Food can be medicine and food can also bring illness. But let’s be real, there are days when you are wiped out, totally fried, on the run and find yourself absolutely starving. When that happens, most people tend to reach for the fast fix or worse, fast food. There is no shame here. We are all human and if you can’t eat some French fries once in a while then where is the fun!?!
All things in balance.
I don’t want to speak about the intentional little food indulgences from time to time. That is balanced living. What I do want to talk about is how to create healthier eating through planning and intentional habits.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
My goal here is to empower you to prepare in a way that is both effective and also livable when it comes to quick food fixes when you are in a bind or just burnt out.
Here are the top 5 ways to stay on track nutritionally with QUICK foods vs. fast foods –
- Carry emergency food
Having healthy snacks on hand at all times (and I mean ALL times…check my purse!) will help you avoid reaching for unhealthy fast fixes or dashing into a 7-11 to grab a candy bar. I always keep a glass jar filled with nuts in my car and also in my purse. When I leave the house and know I am going to be gone all day I throw some raw veggies into a glass Tupperware container and sometimes even a couple of hardboiled eggs and carrots with peanut butter. For lunches if I am out, I will make a salad with protein in it or a lettuce wrap sandwich. Always be prepared when hunger strikes with healthy quick food fixes just an arms distance away!
- Prepare meals ahead of time (bulk cooking)
I make Sunday evenings my bulk cooking night. I will cut up a lot of veggies that I can just grab and go throughout the week. I also make a big batch of organic turkey chili in my slow-cooker, bone broth and chicken veggie stew as well as some proteins and carbohydrates that I can use to assemble meals later. Things like chicken, turkey, fish (which only lasts 2 days) and sweet potatoes. Whatever healthy meals you enjoy, try to plan ahead and bulk cook to increase your ability to eat well consistently.
- Identify healthy pit-stop places
Get to know the healthier quick food fix locations near your home and work. Sometimes I will swing into a Wholefoods and grab something they have in their already prepared section. If you have a few spots in mind that are accessible, healthy and affordable it will set you up for a win.
- Freeze a few meals
In addition to bulk cooking for the week, every few weeks I will make meals that can also be frozen for longer periods of time. Stews, soups & chili do really well with this. This way if you come down with a cold or even just get run down you have some good old-fashioned nutritional support in your freezer.
- Shop for disaster
What I mean by ‘shop for disaster’ is to plan a few really easy to prepare meals that you can make in a pinch throughout the week and get those ingredients ahead of time at the grocery store. I am taking about 5 minute to 15 minute prep time meals such as chicken salads, hardboiled eggs, lettuce wraps and even a dairy free grain free frozen pizza that you can throw some raw veggies on top of and pop in the oven and let it cook while you decompress on the sofa!