I want to make your life easier when it comes to healthy eating, that's why I decided to write this post that includes 20 ways I ensure healthy eating happens, and happens painlessly. But first, lets get real. If you want to eat healthfully and feed your family healthfully, you simply must spend some time in the kitchen. If you don't want to do that then your next best option is to invest in a healthy meal service (unless you can afford a personal chef!). Unfortunately, if you want the results of health and wellness then you simply have to put in the time and make cooking healthy food a priority. If I had a magic solution as to how we can have delicious and healthy food on the table every day I'd be sharing it with you (and making a killing in the process!). But I don't, and neither does anyone else, unfortunately. Eating healthy takes time. But it doesn't have to take an overwhelming amount of time. With a few sneaky tricks and some pre-made meals healthy eating can be accomplished in a painless (and even enjoyable) way. Here's how:
1. Meal Plan
First things first: if you have a hungry family to feed every night of the week then meal planning is your friend. Do it! Make it a routine. Choose a day that works for you and plan out your dinners for the week ahead. This will save you a lot of heartache when dinner time rolls around. Here's how I do it (it couldn't be more simple): I get a pen and a paper and write our the days of the week. Under each day I write out what we're going to have for dinner, trying to make sure that I'll have leftovers at least a few times a week so that there's 3 nights I won't have to cook. That's it. Simple, easy, effective. Do it!
2. Jarred Pasta Sauce + Legume Pasta or Shirataki Noodles
I always have a jar of pasta sauce in my pantry as well as some healthy pasta so I can whip up a super quick and easy dinner on the fly. The pasta sauce I use is this one, which has clean ingredients. Using legume pasta is great because you're getting a healthy dose of nutrition including some protein in your meal even if you don't add extra protein such as chicken – which you can totally do. I also like to use shirataki noodles as they're pretty low carb and tasteless so whatever sauce you put on them becomes the flavour of the meal. If I have a little extra time I whip up my Easy Peasy Please Everyone Pasta, which takes next to no time but is a delicious and fulfilling meal.
3. Hydrolyzed Collagen (collagen peptides)
Hydrolyzed collagen is a great source of pure protein and it's very healing to the gut. I'll buy this stuff two or three containers at a time because I never like to be without it. It dissolves in liquids and is tasteless and texture-less. I put it in smoothies (I'm not a fan of protein powders), as well as my kids' oatmeal and my matcha lattes. Really, you can put it in just about anything. Just make sure you get hydrolyzed collagen if you want it to dissolve – the other type will turn gelatinous, (but is great for making gummies and jello with).
4. Pre-Made Matcha Lattes
I often drink matcha lattes in replace of coffee because of the affect coffee has on my adrenals. As a working mum with two young children, keeping my adrenals healthy is a constant battle. As much as I LOVE my coffee I do try to abstain from it as much as I can because I tend toward more anxiety. And being Type A my adrenals are not always loving me. Your adrenals need your attention because if they're not working properly all your other sex hormones will be a mess. And we know how that can leave us feeling. In a word; shitty. So try my matcha latte and pre-make a batch of them ahead of time (I tell you how in my post). This way you always have one ready to go in the morning so you won't be tempted by coffee's seductive allure.
5. Pre-Boiled Eggs
Boiling up a good 5 or more eggs for your week ahead is so easy to do on a Sunday night. Just put the eggs in a pan of water, bring the water to a boil then turn off the heat and cover for 12 minutes. Next, plunge eggs into an ice bath to cool down. Peel and store in a glass air-tight container for super easy grab ‘n' go breakfasts or snacks. Eggs will last for 1 week in the fridge.
6. Pre-Chop Your Veggies
On the weekends or when I bring produce home from the supermarket I ensure I wash it and chop it up and then store in produce bags or glass containers in the fridge. This works really well for carrots, celery and peppers (capsicums). When you do this the vegetables are ready to snack on in a moments notice. This makes it so much easier to eat healthfully when there's no work to be done.
7. Tortilla Batter
I pretty much always have tortilla batter in the fridge or freezer stored in a mason jar. If not the batter then I have pre-made tortillas available. These are great when you're in a hurry. Eat them for breakfast with some nut butter, hemp seeds and a few banana slices, for lunch with some veggies and avocado, or for dinner as burritos.
8. Turmeric Tahini Dressing
I try to make sure I have a mason jar filled with this dressing in my fridge at all times. It's such a healing and delicious anti-inflammatory dressing. It's full of health benefits and is great over roasted veggies, chicken and dark leafy greens.
I make my own sauerkraut and store jars of the stuff in my fridge as it keeps for about a year. The great thing about having sauerkraut on hand is that you can add it to just about anything: eggs in the mornings, salads or wraps at lunch or as a side on your dinner plate. It's one of the easiest ways to ensure you're getting your daily dose of fermented food in, which is SO important. Alternatively, simply buy a quality brand of sauerkraut from the supermarket (even better – purchase a few bottles at a time).
10. Frozen Berries
These are staples in our house. I buy them in bulk. They go into smoothies, into yoghurt for my kids, into breakfast bowls of nuts and seeds for myself, into homemade gummies, fruit leather and muffins. Berries are one of the most healthy foods on earth and should be consumed daily.
11. Dark Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, arugula, beet greens….. dark leafy greens are a must in everyone's fridge! Just like berries, dark leafy greens are one of the healthiest foods on earth and they should definitely be consumed daily – no questions asked. Add them to smoothies, add them to whatever you're consuming for lunch, throw some in with your eggs or make a super simple salad to accompany dinner (think greens + avocado + simple vinaigrette).
12. Roasted Veggies
Pretty much every Sunday or Monday I'll roast up a big batch of veggies. Usually sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and broccoli. I store these in a container in my fridge ready for quick lunches, snacks or dinners throughout the week. For lunch I'll often have these veggies with a dark leafy green, broccoli sprouts, sauerkraut, chicken, avocado and my turmeric tahini dressing. They're even great for breakfast: simply throw some in a pan along with a couple of eggs and voila! A delicious, super nutritious and protein-packed brekkie.
13. Nut and Seed Slice
My nut and seed slice is one of my absolute favourite snacks. I pretty much always have some on hand in my freezer for when I'm in the mood for something sweet. They're choc full of healthy fats, fibre and protein to satisfy any sweet craving and will carry you over from meal to meal. Make up a big batch and store in the freezer as they keep for ages.
14. Pre-Made Smoothie Bags
Setting aside 15 minutes on the weekend to pre-make smoothie bags is an incredibly easy yet efficient way to ensure you always have a super healthy smoothie prepped and ready to blitz up. Store them in the freezer for quick grab ‘n' blitz breakfasts or lunches. I throw all my ingredients (except the liquid component) into a ziplock bag and remove as much of the air as possible before freezing. Plastic bags aren't the best for storing food in but if you have an alternate idea I'm all ears!
15. Frozen Fish and Chicken
Sure, it's not the most fresh but having some frozen cod, halibut or wild salmon in my freezer can really save me when I'm in a time crunch. Even if it's still frozen I'll whip it out, run it under warm water and throw chunks into stock, canned tomatoes and coconut milk to make a healthy and satisfying stew. Same goes with organic frozen chicken.
16. Pre-Cooked Chicken
I always have some pre-cooked chicken in the fridge. I like to boil my chicken in a bit of stock and have it on hand to add to veggies in my lunches. The kids also enjoy a super quick and easy dinner of boiled chicken, black rice and butter with a side of veggies.
17. Canned Wild Salmon
If you've never tried canned salmon I urge you to give it a go. It doesn't taste at all “fishy” and really lends itself to dishes like my salmon cakes (recipe available via my lunch packing cheat sheet). But also, when you're in a pinch you can throw canned salmon on a bed of dark leafy greens, top with some olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and you've got yourself a healthy, filling and delicious lunch or dinner. Add some cucumber slices for extra crunch!
18. Canned Beans
Just like canned salmon, canned beans make for a super quick salad. Rinse them then throw them on top of dark leafy greens with the olive oil / lemon / salt and pepper combo I talked about above or use my basic vinaigrette and you're done. If you're really feeling adventurous you can add some cherry tomatoes, sauerkraut and avocado.
19. Invest in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
I haven't bought an Instant Pot yet, but I hear great things about them. I do use my slow cooker a lot though. I just throw beef, carrots, canned tomatoes, stock and onions in, set it and forget it. There really isn't any better investment for a busy mum than an Instant Pot or slow cooker. My Lemon Garlic Rosemary Chicken will get you started when using a slow cooker.
20. Shop Online
My final time-saving tip is to shop for your groceries online. This is a MUST. I almost never go into the grocery store these days and instead I use an online shopping site to pre-purchase my groceries from the comfort of my sofa. If you're a busy mum who's feeling overwhelmed when it comes to feeding yourself and your family healthy meals, and you're not yet using an online grocery service, I urge you to implement this simple yet incredible time-saving strategy.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and if you have any meal prep time-saving tips of your own I'd love to hear them. Leave a comment below!
In happiness and health,