Eating healthy foods is a top priority for many families. Healthy food prep makes healthy eating more cost effective, simple and possible.
The 80/20 Principle
Eighty-percent of the week we eat what we consider healthy foods for our bodies (grain-free, minimum sugar, high fat and lots of vegetables). The other 20% we allow ourselves to indulge in moderation. You know as well as I do how easy it is to run to a restaurant, or the grocery store freezer section and grab something quick after work or after running the kids around. Below are my best secrets for getting around the temptation to eat out when time is a constraint. It’s a system that works well while keeping your 100 Year Lifestyle meals prepped and ready. This will, as a result, allow you to do the things you love and spend more quality time with your family.
These few strategies may require some work on the front end, but will save you stress, time, and energy long-term.
First, make Pinterest your friend. Tons of bloggers have done the work by having everything listed out for you–ingredients, step by step cooking process as well as laying out the prep time and cooking time. To make your life easier I’ve searched throughout Pinterest and have found some quick go-to meals for weeknight dinners; you can follow my boards on www.pinterest.com/hlkimbley87.
HACK: when meal prepping find recipes that make enough food to get 1-2 extra meals as leftovers to use throughout the week. This allows for: 1) less time with meal prepping since you’ll be making larger batches, and 2) not having to eat the same meal every day.
Have a grocery shopping day and before you shop write your meals out for each day. Prior to ‘shopping day’ create a list of meals for the week with breakfast, lunch, dinner–Friday through Friday. I love lists, and some people work better with visualizing a calendar, so do what you know will make your life easier.
HACK: have a long running list in the Notes app on your phone of “go-to” weeknight meals, this list will continually grow. When you find a recipe you like, save it in your notes; it’s much quicker and easier than going off of memory. We also try one new meal on a weekend that may take more time to prepare. If it’s good, it gets added to the “go-to” meal list.
List the ingredients for each meal next. This can be a timely process initially but as it becomes a habit it’ll take 15 minutes max with all of these details. Categorizing your ingredients list by sections of the grocery store will make your shopping time easier. Vegetables/Fruits, Meat, Dairy, Grains, and Aisle Foods will be your categories. You’ve heard ‘stay around the perimeter of the grocery store’…well it’s true! Ideally, with food prepping, you’re creating the time to utilize real ingredients so you don’t have to purchase pre-packaged, pre-prepared meals.
Choose the day of the week that you can carve out a few hours and make your meals, turn on some tunes and make it a fun family event. The idea of meal prepping is to heat up your meals and add a few fresh ingredients so that the max cooking time each night is 10 minutes. If you have one, the Instant Pot will become a big time saver. For most meals you can actually throw all your ingredients into the pot and press start. If your meal calls for baking in the oven-use the instant pot. Sauteeing-use the instant pot. Slow cooking-use the instant pot.
Use your best judgement, you know most ingredients take 30 minutes when sauteing, roasting, and baking; therefore, eliminate that time so you heat up your weeknight meal and only have to add a few spices/fresh herbs.
You’ll find having enough food storage is key. Some people love to label their containers. Experiment and find what works for you.
HACK: I recommend glass storage containers. Placing hot food in plastic or warming up your food in plastic containers can leach an estrogen-like chemical called BPA.
Here’s the best part…it’s Monday night and you just got home from work, picked up the kids from practice or walked in after your Lifestyle Care Adjustment. It’s late. No problem! You heat up your meal labeled ‘Monday night’ and VOILA a healthy minimal-time dinner that everyone will enjoy! Did I mention you get to spend more time with your family because you aren’t slaving in the kitchen?
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like help with planning, blogs to follow, and questions for weekly meal preparation. You can learn more about Dr. Daniel Kimbley at www.nexusfamilychiropractic.com where we look forward to helping you and your loved ones live your ideal 100 Year Lifestyle.