Whether you’re prone to forgetting your lunch on the kitchen counter, find yourself feeling too tired to make a healthy homemade dinner when you get home after a long day, or just can’t seem to stay motivated when it comes to healthy eating – we get you! As much as we want to make the right choices for our own health and that of our families, life always seems to get in the way, and making good habits stick can be challenging. If this sounds like you, then fear not – because we’ve put together some of the simplest, easiest ways not just to eat more healthily, but save time and money too!
Rule 1: Fit your food prep around your lifestyle
If making a healthy lunch to take to work means setting the alarm earlier than you normally would, chances are you’re not going to stick to it for long! Be realistic about when you have free time available, and make use of it when it’s there. If you just don’t have time to cook during the week, then cook big batches over the weekend and freeze them for easy reheating. If you’re an early bird, do your prep for the evening meal in the morning. If you love taking your time over a new recipe while you chat with your partner in the evenings, then make a double portion so you can pack leftovers for the next day. Make good food fit into your lifestyle – don’t try and adjust your lifestyle to fit the food, or feel like you have to follow anyone else’s rules.
Rule 2: Keep it convenient
Prepackaged salads, ready-to-microwave rice and prewashed steam-in-the-bag vegetables are your friends. If there’s a more convenient way to make the same healthy food, then make use of it! Don’t feel like you have to carve up fresh fruit for lunch in the morning if the grocery store sells readymade packs. The produce aisle is often hiding lots of time-saving options – like premixed roasting veggies, coleslaws, and soup mixes where all the chopping, slicing and dicing has already been done for you.
Rule 3: Keep it simple
Pick any random recipe off the internet, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you must be the laziest person on the planet. In reality though, good food is simple, and doesn’t come with a page-long list of ingredients. If you don’t have something to hand, chances are the recipe will work just as well without it. Pare it down to the bare minimum, use what you have in the kitchen, and dare to experiment with minimalist cooking!
Rule 4: Cheat
New services that offer to deliver all the ingredients for a healthy meal to your doorstep each evening seem to be cropping up all over the place, so clearly, you aren’t alone in this struggle. If you’ve ever taken one look at the after-work queue in the grocery store and decided to order takeout instead, this kind of service might be a good option for you. If you’re prone to forgetting your lunch at home, then make sure you have the number of a delivery service that offers healthy lunch options right at your desk.
Rule 5: Unprocessed is always best
Perhaps the simplest law of all when it comes to healthy eating is choosing foods that are as close to nature as possible. When we refine food, we take all the fiber and water which nature had in there out. This means each serving of the food is poorer in nutrients, but a lot higher in calories – and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Rule 6: Stick with the basics
There’s nothing wrong with having just a few really simple healthy meals you know you and your family like and making them over and over. A meal doesn’t have to be elaborate to be healthy – in fact; the opposite is frequently the case. This rule has the added bonus that it’s kinder on your wallet too!
Rule 7: If you shouldn’t be eating it, don’t have it in the kitchen
Imagine you’re feeling a bit peckish, and start rummaging around the kitchen cupboards for a snack. If you come across a packet of chips or biscuits, the chances are you’re going to open that before you get out the chopping board to slice up some fresh fruit and carrot sticks, right? You can’t control the outside world, but you can control the environment in your own home. If the naughty foods aren’t there, then you can’t be tempted!