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Laying it on the Table...
Often people make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier only to find it lasting for about a week. Why is this? Most likely because they do not plan ahead and they make the process too difficult. As a dietitian and very busy mother of three, to be honest, I don’t have the time most evenings for a three course meal. Now, there are days when I have more time, but for most moms we have a lot going on: work, doctors appointments, dance class, basketball, football, volleyball, swimming, soccer, track, gymnastics, dry cleaning, vet, church, grocery shopping, oil changing, house cleaning, laundry and did I mention more laundry? Shall I go on? Well, you get the picture.
- Cook foods in bulk. For example, buy 10 pounds of 96% fat free ground beef and cook it all at one time. Divide into one pound or two pound bags and freeze. You may want to put onions and garlic in some and keep some plain. All it takes is about 3 minutes in your microwave to thaw the meat and presto! You now have your meat already cooked for tacos, spaghetti, casseroles, etc. I do the same thing with chicken. I cook and tear it into smaller pieces and freeze. This is awesome for soups, chicken salad, casseroles, etc.
- Find about 6 - 8 recipes that are easy and your family loves. I call these my standby recipes. I know they are quick and everyone loves them so I can’t go wrong. Most of these I use the cooked, frozen ground beef or chicken.
- Double the recipe. Make twice as much of your standby recipe and freeze one. You can use one of these on the days that you don’t have time to cook.
- Stock up on frozen veggies. Many don’t think that these are as healthy as fresh, but they are very close (not the ones with the sauces). I use these with almost every standby recipe as they are healthy, quick and easy. Cooking in the bag now leaves you with no clean up!
- Crock Pot. You can prepare the night before and place in the refrigerator. Take 2 minutes in the morning to turn it on and go.
- Purchase pre-prepared produce. (Chopped, sliced, peeled, etc.) These may be a bit more costly, but it may outweigh the time it takes to do it from scratch.
- Purchase meat that requires less work. Peeled, deveined, skinned, trimmed, fi llet. This saves you time in pre-prep.
- Keep plenty of healthy sandwich material. Even though this might not always be the family favorite, it’s healthy and quick. And not to mention, more nutritious than fast food.