We’ve all been there. It’s been a long day at work, work being outside the home or watching the kids at home, and we just don’t feel like cooking dinner. We settle for ordering pizza or chinese or going through the drive thru somewhere and though it feeds us, if you’re like me, you feel even less energetic the next day. It’s unrealistic to say things like this will never happen, because they will, but today I want to share with you five ways to eat healthy throughout the day so it’s not such a big deal when we do end up ordering out.
Drink Smoothies. Smoothies are a delicious way to get your daily serving of fruit and veggies. They are also great for sneaking in extra fiber or other nutrients that sometimes aren’t so fun to eat. When my son gets backed up I make him a Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie and add a little bit of flax seed or fiber in. He doesn’t even notice and after a few days he’s back on schedule. Check out more great smoothie recipes here.
Meal Plan. Planning out your meals a week (or two) at a time can drastically cut down on how many times you find yourself running to a fast food joint. Plus, when you plan your meals you can plan on making healthier meal options. As much as I love (and my boys love) spaghetti and meatballs, it’s not the healthiest meal option. Also, make sure to have a few quick and easy dinner options (like this Cheeseburger Casserole) on there so when days do get crazy you can quickly get dinner on the table. You can find more meal planning tips and a free meal planner here.
Healthy Snacks. This one goes hand in hand with meal planning. Having healthy options to munch on through out the day is not only good for your body but it also helps cut down cravings to eat more at meal times. You don’t have to make extravagant snacks to eat healthy just choose healthier options when shopping. Avoid the cookie and chip aisle and spend more time in the produce section picking up fresh fruits and veggies. Nuts are also a great snack and my favorite is crackers and cottage cheese.
Positive Changes in Food Production. This one is easy because you don’t have to do anything. As trends in healthy replacements for processed foods increase in popularity, companies like Hampton Creek move to the forefront of food technology meant to change the way we eat. What is Hampton Creek? Take a look for more insight into how food consumption and production is being changed.
Use Your Freezer. One of the main reasons we eat out at our house is I don’t have time to meal plan for the next week before it’s time to go shopping again. I remember about 4 o’clock that we have reached the end of our meal plan and we barely have enough to put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch let alone a meal that will feed my growing family. In comes freezer meals. Every time you meal plan, or even just once a month, plan on making a few extra meals you can freeze. It doesn’t even have to be a whole new meal you could just make double of one meal and freeze half of it. That way on those days you forget about dinner or don’t have time to run to the store you can reach into the freezer and have dinner ready in a breeze. Need some inspiration? Check out this post with over 60 Freezer Meals.
Freezers are also great for stocking up on healthy food options when they are on sale. When chicken is on sale buy a few extra pounds and freeze it. Stock up on fruits and vegetables when they are in season, chop them up, freeze them and they are smoothie ready whenever you need them. Or my favorite, go in with family members and buy a whole cow (or 1/2 a cow) from a farm. A lot of times you get to choose how much of each cut you want (ground beef, rib eye, sirloin, etc.) too. Plus fresh beef tastes so much better than store bought!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. It just takes a little more planning. So on a day when life isn’t as crazy (or even just one day on your lunch break) sit down, make a meal plan, plan healthy snacks, and make a few freezer meals. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have and better you feel when you do.