As we make our New Years resolutions to lose weight, eat more healthily and become the better person we want to be, we often do not think in detail about how we are going to achieve this and what it is going to take for us to manifest the ‘healthy’ eating pattern we are looking for.
We rush to quick fixes, grab a gym membership, pay up and join Weight Watchers and start a rigorous juice cleanse.
Who can blame us, there is so much conflicting diet information out there and it feels good to make a grand gesture, a big commitment.
What if you simply decided to just eat real food everyday?
In my opinion, it is planning more than any other skill that is required to eat healthy home cooked meals throughout a week…..and sorry this does not require new gym clothes or a big shop for tropical fruits and expensive whey proteins……..just 20 minutes of quiet thinking about what you will eat during the week.
Here’s my go to plan for a stellar week of eating.
On a Sunday evening I always cook a lot of protein to use for Sunday dinner and throughout the week.
While my oven is on I will cook two chickens, or two pork loins rather than just one. This leaves me leftovers for a chicken, celery and apple salad, for chicken tacos with black beans and for a lentil and chicken soup. All fabulous meals for the week. I also have bones to make bone broth which I try to include into my diet on a weekly basis.
While my chickens roast always roast a tray of vegetables that i can serve with the chicken for dinner and which I can also use during the week.
Roasted vegetables are ALWAYS useful and here you can see my haul from a previous week where I have cooked rice, roasted sprouts and roasted sweet potato the beginnings of a fabulous wholegrain salad for a lunchbox or a side. So good with a gingery/lemony dressing and some fresh broccoli sprouts!
I use squash in muffins and gluten free pancakes or waffles, (Make a big batch and freeze them. Just toast from frozen in the morning!) It can be stirred into Thai style soups with canned coconut milk or spooned into a spaghetti sauce to give it an unctuous sweetness. You can make moist chocolate Brownies with roasted pumpkin inside or slightly orange coloured pumpkin, sunflower seed and chocolate chip cookies. I try to start each week with a batch on hand.
In fact that gap to he top right was bugging me so much that I sprinkled some lime juice and chilli pepper flakes over a few frozen shrimp in a dish and roasted them in the oven too. What a fabulous lunchtime salad they made.
Think cookies or muffins when you see a space in your oven such as this. Muffins really only take 10 minutes to whip up and get into the pan. You are already in the kitchen. You get to feel so smug as you tuck that homemade baked goody into your kids lunch during the week!
So, all of this is wonderful….But, it is not a Sunday evening unless I have my rices cooker going!
I cook up, rice, barley, quinoa or millet in my rice cooker, whatever takes my fancy, (I try and keep it gluten free), just adding more water if the grain is not cooked through.
With a cooked grain in the refrigerator I quick access to a salad, a rice bowl or a stir-fry during the busy week.
So with very little effort, my total food production looks something like this…
A roasted chicken dinner with roasted vegetables, a pot of red rice, a roasted butternut squash, shrimp cooked in lime juice and chilli and my Super Nutrition Seed and Nut Mix which I always top up on a Sunday evening as the dinner cooks itself.
During this hour of prep I often make a salad dressing (click the link to 5 easy recipes!) and then I know I have prepared something full of healthy fats and free of sugar or preservatives that is on hand to use during the week.
My intention here has been to pull back the curtain on something that often seems overwhelming and hard to achieve. A week of healthy food for a family.
I hope this explanatory article helps! I would love your comments and feedback.
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