I don’t know when eating became such a problem. Oh wait, yes I do. It was when I moved out, became an adult, and mommy didn’t do it for me anymore.
Right, I forgot. The next phase was when I was trying to please a whole family and their wants and desires. This one won’t eat veggies, that one loves veggies. This one loves cheese, that one won’t touch eggs. I remember one day in sheer frustration sitting our whole family down and asking them to come up with a meal that everyone loves….I’m still waiting. So once you get over the “sit there until your plate is clean, and I don’t want the dog eating it for you” stage, you get to eat whatever you want, RIGHT? Well, not so much.
One of the things that I have learned is that although we thought we were eating healthy, we were not. I think most of that comes from lack of education. We tend to eat the way we were brought up and our parents did the same. So poor eating habits were unknowingly passed down. Add that to a whole new way of living, in front of a computer, in a car, sitting a lot, and very little regular exercise. There is a whole generation that thinks that going to the gym is silly, just go and be active. That used to be a useful thought, but our world has changed too much.
We don’t walk very much, we don’t do physical labour as a rule, we sleep less, eat too much too fast, and our brains never turn off. It’s not all bad, it’s just that we need to adjust our thinking so that we can enjoy our down time more.
One of the ways that helps is spending a little time on your weekend, whenever that is, to plan your week a little more. Planning your food, as strange as that may sound, is really a great idea. Obviously stuff will come up and plans will change, but if you can stay just one or two steps ahead of the game, you may actually find that your eating habits can clean up.
Take time to plan.
1. Spend a few minutes looking at your week’s schedule. How much time will you have each day for meal prep? How much time do you have to plan, prep, eat, and clean it up?
2. How many meals do you plan to make at home, including breakfast, lunch as well as supper?
3. How much money do you want to put out on food? Prepackaged meals vs fast food.
4. When do you plan to shop for your food? All at once for the week? Each day?
Now that you have done a little planning, let’s do some practical things to make your meal prep just a little easier.
1. Make a list for shopping. Put it on the fridge, computer, electronic or paper, just make it accessible and don’t forget it.
2. Buy family size packages. Even if you are family of two, buying larger portions is cheaper.
3. As you prepare your meals, plan for leftovers. When cooking your protein, make sure you make extra. Now, you have another meal started with no extra time.
4. Cut up extra veggies. If you have them cut up, it is a lot simpler to grab them for lunch the next day or the day after.
5. When cleaning up dinner, portion out the extras for another meal. Prepackaged meals made from home are great when you need to have another meal and you don’t have time to prep.
6. Prepare to freeze them for extended prep. Individual portions defrost quicker than large portions and you can pull them out as you need them.
The most important thing is to enjoy your food. If you have prepared your meals in the right portion size, allowing enough time to enjoy them, even leftovers can be great.
Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. – Mark Twain