If you have decided you want to eat healthier or make some positive changes to your family’s daily meals, congratulations!! Healthy eating might seem like a daunting task, but trust me it’s easier when you PLAN! Yep. You heard me right. Healthier eating begins with planning, then purchasing healthier ingredients. So the Type A in me wants to share my top 5 (somewhat) healthier meal planning secrets…I could probably give you a list of my top 25 but that would be one long (and boring) post.
- Do NOT plan meals while hungry. I repeat. Do NOT plan meals while hungry. Now you might have heard this rule of thumb for grocery shopping, but I believe it pertains to planning meals as well. Think about it: if you are hungry and perusing Pinterest boards laden with sauces and sugar, you might as well throw in the healthy recipe towel.
- Search for recipes in cookbooks, on websites, or in magazines that are likely to have better-for-you recipe options. Some of my favorites include Cooking Light (in print and online) and Martha Stewart (online).
- Phone a friend! It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people when you are trying to reach a health and/or wellness goal. Chances are you have a friend or two that’s also trying to eat healthier. Ask them what they have on the menu this week!
- Keep 1-2 favorite recipes (and ingredients) on hand as a fallback dinner option when you are in a time crunch or need a go-to FAST.
- Scope out healthier restaurant options in your area. Most of us have the best intentions to dine-in and cook homemade, delicious and nutritious meals. The reality is we are all busy and opt for take-out every now and then. Arm yourself with a carry-out menu that won’t break your caloric limit but aim to please your taste buds!
One thing I forgot to mention BEFORE writing this post is that the key to planning is finding the T-I-M-E to do so. Ha. Funny, right?!
I stay away from process foods and try to purchase organic when I can. I joined a CSA and receive a fresh box of produce every week during growing season. My local Community Supported Agriculture farm is organic. i was surprised that it help me keep my food bill down. They told me it was not about saving money on food but food quality. In the long run for me it did because I froze and canned the extra that I could not feed my family and fixed it later in the year. I could not of asked for fresher and tastier produce.
I love Duck Commander and Pioneer Woman!
That’s one of our go-to recipes too. Big hit!