to eat for the week! My weekly menu comes from an assortment of recipes from my favourite cookbooks, blogs, and my own imagination! While it’s nice to imagine trying a new healthy recipe every night, be realistic and do what you know will work for you.
I’m a big believer that staying organized is always easier when things look pretty, and meal planning is no exception! Find a meal planner you love, and use it!
I am absolutely crazy about this 52-page weekly meal planner from V Shop by Victoria Senges Design Co. (you can buy it here). Not only does it help organize your meals for the week, it also has a tear-off market list so you can keep track of what you need to buy as you plan your week. I thought this was awesome even before I realized the list part detaches! It also has a magnet on the back to stick on the side of your fridge if you wish. This is genius! And design is so cute! PLUS Victoria has offered all ineverything.ca readers 25% off everything in the shop for this week only! Use code INEVERYTHING at the checkout! Thanks Victoria! (Offer expires Nov 9, 2015).
Of course, make the meals that work for you, but here’s what I’m making this week:
Monday – Breakfast (B): Vega One Smoothie (every day- you can read more here) Lunch (L): Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup (here) Dinner: Salmon, Quinoa (I make extra quinoa to use in my salad for the week) & Veggies
Tuesday – B: Vega One Smoothie L: Quinoa Salad (I mostly just add a bunch of veggies to quinoa, mix in a dressing and some nuts and seeds and call it a salad) D: Portobello Fajita (Oh She Glows Cookbook p.185)
Wednesday – B: Vega One Smoothie L: Beet Soup (here) D: Flex (We’re not home sometimes for dinner on Wednesdays, so I don’t plan anything for this day. Sometimes we eat leftovers, sometimes we wing it… sometimes we eat cereal. Don’t judge.)
Thursday – B: Vega One Smoothie L: Quinoa Salad D: Vermicelli Noodle Bowl
Friday – B: Vega One Smoothie L: Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup D: Bok Choy Stir Fry
Weekend: Vegan Waffles, Fish Tacos (recipe here)
Prep Your Produce
Often on Sundays, Clark and I will go the grocery store, then I park myself on a stool in the kitchen! Almost every Sunday I spend about 1-1.5 hours prepping my food for the week. When I don’t prep my produce every week, most of it sits hidden in the fridge and gets thrown at the week’s end. I hate throwing out produce! Anyone else with me? When I take the time to clean and cut everything, we eat healthier and there’s less waste! Win-win.
I usually clean, cut and separate veggies so we can grab and eat them raw, dip them in hummus, or throw them in the steamer or a stir fry for a weeknight meal. I will usually clean and cut:
- 3-4 bell peppers (cut into long slices)
- 4-5 carrots (cut into rounds)
- 1 cucumbers (cut into rounds)
- 1 head of broccoli (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 1 head of celery (cut into sticks)
I put them in sealed containers in the fridge and they keep all week, no problem.
I also wash and cut a lot of the fruit we buy and thrown it together in a fruit salad. When there’s a bowl of fruit in the fridge we sometimes have it in the morning, take it our lunch, or have is for “dessert” after dinner. It depends what’s in season, but it will often include cantaloupe or melon, berries of some kind, kiwi, maybe mango, and anything else that’s on sale! I find apples and bananas don’t keep really well when they’re pre-cut, but most other fruits work. (I don’t use pineapple or grapes because I can’t have them, but both are great options!)
Pre-Make as Much as Possible
Once I know what I’m going to be eating for the week, and I have all the groceries I need, the next thing I do is prep as much as I can. I’ll make a list of everything I know I need to do ahead of time, and get it all done at once. This “the to-do list” (pictured below) is also from V Shop by Victoria Senges Design Co! (You can find it here.) I do this as soon as I get home from the grocery store and leave the groceries I need out on the counter.
Part of the prep is washing and cutting the produce as I already mentioned, but I also try to pre-make as much food as I can. You’ll see on my weekly menu that I often eat soup for lunch, especially in the cooler months. If I don’t take the time to do this at the beginning of the week, it just won’t happen; so I try to make 2 soups that I can pack and reheat at the office. I’ll also whip together some kind of salad dressing that I can use for my weekly salads, and I often like to make some kind of snack to have as well.
I realize we’re all in different stages of life and for some it can be hard to find 15 minutes to yourself, let alone 2 hours! After chatting with some of my friends who are working moms with young kids I have no doubt meal planning and prepping can be tough. It may look differently for you than it looks for me, but I’m certain you can do it!
I’d love to hear what works for you!! And don’t forget to visit V Shop by Victoria Senges Design Co. to pick up your meal planner and some other amazing stationary items! Use code INEVERYTHING to get 25% off until Nov 9, 2015!