I am sure you have had plenty of those moments when you get home from work, you are super hungry and there is nothing prepped and ready to eat. What happens next is either a crazy snacking binge of low quality food, or you go out to eat for fast food.
The good news is there is a solution! Prepping your meals ahead of time is a wonderful way to lessen the amount of time you are eating junk food. When you have meals prepped you will have less desire of hitting the drive-thru. No one is perfect and we all have our times when we don’t eat the best of foods. But when you either know what your cooking or have food already prepared, the only reason you will have to eat junk is because you made the conscious decision to.
Lets look at how you can be prepared better for daily healthy eating.
It is a great idea to cook and freeze meals at home. You can do this weekly. This way, you have food for your whole week ready to go. But, if you decide not to eat all the stuff you have fixed in that week, then it does not go bad. Spend a little time choosing meals you really enjoy and then make a healthy version of it. It is smart to make 2-3 different types of meals and make plenty of each. That way, each week you are adding to your variety. So you can make a healthy version of French onion soup, enchiladas, and pesto chicken with roasted vegetables, and the following week you can make healthy lasagna and chili. You will eventually have so much made up that if you skip a week you still have plenty to get you through. Make sure when you prep your meals they have a good balance of healthy fats, proteins, carbs and tons of veggies. If you are running really low on time you can just grab frozen bags of vegetables and cook a big batch of chicken and fish, and you will still have what you need. It just may not be as exciting as the other meals mentioned.
A great and easy breakfast is frittatas. There are a lot of recipes for them on the internet. The healthiest way to make them is with eggs, TONS of vegetables, spices and, if you like, some meat. It is better to not put cheese or milk or bread crumbs or any of those ingredients that would make you think twice about eating it. It is best to keep it simple. Cook a couple pie pans of this up and then cut them up into serving sizes and freeze them.
Have some yogurt! Yogurt does not have to be mixed with fruit. In fact yogurt mixed with some chopped cucumber and beet is quite delicious and you are getting vegetables in your breakfast which is always a good thing. Choose a probiotic yogurt that has very simple ingredients in it. Brown Cow seems to be a great brand and tasty. Make sure it is a plain yogurt, then you can add a little bit of stevia or honey depending on your preference. I like the full fat, cream at the top yogurt, besides when your breakfast is yogurt and vegetables, you could use the fat in the yogurt. If you need to add more calories to your breakfast you could also add in a little bit of chopped nuts.
Vegetable smoothies are another good option. A way to make smoothies even faster in the morning is to chop up what you want in each smoothie put them in individual Tupperware or Ziploc bags and freeze them. Again, the freezing is so these fresh foods do not go bad super-fast. Freezing can be good for the smoothies especially when you are low on time. You can do a variety of vegetables. If you do not know what kind of smoothie to make, start with this one:
1 handful of green leaf lettuce
1'' section of beet
1/2 tsp of stevia (I prefer the KAL brand liquid) or honey depending on your preference
Add as much water as you want for the consistency of your choice if you are low on electrolytes then you could also use coconut water instead of regular water.
Keeping boiled eggs, bags of salad and salad dressing is a great way to have some quick meals and snacks on hand. Salads are a great snack idea. You can prep your own healthy salad dressing by mixing some cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, spices and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar in a bottle or bowl. Just shake and serve. A great snack is crispy roasted green beans and zucchini chips. Find something like this that you like so that when you are having that snacky feeling that would usually have you grabbing a bag of potato chips, you have something healthier for you on hand. It is all about being prepared for your specific food tendencies.
Keep things on hand so that way when you get a craving for a fruit juice, coffee, soda, etc. you are ready! Fizzy mineral water comes in a variety of flavors! For instance, the orange one tastes like an orange soda without the sugar and really hits the spot. You can always brew a big pot of tea and cool it in the fridge. Tazo has a Passion tea that you can add some stevia or honey to and pour over ice. It is like a fruit juice. If you crave coffee, but do not want to be drinking much of it, then keep some Teechino, Chicory root tea or Dandelion tea on hand!
Sugary foods are a big deal for many people. This is a big one to be prepared for as well. Some easy ideas are to keep gum and fruit handy. Yes fruit is still sugar, but it also has all it's vitamins and minerals making it a much better choice than a snickers bar. Speaking of snickers bars, what do you do when you are having a craving for chocolate? Find healthier options of chocolate. If you are someone who has no issues with sugar then you can find plenty of chocolates made with honey, coconut sugar and other healthier options. If you do have sugar issues then there is a little more time involved. Check out my easy chocolate recipes in the nutrition section.
What happens when you do fail to plan your meal and you have to grab fast food? There are options that will be at least a little healthier than the normal fare. When in doubt, just remember that you can get meat and vegetables just about anywhere and that can be a good choice when faced with restaurants and fast food joints. Here is a list of better options for fast food.
Don't think that you need to eat clean 24/7. There will be times you go to a restaurant to eat something that is not healthy, that is okay. The point is not that you will always eat perfect. Rather, that you know the better options so that you can eat healthier more of the time.
You now have quite a bit of info so that you can start preparing your food ahead of time. Add to this information to make your own personalized plan that takes into account your eating preferences. Happy eating!