Easy, Quick, and Healthy? No way
I feel that it is a common misconception that when you choose to eat healthy you need to empty your bank account and slave away all day in your kitchen. While I understand sometimes it can be pricier to buy all healthy groceries, it DOES NOT need to take up all of your time. How easy is it to throw a few extra chicken breast in the oven while already cooking up a QUICK AND EASY chicken and veggie stir fry, so that you have chicken all week long? Pretty easy. Just before writing this I made myself a 15 minute sweet potato, sautéed spinach and egg breakfast (Pictured above, I’ll post later). Easy and delicious and HEALTHY. Simplicity can be your best friend. You don’t need to try all of these different and exotic foods to avoid “healthy eating boredom” just mix it up with your basics. Love sweet potato but tired of roasting up cubes all the time? Switch it up and make a twice baked sweet potato, pack it with proteins like chickpeas or black beans. Tired of baked chicken? Try ground turkey or turkey or chicken sausages in your stir fry. The options are seriously endless and really not that ground breaking. The moral of the story is that you don’t need to kill yourself trying to eat healthy all the time, you need to lose the mindset that cooking healthy food is hard and limiting.
Once you start trying to change the way you eat, and focus on what you need to take away, you lose. If you want to start eating healthier, my advice it to add before you subtract. Add in healthier foods before you turn to snacking on chips or crackers or anything else. Add more veggies to your plate so you don’t eat as much potato and then before you know it you are full! I find this so important to making a lasting lifestyle change. You don’t want to have the mindset that you are depriving yourself, because chances are you will eventually binge or fall off track with that way of thinking.
These are a list of foods are try to make sure I have on hand:
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Sweet Potato
- Black Beans
- Almond Milk
- Frozen fruit (mix between mangos, pineapple, strawberries)
- Red onion
- Whole wheat english muffins or bread
Something you may notice here is that I don’t have meat included in this list. I am by no means a vegetarian, but I simply don’t focus all of my meals around meat, which is a common thing people do when thinking of what meal to prepare. I really try to focus on flavour and try to get inspired. Am I craving curry right now? (always) So I mix up a sweet potato and chickpea curry over quinoa or rice, or I could do a butter chicken, maybe add in some cauliflower and peppers. Simply put, I just don’t focus on meat being the main part of my meals (if you do that’s great, it’s all about what works for you!). I do, however, ensure that I have protein in every meal. I eat eggs (almost everyday), greek yogurt, chickpeas, beans, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, lentils, I throw edamame in my stir fry, the list could go on as to what foods other than meat have proteins that can easily add up to your daily required intake.
So regardless of how you eat, vegetarian, meat lover, vegan, there are so many ways to stay healthy without taking up all your time and money to eat that way. I am by no means a nutritionist or expert on this topic. I just know from what I’ve learned in my degree, and from my personal experience, what works for me. I have also learned that everyone is different and there are so many ways to eat healthy, and whichever way you eat, it doesn’t need to be hard to make it healthy. Grab an apple instead of chips, order steamed vegetables instead of a side of fries, pay extra for the guac. It’s all about choices. You choose to fuel your body instead of fill it with garbage, you choose to energize yourself with nutrients, or you choose empty calories that offer you nothing but a temporary satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza, and burgers, and the occasional chip. Hence, the entire theme of my blog – balance. You need to balance the good and the bad. Ordering pizza is easy, it’s quick (even though you need someone else to cook it and deliver it) but so is steaming some vegetables, roasting chicken, baking salmon. So why does it all seem so hard? In my opinion it’s not.. you just need to want it enough. You need to want to be healthy, for yourself and no one else. Then it will be easier to motivate yourself to try and prep your meals, make healthier choices, and have a balanced lifestyle.
Organization got you down?
I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to think, plan, and shop for the food to make preset meals each week. This is why you need to be flexible, and allow yourself to be human. You are going to go off track, you are going to run into a cookie or two and say “screw it” and indulge. That’s why planning out your main meals and ensuring you are making healthy decisions throughout the week is so important!
So if you think you want to give this planning thing a go, I’m here to help. Below I attached a basic meal plan chart that is easy to organize your meals and keep yourself accountable, while allowing flexibility!
Print it off, and give this planning this a try