Meal planning made easy – for the busy person
Let’s make eating well – for you and your family – as easy as possible. Simplify, simplify…
You probably already know the best things to do in order to make eating right as easy as possible:
Shop on the edges of the grocery store, where all the one-ingredient foods are (not the center aisles with the pre-packaged, ingredients-you-can-hardly-pronounce foods)
- Eat mostly plants.
- Don’t keep foods in the house that are generally less healthy for you (eg, potato chips, candy, etc.)
- DO keep easy-to-grab healthy snacks in the refrigerator
- Buy pre-cut fruits and veggies if you know that’s the only way you’ll find/make time to prepare them
- Keep your “healthy staple foods” fully stocked like: quinoa, brown rice, frozen vegetables, healthy meats and eggs, olive oil, tasty spices, apples, lemons, whole wheat wraps…
- Prepare extra portions of healthy meals, so they are easy to grab-and-go on busy days
Now here are a few simple recipes you can try to simplify even more. They are great for either lunch or dinner on the go.
Burrito bowl. Set out at least 4 lunch containers and put the following in each:
- Add some chopped onion
- Add salsa and sliced cherry tomatoes
- Add a couple spoonfuls of corn
- Brown and season turkey taco meat
Set aside a separate container for guacamole if you can bring it fresh each day
DIY Pizza lunchables. Set out at least 4 lunch containers and put the following in each:
- Slice up whole wheat pita into smaller hand-held pieces.
- Put small containers of margherita sauce in each lunch container
- Include a small container of low-fat mozzarella cheese
- Slice up your favorite pizza toppers – like onions or mushrooms – and include those in the container
Just sprinkle the cheese and toppers into the margherita sauce, then dip the pita in to scoop it out. Include some easy fruit like grapes or cherries, and maybe a handful of almonds for a balanced meal.
Overnight Oatmeal. This is becoming more popular for a quick breakfast. You may need to adjust the ingredients so you get the texture you prefer. Put the ingredients inside a mason jar – or something similar – shake it up, and screw on the top. The oats should be ready for you the next morning!
- ⅔ cup of quick cooking steel-cut oats
- ⅔ cup of 2% cottage cheese
- 1 cup of low-fat milk or almond milk
- 1 T chia seeds
- ¼ t vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
You can also experiment with other optional additions: mashed banana; a little cocoa powder; peanut or almond butter; blueberries; etc.
Quiche bites. These little “muffins” don’t take long to prepare, but are full of protein and very tasty!
- Preheat oven to 350
- Crack 6 eggs into a bowl and beat till mixed (you can substitute 3 egg whites instead, if you prefer)
- Dice your favorite veggies into a small bowl – carrots, peppers, broccoli, etc. – and mix into the beaten eggs
- Add 2 T of almond milk
- Spray muffin tins (either mini muffins, or big muffins)
- Ladle the mix into the cups and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- If you want a little added crunch, put whole-grain cereal on top – like Chex or Cheerios – or cut up Ezekiel bread – and bake for another 2 minutes
I’m sure you can come up with some tasty, easy recipes like this that you and your kids will love, and that will provide you with meals-to-go that are healthy.
Of course, eating right is just 1 part of what makes for a healthy lifestyle. I’d love to have the chance to speak with you about what you’re already doing well – to encourage you and help you keep it up – and see if there are some other simple ways to improve your health and fitness.
Karen and the AFC Team!