If you are anything like me, time is always a hot commodity. Days are just busy, busy, busy. You need to work. You need to clean. You need to do laundry. You need to find some time to work out. You need some time with Jesus. And you need to cook. For me, that last one was always hard. I just didn’t like to cook. Mind you, I did cook. I even cooked well for my family, but I just didn’t like it. Years ago, I was even a stay at home mom and did not like to cook.
Well, fast forward. When I decided to go back to work and become a teacher, I knew time was going to be a very hot commodity. I don’t think I fully realized how hard teachers work. I literally would work from 7:30 a.m. when I went to school to at least 7:30 p.m. working at home grading papers, prepping for lessons, communicating with parents, and more. I loved it, but boy was it busy. I quickly realized that I had to find some efficient way to plan meals that were healthy and quick.
For the first years of teaching, we did Sunday prep work. That’s where I planned the meals for the week and then prepped all the parts that I could on Sunday nights. It worked pretty well and it was efficient for the time. However, I decided that I didn’t really want to have to heat up cold food. I really wanted to have fresh, hot meals. So, I had to find a new system.
Thanks to the internet there is an absolute plethora of healthy food websites. You simply can type in healthy meals or healthy meal plans and tons will come up. I did that for a couple of years and would simply pick the meals I wanted to make and add them to a Meal Planner that I created. It worked amazingly well. Amazingly!
So, I know how busy you are. I completely understand, so I wanted to share a few quick tips for creating healthy meals that have worked for me and I pray they work for you:
1. Plan Ahead
Sounds simple, but it is vitally important. To eat well, save money, and stay on track time wise, you must plan your meals ahead of time. Now, to find the ideas, you can do a couple of things:
A. You can search the internet and just find ideas. There are some great sites out there. Tons of them actually. Remember, I planned my meals that way for years and it seriously only took about 30 minutes. You might think, “30 minutes is way too much time”. In the grand scheme, 30 minutes of time to feed you and your family well is a great investment. Great investment.
B. You can utilize meal plan sites. Just recently, I decided to plan my meals in a different way. I decided to join the Paleo Tribe. Paleo Tribe is a paleo site where you can pay a small monthly fee to have access to tons of things. For me, I basically only use their recipe ideas. The site is really cool though. They even have a meal plan generator and a shopping list generator. It’s awesome, if you use it. I just decided to stick with my meal planner and just use their recipe ideas. Overall, their recipes are very easy to make and are very good. I don’t think we have tried one yet that we do not like. I call our family “modified Paleo” because we do eat grains sometimes, but it is very easy to adjust a recipe.
2. Use a Meal Planner
For me, my meal planner is actually a little document that I created a few years back. It just simply works. It allows me to fill in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I choose what I want to make and then pop it in the spaces.
This planner also is my shopping list for the grocery store. I simply add the needed recipe items into the space below the day and that is what I buy at the store. There is even extra space to put extra items needed at the store. This little baby will get you in and out of the store so quickly. It will keep you on track, in budget, and it will allow you to create those yummy, healthy meals that you desire.
Now, I constantly see people using their phones at the grocery store to shop. I just have found that the old fashioned, written out paper is so much quicker. No scrolling or googling, just grab and go. Very time efficient.
It’s extremely flexible too. If you don’t want to have Monday’s recipe on Monday night, no problem, you can move it to another day. The key ingredient for successful , healthy eating is that you have the items on hand and they are quick to prepare. Otherwise, it is so easy to grab a pizza or run through a drive through. That’s okay once in a while, but on a steady basis, your body and health will pay the price. Easier to make good decisions at the forefront than trying to overcome those poor decisions. Trust me on that one.
3. Buy The Dirty Dozen
Wait, what??? The Dirty Dozen? Yes! I am one of those people who believe that buying organic is a smart move. I know. It costs a bit more. But, to make it easier and a bit more cost friendly, I did some research and found a little gem called, The Dirty Dozen.
The Dirty Dozen is a list of items that we should purchase organically because the items, in normal circumstances, have the highest traces of pesticides and such. When I found The Dirty Dozen list, I took a screenshot of it on my phone and that is what I use when I head to the store.
Remember, according to some research, not everything we buy in the produce section needs to be organic, so I stick to the dozen. I also buy organic meats so that they do not have hormones or antibiotics.
Buying organic is a commitment, but I think The Dirty Dozen is a great way to buy organic, give your family the best, and not break the bank. It’s win, win for sure.
So, there are my tips to quick, healthy eating. I hope these ideas help you plan easily and eat healthily. Is that a word? It is now. 🙂
Let me know what you do to feed your body in a good way!
HAPPY, HEALTHY EATING TO YOU!
XO – Nikki