Hi everyone and Happy New Year. I hope your start to 2011 is going well. Over the last week I have been thinking about how so many of us go into the New Year with goals and hopes of developing healthier habits, including eating more nutritiously.
A common complaint that many families have when trying to eat healthier in the New Year is that they are sick of being in the kitchen. The reality is many of us spend several hours during the months of November and December preparing for our friends, families, and co-workers. After baking and slaving over a hot stove, (even though it’s fun) most moms and dads say they have had their fill by the time January hits.
A great way to plan your meal plans when you are experiencing a “cooking burn out” phase is to pick things that require little time to prepare and for the most part pots and pans free.
Last week I didn’t even want to hard boil eggs on Sunday. Sunday is the day when I do most of my food prep for the week (this saves me so much time later)! This week I made my meal plan super simple. By the way making a meal plan is how I get back into a healthy routine after splurging over the holidays. Meal plans also help provide structure and keep me on track.
So here are some of the meals that I thought would be quick and simple to make and keep me away from the kitchen for a little while. For breakfast this week I am going to have a small Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of whole grain cereal mixed in and sliced honeydew and cantaloupe. No pots, no pans, and the best part – it’s quick. Today, Sunday, I sliced all of my fruit and put it in a large container so it would be ready for breakfast all week. Who wants to slice fruit in the morning anyway? I would rather take the extra time and enjoy my coffee.
For lunch I always try to plan something that is easy to throw into a container and that also is not a hassle to take with me to the hospital where I work. My body didn’t get much salad over the holidays. Salad is something I normally enjoy at least 5 times a week. Because I was craving something fresh I decided an oven roasted chicken breast over a bed of fresh crisp spinach tossed in white balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil with sliced pears on top would be delicious. The only pan I used to prepare this meal for the week was the one I baked the chicken in, and that only took thirty minutes. Now I have lean and healthy chicken salads for lunch all week.
Eating healthy does not have to mean you spend hours in the kitchen. Half of the battle that I faced on my journey to get healthy and lose weight was making new habits. Mapping out a meal plan with a grocery list and then doing my prep at the beginning of the week is one of the habits that have made a remarkable difference. Find a routine that works for you and create new healthy habits in 2011. It will do wonders for your body and mind!
Happy New Year,