Planning makes all the difference with eating healthy!

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So I think I do a pretty good job of eating healthy and not stressing out about it too much.  It is very difficult with our busy lives to always eat healthy and cook healthy.  If it weren’t easy, well, then everyone would look pretty good right?  Anyway, these are some things that I do, that I have learned throughout the last few years, that make it pretty easy for me to eat healthy.  Also, click here to check out this video on planning your workouts & your meals!

First off, I am busy!  I work a full-time job, I teach a group fitness class once a week in the evening, I have my own health & fitness business, and go to school part-time!  So I have a lot of excuses for not having time to eat healthy, but I choose to NOT take the easy way out.  Here are some things that I have gotten in the habit of doing, and I really hope that they help you too!

  • Plan your meals on a weekly basis.  On Sunday mornings, I sit down with my weekly planner and I write down what I’m going to make throughout the week for dinner.  Then, you can easily make you grocery list because you know what you’re gonna need to make dinners!
  • When you cook dinner, cook a double batch, so that you’re only cooking every other day!  It’s just me and my husband, so I can make 4 servings of something and save 2 of those servings for the next night.  It’s so convenient!
  • Do as much prep as possible the night before for making dinner the next night.  For example, if I am making Mexican lasagna, I cook everything the night before, put the lasagna together and throw it in the fridge. When I get home the next night, I just have to throw it in the oven, and it cooks while I am working out!  So easy!
  • Pack your lunch the night before.  You know what happens if you don’t plan – you end up STARVING at work the next day and you run to the cafeteria and you have little control over your lunch.  So pack it ahead of time!  I even go as far as making big batches of things like quinoa, so I can easily bring a serving of that to work throughout the week.  If you plan ahead, you won’t be scrambling for fast food the next day!!
  • Grocery shop on a weekly basis.  You wanna eat less processed foods, which means that you need to have fresh ingredients on hand.  I LOVE my grocery store and like making my weekly trip!!  Have fun with it!
  • Have your favorite healthy snacks on hand all the time.  One of my favorite afternoon snacks is greek yogurt with protein cereal & blueberries.  I make sure I always have greek yogurt in my fridge.  Have fresh fruit on hand to put in your lunch for the next day.  Boil some hardboiled eggs, they make good snacks!!  1% cottage cheese with some pineapple is another great snack.  Baby carrots, red pepper slices with some hummus is a great replacement for chips!!
  • Have frozen chicken, ground turkey breast, veggie burgers, etc on hand so that if you are running low on time, you can easily make something with what you have.  Also, keep frozen veggies on hand.  I should buy stock in birds eye for as much frozen veggies we eat!!
  • If you’re going out to eat with friends/family, if you have time to plan ahead, go on the restaurant’s website and look at their menu. You can easily plan before you go out what you’re going to order, so you’re not roped into something unhealthy because you’re not prepared!  Also, specialty order!  You can order veggies without butter, or a salad with dressing on the side and no cheese, etc.  If you plan appropriately, you won’t even need to look at the menu when you sit down!!

It’s all about planning, and figuring out the times to prepare that work best for you.  And be creative!  It’s boring to eat the same bland foods over and over again.  Experiment!  If there’s a meal you REALLY like, like lasagna, find a way to make it healthy.  Use ground turkey breast instead of beef, whole wheat lasagna noodles, make your own sauce, use less cheese…it can be done!  If you have a recipe you really like, but aren’t sure how to make it healthy, I’m a dork and LOVE to turn recipes into a healthy version of themselves.  Send it to me!  I’ll help you out!