How many of you get home after work, wander around the kitchen, then open the fridge and close it again, then do the same for the kitchen cupboards and pantry and then say to self “we have nothing to eat!” You try to cook something, but then you find that you are missing some ingredients, too hungry to run to the market wait in line to buy your items, or too tired and uninspired to create something from what you already have. Frustrated, you grab anything at handto snack on, like chips, chocolates or crackers, and end up on your phone ordering unhealthy meals!
That scenario is very common and unfortunately sets you back few steps when you have sworn to yourself healthy eating habits for the New Year.
The following are the top 5 tips on how to make meals available at all times to get you back on track for reaching your healthy goals:
1- Organize your kitchen
Have your food items, tools, pots and pans, and plates grouped appropriately and in the right places for easy access and faster results. This will avoid you running from corner to corner and increase your efficiency.
2- Stock your kitchen
When you have non-perishable and nutritious items at hand, it saves you a supermarket run. I like to stock my pantry with the following items: beans, lentils, different kinds of pasta and flours, quinoa, oats, a variety of rice, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, spices and herbs. In the fridge, I always have green leaves, and various vegetables, 3-5 kinds of fruit, eggs, milk and cheese, some meat and chicken. Fish, I buy the day of. Check your pantry weekly and make a list of the missing necessary items.
3- Prepare a menu for the week
Once it’s prepared, you’ll see the pressure dissipates from the agony of the daily question, “What are we going to eat today!”
4- Write a shopping list
Check your menu ingredients, and write down all the needed items then off to the supermarket! Don’t go on an empty stomach and stick to the list for needless spending and waste reduction. The cooking process is so much more enjoyable when you reach out for the pantry and the needed item is just there!
5- Get prepping and storing
Choose a day to get most of the food preparation done. Some meals can be done in batches like soups and baked dishes, and put in freezer for later use. For some vegetables like squash and zucchini I like to steam, mash, and store in freezer bags. Chicken and meat can be pre-cooked and then frozen. This way, I can save myself a step in stews or pies. I also store bananas and berries in the freezer for a quick smoothie recipe. And I always have some garlic peeled and ready in the fridge.
Finally, when you need to order out, choose from healthy meal plan delivery programs like the Right Bite Meal Plans and the Right Bite Express, where food is delicious, freshly prepared, and balanced.
For additional tips and help in your healthy journey, contact our Nutrition Center and schedule an appointment with our dietitians.