As your schedule gets busier it’s important to eat healthy while on the run. It’s not always necessary to pick up take-out or heat frozen processed foods in the oven to feed yourself and your family. Cooking fresh ingredients can be done as quickly as tossing things into a pan and tossing the pan in the oven or stove top and they taste a whole lot better, have less calories and less sodium!
Keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with a few quick essentials such as brown rice, barley, whole grain couscous, quinoa and whole grain pastas. Have a few different kinds of good quality beans on hand such as black beans, garbanzo/chick peas, white beans and kidney beans. Keep your refrigerator stocked weekly with fresh green vegetables, red and green peppers, squashes, cucumbers, leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, spinach and lettuces. Look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Visit your local farm or farmers market while you still can!
Keep chicken, pork, beef and fish on hand. Perhaps when you purchase them, separate into serving sizes, either singles or family portions, you can even preseason them with your own concoction of spices and freeze each portion for future dinners. To use: defrost what you will use in the refrigerator the night before. When you get home it’s simple to simmer rice or other grains while you bake, grill or saute the meat portion of your meal and vegetables can be quickly steamed.
Get creative, save time and pans and make a stir fry by quickly browning the meat, add olive oil or your favorite nut oil/coconut oil and toss in the veggies and stir fry until the veggies get bright in color, eat as is or serve over your whole grain of choice. You can have an entire meal in 20-40 minutes and you can feel good in knowing that you have complete control over what is in your food.
To keep your lunch and your children’s lunches healthy make sure you add healthy raw ingredients such as carrots, cucumber bites, apple, pear and peach slices(dipped in lemon juice to keep their color), red pepper slices, nuts, seeds, and leftover chicken or other meats cut into strips with hummus, apple sauce or nut butters to dip them in. This will make a filling meal for adults and kids alike. Use dinner leftovers as often as possible for lunches as they’re healthier than processed deli meats.