Organizing is the next step in the Nutrition Series. This is one part that many of us don’t have the energy for and that is ok. You make the choice what works best for you. Are you the type that is tired and doesn’t want to think about the groceries when you come home from the store? No problem, unload your car and come back later. Or, are you the type that is ready to go the moment you get home? When you are ready, begin to unload and organize your treasures. Get your grocery list with your menu that you have planned (see Nutrition Series Part 2&3), and determine when you are eating certain foods. Now you can decide what needs to be frozen or refrigerated. Begin by cleaning and prepping all your fruits and veggies, so in the middle of the day when you need to grab lunch on the go, you have no excuses. It’s all in the preparation. All week long you have lettuce that is ready to eat, veggies to add to any meal, and you have cleaned and cut fruit at a moment’s notice for your kids.
The whole goal of preparation is to be prepared and produce wholesome meals and snacks all week long. So, here is how to prepare. Choose a preparation day, for me it’s usually the weekend and I prep any steps that I can to make meals much easier throughout the week. Here are some examples:
- If I’m using rice as a grain for the week with multiple dishes, I will make the batch over the weekend and just heat it up when it’s needed.
- If I have a dish that is a one meal dish that goes into the oven, I will make the whole thing over the weekend, and then all I have to do on that busy Wednesday night is throw it in the oven.
- If I have a recipe for shredded chicken I will throw a few chicken breasts in the oven, once cooked I throw them in my Kitchen Aid to shred, all the while I’m making another meal.
- If my weekends are busy, some mornings before we leave for school and work I do a little prep work for the dinner later on. For example, I might prep the sauce for the fish that evening before the day really starts.
You get the idea! Again it’s all about organization and committing to the meals you have planned.
All this planning and preparation is the key to setting you up for success in making a healthy change to your eating habits. If you have whole food planned, prepped, and ready to eat you will have win after win when it comes to your healthy eating goals. If you skip these steps you may lose again and again. When it comes to nutritional change, organization is about the moment when many throw in the towel, because on paper this sounds exhausting and very time consuming.
It’s so much easier to stop at the store on your way home from work and try and put something together.
It’s so much easier to eat out night after night, only feeling like crap each morning because of the food you ate.
It’s so much easier to just go through the motions and live your life on auto-pilot.
But STOP, right there. No one said this would be easy, no one said they would do this for you. You have decided you are a health warrior and you are not just living your life, you are choosing to thrive.