What is one of the top stressors in your daily life? In our house it is meal prep. Who is going to make supper? What are we going to pack for lunch? When are we going to get groceries?
Food is a top priority in our house. If we don’t plan ahead, we find ourselves scrambling to cook a half decent, half healthy meal while doing my best to control my hanger by not throwing a Japanese knife at my husband as he slowly gets supper ready.
As daunting as meal planning sounds, it’s the only thing that keeps my stress level low and my energy high. It helps me to put my focus on more important things during the week like my family, work and my training schedule.
Like many people, I have recently developed some (hopefully temporary) dietary restrictions. I’m now both dairy and gluten free. Since I have a strict eating plan, I do my best to prep everything for lunches and snacks on Sunday. Sunday is our family “chore” day. It’s the cleaning, laundry and grocery day. I love the feeling of “fresh start Sunday”! It helps me to relax throughout the week knowing that everything is on track.
Here’s some quick tips for your “fresh start Sunday” to make healthy eating easy and stress-free.
1. Prepare your fruits and veggies before your week starts
As soon as we start unpacking the groceries, I have the strainer ready to wash and prep this week’s fruits and veggies. I wash and chop the berries and grapes for easy to grab snacks. If you have difficulty using up your fresh vegetables, chop your peppers, celery and carrots to easily toss them into your dinners throughout the week.
2. Utilize your slow cooker, it’s a gift from God
Everyone loves coming home to a warm meal but since most nights I’m not home before 8pm, the only way that’s happening is if we throw something in the slow cooker. You can cook pretty much anything in a slow cooker. The opportunities are endless! Throw a whole chicken, pot roast, pork chops with potatoes and carrots and you have a delicious meal ready when you get home.
3. Cherish leftovers and use them for quick healthy lunches
4. Keep fresh vegetables at eye’s view
What tends to happen when you hide your vegetables away in the crisper? You forget about them! If you’re not used to adding extra veggies to your meals, you tend to forget you have that extra yellow pepper or snow peas you picked up on grocery day. If you keep your veggies out on the shelf, you won’t forget to use them.
5. Keep healthy snacks accessible in your fridge and cupboards
Make healthy snacks the easiest option. Here’s my top go-to snacks: apple and peanut butter, egg white and spinach scramble, carrots and cucumber dip, chocolate protein shake, or almonds.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive but it does take effort. By taking an hour on fresh start Sunday, you will have one less thing to worry about during the week and you’ll have more energy by indulging in the foods your body needs.
“One cannot think well, sleep well, live well if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf