Your health struggles and obstacle emails continue to pour in - I'm going to spend this weekend catching up on all of them. Until then I want to give you a rapid fire game plan for the 3 most common issues I am hearing…
- Lack of Time
- Lack of Convenience
- Family is not on board
I can completely relate to each one of these and have worked hard to knock them out of my life too - although #3 is my biggest work in progress! These are real issues that we all face, and below are some strategies that have worked wonders for me. Feel free to share this email with any of your friends or family members that you know are struggling too and ask them to join our community here.
Make The Lack of Time Work For You By Planning Ahead
If you are lacking the time to shop and cook healthy food, it all boils down to planning. I could never stick to my busy schedule if I didn't have a solid eating plan in place. If you do the work just once, you will save yourself a lot of hassle during the week when you are super busy!
Each week, write out exactly what you are going to be eating for dinner every night for the next 7 days (if you know you will be meeting friends for dinner one night, put that on your schedule too).
Then add some breakfasts and lunches that you can repeat throughout the week. Here is a big list of Food Babe recipes that you can add to your weekly plan.
One big timesaver is to make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day - that way you only cook once and get at least 2 meals out of it. You can also eat the same breakfast every day for a week to keep the planning simple.
Use your meal plan to write out a shopping list so that you aren't going to the grocery store blind, and consider keeping a master list of the items that you pick up weekly.
Prepping some items early in the week such as dressings, spice mixes, sauces, cooked beans, meats, chia pudding and smoothie packs can help you throw together quicker meals. I like to make a big pot of soup on the weekends so that we have something healthy to eat throughout the week - just pair it with a salad and you've got a meal!
Tackle Convenience With Your Tried & True Go-Tos
Keep a list of healthier restaurants and of specific items that you can buy at the grocery store that are convenient and healthy, which you can pick up whenever you need something convenient to eat. You can keep this list on your phone or someplace that is always with you, so next time you find yourself hungry and away from home you will have some good options to refer to.
Develop a repertoire of at least 5 healthy meals that you can throw together quickly with a short list of ingredients that are usually in your pantry. That might sound like a daunting task, but it really is pretty convenient to throw together a veggie stir-fry or some rice & beans. Just pick some easy favorites and tack it on the fridge to remind you what to eat when you are too tired to cook anything crazy. Convenient healthy snacks include fruit, nuts, hummus, and veggie sticks (that you can chop up and keep in your fridge). Other convenient snack ideas are in this post.
Convert Your Family With Their Favorites
Above all else, remember that you don't have to be perfect! If you have family members that are resistant to trying new healthy foods, start out by just making healthier versions of foods they already love. I have several recipes on the blog that makeover favorites, like a Chick-fil-A sandwich, brownies, pizza, mac n' cheese, and burritos.
Serve these along with a healthy salad or some vegetables like broccoli (and eventually your family might start adding these to their plate too)! Over time, you will find that your family will start to crave these healthier real-food versions of their favorite meals, and it will be easier for you to venture out into more risky recipes.
Invite your children to learn how to cook healthy food with you or to garden with you - it has been shown that kids are more interested in eating food that they've helped to grow or cook themselves!
This weekend, talk to your family about your health goals and that you want them to get involved. Communication and taking baby steps are the keys to success in this area! This will not happen overnight - again, this issue is a constant struggle for me!
On Monday, I'm going to tell you all about some resources that will give you some major help with these obstacles. Until then, I have little challenge for you…
If you haven't nailed down what your personal health goals are, spend some time this weekend thinking about it. Think about the things that are really important to you when it comes to your health what keeps you from succeeding.
Then, I want you to write these goals down. Writing them down is really important, because it makes your goals more realistic and easier to achieve!
Discuss your goals with your family or a loved one and ask them them to support you. Having someone else that has your back and will help to hold you accountable can make a real difference!
Watch your inbox on Monday for some additional resources and have a great weekend!
If you would like to stop receiving free food investigations, recipes and healthy living tips, click here.