Eating healthy all week long can be challenging if you stay busy throughout the week trying to balance work, family, and routine chores. The majority of the time, you might feel too tired and drained to even consider investing time in preparing a healthy meal, which is when you’ll turn to frozen, microwavable dinners, fast-food drive-thrus, or even your favorite sit-down restaurants.
Despite how busy your life may be, there are a series of healthy changes you can implement that will make it much easier for you to eat healthy every day — even on days you’re feeling stressed or tired. Here are five easy ways to eat healthy all week long.
1. Keep your cabinets stocked with healthy basics
If your pantry typically contains ingredients such as flour, bread crumbs, and flavored vinegar, chances are you won’t be able to whip up a quick meal. Instead, replace these items with healthier cooking basics such as quinoa, vegetable broth, rice, whole-wheat pasta, canned beans, etc. That way, if you’re feeling the urge to make a quick meal, you’ll be faced with healthier choices. Just make sure any processed, packaged foods you buy lack sugar, corn, MSG or yeast extract, and any other ingredients that could be harmful to your health or waistline.
2. Keep your kitchen organized
Having a cluttered, disorganized, messy kitchen probably won’t motivate you to spend time cooking in it. Organize your kitchen by removing clutter from countertops, throwing away old foods, and stowing away any old equipment you don’t use. For example, if you have both a toaster and a toaster oven, stow away the toaster to make more room on your countertop. Also, when cooking a meal, put all the ingredients on the counter beforehand so you don’t leave anything out or end up scrambling to find certain items in the middle of preparing a meal.
3. Stay on top of meal prep
It may sound like a lot of work at first, but you’ll soon learn that this method is worth it. Take just a few hours (at most) on the weekend to prep all of next week’s meals. Chop up all your vegetables, boil up a large pot of beans, and put snacks in zip-top bags so you can grab them and go. Also, cook up meals that keep well throughout the week such as soups and stews that you can reheat on the stove within minutes. If you enjoy drinking smoothies, compile all the ingredients and store them in the freezer in bags so you can throw everything into the blender all at once.
4. Reorganize your refrigerator
Although the crisper drawers in your refrigerator are convenient for storage, many individuals forget to open and look in these drawers when they’re rummaging for food. Unfortunately, you might forget about the apples, oranges, and leafy greens you might be storing in these drawers. Give your refrigerator a makeover by rearranging your foods so that the healthiest foods are easily within view on shelves. Consider storing thawed meats and other food items in your crisper drawers going forward.
5. Turn your kitchen into a happier, more fun environment
At home, you probably spend the majority of your time in the most fun, comfortable room of your house, such as your living room or bedroom. If you can turn your kitchen into a more fun environment, you’ll be more inclined to spend more time there. Consider purchasing floor mats and hot pads that feature your favorite designs, or liven up the space with pictures, artwork, and vases of flowers. Or, if you’re preparing one of your favorite meals, turn it into a special event by lighting candles and playing your favorite music in the background.
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