The secret to convenient, healthy meals

04.23.15 |

Cooking healthy in a hurry

In light of our recipe contest, I want to address another common question that I see in our community: How do I continue making healthy eating choices, especially after I have reached my healthy weight?

This question actually has a number of nuanced challenges, like the following:

  • Overcoming cravings and temptations
  • Transitioning from meals to cooking on your own
  • Finding new and interesting recipes to keep your healthy cooking fresh
  • Making healthy eating convenient and practical with a fast-paced lifestyle

Each of these challenges warrants a lengthy article in itself. With the recipes piling up from members of our community, you will have a lot of new healthy recipes to try, but how do you cook healthy when you live what has become the typical American lifestyle of rushing from errand to errand?

Meal prep

One of the reasons why the Take Shape For Life program is so effective, is the unique way that it combines the support of a health coach with the convenience of pre-made, pre-portioned meals. Your health coach keeps you on track, while your meals eliminate the obstacle of having to pick what you eat for every fueling. After all, one of the contributing factors to the obesity epidemic is the convenience of unhealthy food.

Too tired to cook? Not sure what to cook in the first place? And before you know it you are sitting in a drive-through line ordering the mega-super-duper size with an extra side of indigestion.

When it comes time to take full responsibility for your eating choices, one of the best strategies for keeping yourself on the Habits of Health is to prepare your healthy meals ahead of time. That way, when you are tired from work or spent all evening driving the kids from school to soccer practice and then to piano lessons, you can have a healthy meal on hand, ready to eat.

4 tips to help make it easy

Here are 4 tips for making meal prep a part of your healthy lifestyle:

  1. Purchase enough Tupperware to account for each of your fuelings. With each fueling packed and ready to go, you can quickly pack your food for the day or get dinner on the table with ease.
  2. Set aside a few hours on Sunday to make and pack all of your meals. If you make this a family event, it can be a relaxing time to talk and bond while also supporting your health goals.
  3. You can pre-cook your meals so that they can be easily microwaved, but you can also pre-cut and portion your ingredients. With much of cooking time wrapped up in chopping and measuring ingredients, having that work done ahead of time can make it much easier for you whip up a fresh dinner.
  4. Talk to your health coach and reference Dr. A’s Habits of Health for tips on portioning your food groups and estimating your daily caloric need. This process does not have to be as complicated as it might sound!

Having all of your healthy meals prepared a week ahead of time will make your life much easier. When you take the time to make health convenient, your little bit of work up front can transform your approach to health and solidify Habits of Health.