As we all know, in order for any new regime to take hold we need to make it easy to follow. It’s no good having delicious ingredients if they are not readily prepared when you get the munchies. As boring as it may sound, advanced preparation is key to healthy eating – it is also the best way of ensuring you have the right stuff to make nutritious lunch boxes in seconds and quick snacks when you get the urge. Here are some simple tips to keep you on the straight and narrow:
1. Pre-cook batches of grains, lentils or vegetables.
I suggest picking a day, Sunday for example, when you dedicate an hour or so to wash, cook and cool your grains, legumes and vegetables. Cooked grains and pulses that are good to have in the fridge are brown rice, quinoa, puy lentils and green lentils. Once they are cooked and cooled you can put them in pretty bowls in the fridge and use them in dishes during the week. You can also roast vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, beetroot and aubergine which can be cooled and used in salads.
2. Wash all your veg and put in recepticles.
If you buy lots of veg, like I do, it can be daunting when it all sits in bags and you have to wash each and every vegetable before you can use it. Again, use some spare time and wash it all so that it is ready for you to snack on, use in salads or cook with. Place them directly in your veg drawers or in Tupperware boxes so that it is easily accessible. This will save you lots of time and give you inspiration when you see multi coloured food that is ready to eat.
3. Keep your most used condiments out of the cupboard.
I use coconut oil, olive oil, nut butters, pink salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, turmeric, cayenne pepper and a variety of other spices on an everyday basis which makes my work top a bit crowded. But knowing I can reach all the good stuff within seconds means that I am less likely to be tempted by something else.
4. Keep nuts and seeds out and about.
Everytime I pass my little bowls of nuts and seeds I take a few. So does my kids. I don’t have giant quantities sitting about but just small dipping bowls of the stuff so that I am reminded to nibble. Try sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. If they were all in bags, in the cupboard, tucked away I probably wouldn’t remember to eat them.
5. Soak in the morning, eat in the evening.
Beans needs soaking for about 8 hours or so prior to eating. And if you are using nuts for cooking, baking or smoothie making they also benefit from a soak to make them softer, as does dates. Put out a few glass jars in the morning with stuff in them and make something delicious like a nutty bean stew with brown rice or quinoa salad with beans and seeds. Having all it all at your finger tips makes it a whole lot easier.
Use empty glass jars to keep your various bits in – they can be used for soaking beans or nuts, dressings, bits of left over ginger, garlic or onion or to make chia puddings for the following day. I hope this helps you with organising your food easier and quicker. Much love. x