All my clients need the healthiest food so that they can keep their energy up as they are growing their businesses and to support their overall lifestyle. I borrow a lot of tricks from my time in culinary school and scale it down for a household.
Here are a few tips that I try to coach my clients into doing weekly and even do myself.
1. It can be so tempting to rip all those beautiful pages out of magazines with great recipes! This just adds more clutter and things you have to organize later. These days almost all of these can also be found online. Also, try to limit yourself to ones you think you actually have the time and skill to make. Pick only 4 or 5 new recipes a month that you will attempt so as not to overwhelm yourself.
2. Take one day a week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. I have most of my clients do this on a relaxing Saturday or Sunday but you could also get it out of the way on a weeknight. It is just important that this step happens so you don’t have to worry “What is for dinner?” at the last minute and end up in a drive-through. See what you have on hand and make a list of what is needed at the market.
3. Consider making larger batches for lunch the next day or a dinner in the future. Are you taking the time to make a veggie lasagna? Why not make two and freeze one for next week? There isn’t much extra prep work at all to make an extra one. And, you will be so delighted when that inevitable late night at the office happens and you have a healthy meal waiting for you just needing a little warming.
4. Try to limit your grocery shopping to just one trip per week. You have your meal plan done and list ready by now right? You should be able to get it all done and spare those last minute time-wasting trips out to the market.
5. On the day you choose to grocery shop, don’t just plan for the time at the store. Plan some extra time that day to wash all the produce and prep ANYTHING you can ahead of time. This might seem like quite a project but washing everything in one batch save you from washing things every single meal. Prepping is also something that can be batched. Think of yourself as your own sous chef! Besides, if you are already chopping one onion and crying why not get all the onions chopped for the week right now? 🙂
Now you are ready! On those busy week nights you can just throw things together like a real chef! You never see the actual chef prepping when he is creating his masterpieces, do you? No, everything is in place. In fact, in the culinary arts this is called “mise en place”. This term is French for literally “putting in place.” Your menu planning and prep work is done! You’ve saved money, your health, and your waistline from fast or toxic food.
Bonus tip: Make sure your kitchen is organized and de-cluttered! This is a whole other how-to article, but having an organized, clutter-free kitchen makes cooking and cleanup effortless and enjoyable, not a dreaded chore. This is a BIG area that I work on with clients in my coaching programs. De-clutter, organize, create zones, face front, and transform your kitchen into one that would be worthy of a Food Network set!
These are the habits that will support you when you are building your business and your lifestyle with plenty of energy to spare.
Lastly, remember that it takes about 21 days to create a new habit. So give yourself a break if you find yourself wandering into the prepared foods section at Whole Foods Market one busy night. At least you made the best choice for the time you had and you can get back on track tomorrow.
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