For those trying to get slim fast and easy, the downfall of most healthy eating plans is TIME. Between working late, early evening meetings, sports practice, music lessons or other activities for the kids, somehow healthy cooking loses priority. Use some of these tips to help make food preparation quick and easy.
- Keep a Calendar. Use a calendar to map out your family’s activities for the week. A paper day planner or monthly calendar posted on a wall where everyone can see may work for your family. If multiple people are contributing to the calendar and you prefer an online environment, there are plenty of free online calendars allows everyone to add to one common calendar and can even sync to your outlook at home or at work.
- Make a Meal Plan. Once you’ve had a look at the activities for the week, make a meal plan and grocery list. Depending on your family’s needs, you may have general breakfast and lunch (cereal, toast and fresh fruit for breakfast, specific sandwich fillings for lunch, etc.) and then a more structured plan for dinner, or maybe have a more structured plan for all of the meals each day. When you make your plan, take into account the activities that affect each day. Plan things that take longer to cook on nights when everyone is home, and things that are quick and easy for the nights that usually become take-out night.
- Enlist the troops. Everyone can help when it comes to meal time. Small children can set the table. Older children can help with cooking and teens can cook on their own. Sharing the work can alleviate some of the stress and even make it possible to eat at home every night of the week.
- Prep your Veggies. And other foods too. When you come home from the grocery store, take the time to wash all of your fruits and veggies as you are putting them away. You can even cut vegetables and meats for the meals for the next few days. This will save precious time when you are cooking mid-week.
- Make your food work for you. Cook once, eat twice. Whether it’s preparing a big batch of freshly steamed rice to go with tonight’s meal and then using the leftovers for fried rice later in the week, stir-frying extra veggies to be used as a filling for wraps for tomorrow’s lunch, or cooking up a big pot of soup and freezing individual servings for later use, there are many ways to make today’s cooking work for tomorrow’s meal too.
- Cook quick foods. When you plan your meal, think about incorporating quick cooking grains like quinoa and kasha on busy nights. Quinoa sprinkled with cilantro and toasted nuts served alongside a delicious salad makes a great meal in 15 minutes.
- Cook sloooowly. Invest in a crock pot and use it regularly. A few minutes to assemble ingredients in the morning and when you walk through the door dinner will be ready to be served.
About the Author: Rachel Assuncao, Certified Health Coach
Rachel Assuncao works with busy parents and professionals who are struggling to eat well and live a happy, energized, and vibrant life. As a certified health coach she supports and guides you to achieve your wellness goals and embrace the ongoing process of building total health and achieving balance on all levels.
Rachel offers personal health coaching in person to clients in her office in Brantford, ON, Canada. Individual health coaching is also available via Skype or telephone for clients around the world. Learn more at http://www.awakenedwellness.com