Your best intentions for healthy eating during the week can be easily derailed if you haven’t thought through a plan. While it’s not always possible to anticipate every curve ball that might get hurled your way, here are a few simple strategies from Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, that take only 8 minutes of focused time each week.
“One of the ways my clients tend to sabotage their healthy eating is when they leave meals to the last minute and have to make do with what’s around,” says Glassman, founder and president of Nutritious LifeTM, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and of Nutritious Life Meals, a program that delivers gourmet, healthy meals daily across the country. “When they plan ahead, they know their refrigerator shelves will be abundantly stocked with fruits, veggies and lean proteins, and their cupboards will be overflowing with whole grains like quinoa and farro. That’s why preparing meals ahead of time, be it through mental or physical prep, is a critical part of living a nutritious life.” If you can convince your clients to set aside just 8 minutes to strategize meals for the week, it may reduce their nutrition chal- lenges. Glassman says they don’t have to cook in those 8 minutes (though they can); it’s more about mental prep and jotting down a few notes for the days to come.
Here—from a recent blog Glassman wrote on the topic—are pointers for how to spend those 8 minutes:
- Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, Mexican food, girls’ night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.
- Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.
- Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.
- Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.
If you have time left over in those 8 minutes, start with food prep:
- Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.
- Chop the veggies you have around.
- Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.
- Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.
Glassman says that not only does planning ahead make for healthier meals; it also saves money, reduces stress associated with cooking and helps keep your fridge and pantry cleaner and more organized. “Just remember: It can take 8 minutes to complete your order online or call a restaurant to deliver—and that’s just for one meal! Those same 8 minutes can be used to provide you with
a whole week’s worth of healthy meals instead!”
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