HAPPY HUMP DAY! Let's get right into it. I’ve noticed a lot of people I know trying to eat healthy, but have no idea where to start. With the information overload that’s available to us now, it’s understandable that people get frustrated with the whole idea and just eat what tastes good and what’s convenient. The problem is that many of our convenience foods today are, well, not so healthy. So while I’m not one to really follow any rules, I came up with three…we’ll call them suggestions, all of which happen to start with the letter P, to stick to when you just don’t know where to start.
So, The Three P’s:
PLAN! It’s a lot harder to eat healthy on the fly, so if you set aside a few minutes each week to plan your meals for the next 7 days, it’ll certainly make things simpler. You’re already (most likely) staring at your phone for hours on end, especially on the weekends, so download a shopping list app, scroll through Pinterest, and find some recipes you think you can handle putting together in your kitchen. Eating at home more often will not only save you money, but can help to keep your portions in check, and also, you know what’s going into each meal. I tend to look for recipes with less than 10 ingredients (not counting spices) because they are cheaper to shop for, easier to make, and tend to be on the healthier side. I always try to make enough of each meal to have leftovers. That way I don’t have to cook every night, and sometimes use them for lunches as well. I usually spend 10 minutes or less just putting together my shopping list and planning meals each week.
PREP! This one can be a lifesaver for many. There are varying degrees of meal prepping, all of which can help keep you from grabbing a candy bar from the vending machine when you’re in a pinch. Now, you can prep EVERY single meal, from breakfast to dinner, which obviously takes a little more time, or you can tweak this depending on your schedule, and which meals you do have time to make DURING the week. I mostly only prep for my lunches, as I have time to make a smoothie in the morning after my run and time to cook dinner every other night each week. Sunday evening is the day that makes most sense for me, so I cook anything that needs to be cooked, separate it into 5-7 portions, and then I don’t have to think twice about what I’ll eat for lunch at work each day. I keep my snacks simple, usually fruit, veggies, and/or nuts and seeds for some healthy fat to keep me full.
PACK! I know, I know, this one is kind of an extension of the previous two, and maybe doesn’t need to be a P all its own, but Three P’s had a better ring to it. So, PACK YOUR LUNCHES! Pack your snacks! And this doesn’t just go for work. If you’re headed out for a day of hiking in the Shenandoah, pack a PBJ for lunch and maybe an apple or some almonds for snacking. Going shopping? Pack some healthy snacks to keep you from stopping at McDonald’s on the way home. Taking off for a long weekend with the girls? PACK some of your meals. It’ll save you money AND keep you from packing on a couple extra pounds in three days.
Basically these suggestions will keep YOU in control of what you eat when on the go, as everyone these days is. So plan, prep, and pack your way through each week and stay on track. Oh, and, maybe plan for a LITTLE indulgence too. It makes life more interesting.
**Stay tuned for a few quick tips on how to put together a simple, healthy meal.