You’re trying to kick some goals, but the reality of day to day life kicks you instead. It can be super disheartening, but with a little thought and preparation you can eat well and keep on track toward your goals, despite life being a little chaotic!
Food organisation is all about making the healthy choice, the easy choice! It will require some effort on your part, however it does not necessarily need to be a painstaking process – in fact it will save you time and money in the future. So let’s get you organised, with these 9 tips!
1. Write a meal plan
This tip is number one for good reason! Planning is key to achieving your nutrition goals. It ensures that you always have a healthy option on hand. Think of those hectic days where nothing seems to go right. At least dinner is sorted! See The Hub’s 5 step guide to constructing a weekly meal plan and free printable resources to help get you started.
2. Have a Plan B
Having a plan is great, but let’s be real, sometimes life gets in the way. A more nutritious option than UberEats or drive through is to grab some supermarket items and create a quick meal at home, such as roast chicken, wraps and a bag of slaw. Having a couple of supermarket meal ideas up your sleeve can be a game changer for keeping on track when Plan A doesn’t work out. Have a look at this article for 7 great ideas.
3. Frozen fruit and vegetables
Frozen fruit and vegetables are a staple in my house. We can enjoy different produce all year round and they are often cheaper and last longer than fresh. I keep a bag of berries in the freezer to throw into my morning porridge – they are also great in smoothies or muffins! Steam-fresh vegetable bags are an easy addition to bulk out meals and increase your vegetable intake at lunch and dinner.
4. On the go snacks
Snacks are often an afterthought while we’re out and about. Make healthy snacks easy by purchasing or preparing quick on the go options. Below are some easy and nutritious store-bought snack ideas:
- Yoghurt tub
- Box of nuts
- Tinned fish
- Pre-packed cheese and crackers
- Pre-chopped veggie sticks and a hummus tub
If you have more time, chop your own cheese and veggie sticks, pre-portion tubs of yoghurt and fruit, or even create your own trail mix. Try these delicious trail mix combos.
5. Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk can be as simple as making your Sunday meal go a bit further by freezing portions for lunch during the week. Alternatively, it could be a weekend cook-up of a few meals and freezing them such as pasta dishes, curries, soups and stews. Cooking in bulk doesn’t only apply to freezer meals. Preparing a big salad at the start of the week and dividing it up for a few lunches is also a big time saver.
6. Plan dinner around vegetables
Eating enough vegetables is at the cornerstone of good health, yet it tends to take a back seat to protein when it comes to planning our meals. Aiming for half a plate of vegetables is a great habit to get into. Try planning your meals with half a plate of vegetables in mind and then think of the type of carbohydrate and protein that you would like to add.
7. Pre-cut meat and vegetables
Chop up extra vegetables or meat for meals later in the week on days when you’re already in the kitchen or are feeling more motivated to do food prep. This will save you time later on and make cooking easier on busy days. Alternatively, you can buy pre-cut and washed vegetables or pre-cut meat strips from the supermarket ready to go, with no prep required!
8. Microwaveable grains
Grain foods provide us with gut-loving fibre, vitamins and energy. Microwaveable grains are an easy and nutritious choice for a quick meal when you don’t have the time (or patience) to cook them. Below are some options that I like to keep in my pantry:
- Rice and quinoa cups
- Brown rice pouch
- Porridge sachets
9 . Organise your pantry strategically
Place nutritious snacks at the forefront of your cupboard and the treats that you would prefer to enjoy occasionally in a more secluded spot, either in the pantry or a separate place. Inevitably we have those days when we open the cupboard and want to eat the first thing we see, however this strategy will help you practice mindfulness. It makes the nutritious option the convenient one, and allows you to stop and make a thoughtful decision on what you would like to eat in that moment.
The team at The Healthy Eating Clinic are passionate about helping people eat well in a way that suits their lifestyle. If you would like to learn more about getting organised with food, building healthy eating habits, and eating well for the rest of your life, make an appointment online with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians today at The Healthy Eating Clinic or call us on 6174 4663.