Today I was trying to figure out how I have made eating healthier relatively easy. Of course the first thing that came to mind was menu planning, that is hands down the most time saving and efficient thing that I do that makes eating healthy affordable and simple!
The other thing that I realized that I do is that I prep one day ahead. What do I mean by that? Well, today when I got up there was a defrosted roast in my refrigerator ready to go in the crock pot and the bacon was also defrosted in the fridge for breakfast. I was ready to get cooking for the day. By 9am I had breakfast, lunch and dinner ready to go! How you ask.
For breakfast I diced up some potatoes and sweet potatoes, tossed them in olive oil, and put them in the oven to roast, I then diced up various veggies (onion, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peapods, carrots) and sauteed them up. I began the bacon in another pan. As all my breakfast stuff was cooking, I put the roast with some veggies in the crock pot with some spices and water, and wahla dinner was done! I packed lunch for 3 of my kids that had school today, so I just made up an additional lunch for my five year old as well (he thinks it is pretty cool when he sits down at the table on Thursdays and I put a lunch box down in front of him for lunch). After everyone had eaten breakfast I was doing dishes and began to think about tomorrow. I looked at my menu and decided we were going to have a citrus chicken for dinner and muffins for breakfast- no prep is needed for muffins. So, I went out to the freezer and got out a chicken. It is now finishing defrosting in the fridge tonight so it is all ready for dinner tomorrow. So, I find that I am now thinking a day ahead, which makes meals so much easier. I can think about what we have planned for family activities, pick a meal that will fit the evening's plan, and then get any items that need some prep work done early.
Another example was a few mornings ago I was doing breakfast dishes and I was thinking tomorrow night is dance night so I am going to make chili. I took out the beef to defrost and I measured up my dried beans and put them in some water to soak for the day. That night I boiled the beans for a bit as I made and cleaned up dinner. The next morning I sauteed up the beef, tossed it in the crock pot, added some tomatoes, seasonings, and the beans (that I had prepared the day before) and let it simmer all day long. It was delicious. That night all I had to do for dinner was whip up a batch of corn bread and scoop up the chili.
So, start to think ahead a little bit and see how much easier life is! If you do not menu plan begin to do so, it is a life saver!