This month’s topic in our ongoing “Day in the Life” series is healthy eating, which, quite honestly, is an area in which I’m constantly striving for improvement, because who doesn’t love a pound cake every once in awhile?
Honestly, part of the key to healthy eating is to actually cook instead of depending on restaurants and packaged/processed/convenience foods. Yes, it takes more time and you might have to spend a few hours doing meal prep on the weekends, but it’s worth it! With so many great slow cooker and InstaPot recipes out there these days, a little bit of planning ahead can make the week so much easier.
As Amy and I have both shared in our Sunday routine posts (hers is here, mine is here), we both take a few minutes over the weekend to plan meals for the week and create a shopping list. We both keep a three-ring binder of our tried-and-true recipes and most of my dinner ideas come from that (we have a lot of overlap since we’ve shared so many recipes back and forth over the years). In the winter, I tend to do more soups and in the summer, more salads, but both are homemade with healthy ingredients.
I mentioned that I do most of my grocery shopping at ALDI and they have a great selection of organic foods at really reasonable prices, so that makes it easy to opt for healthier options throughout the grocery store, not just around the edges where the fresh produce, meats, and dairy are. Staples on my list always include plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, organic chicken broth for soups, eggs, chicken breast, and ground turkey.
A couple of nights a week, I’ll prepare fish or chicken along with a couple of sides. Here are our favorites: salmon baked with Everything But the Bagel seasoning (it has different names at different stores but I buy mine at Trader Joe’s or ALDI), or chicken breasts pounded flat and cooked in my grill pan with rotisserie chicken seasoning (buy it here or make your own).
Pretty much any vegetable is amazing when it’s lightly tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted. Our favorites are kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips and carrots. We also love green beans cooked and tossed with caramelized onions (cook one-two sliced onions on the stovetop with 1-2T olive oil over low heat until brown and crisp, stirring occasionally).
Occasionally our family will do a month, or even just a few weeks, of Whole30, and the above meals (lean meat, poultry or fish plus roasted vegetable sides) are perfectly Whole30 compliant. If you’re trying it out, no need to buy a cookbook, just head over to Pinterest and you’ll find thousands.
We’ve also stopped using half and half or flavored creamer in our coffee (there’s SO much sugar in flavored creamer, not to mention tons of additives and preservatives!). We transitioned over to using Nutpods when we were doing our first Whole30 and never changed back. I have them set up to ship monthly in my Amazon Subscribe and Save order, and if we run out in between times one of our local grocery stores carries them in their dairy section.
Last but not least, one of my favorite easy dinners (or breakfasts) is a frittata, and I make one almost weekly. I sauté all the leftover veggies in my fridge in a little olive oil, and then beat 6-8 eggs with about 1/3 cup of milk or half and half and toss it all in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. After about 45 minutes at 400 degrees, it’s ready to eat, and any leftovers make the perfect weekday breakfast.
I think the biggest takeaway is that healthy eating just requires a bit of preparation and planning, but soon it just becomes part of the daily routine. Trust me, we still eat out and “cheat” when we feel like it, but because we’re fairly healthy on a daily basis, it all evens out.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any helpful ideas for eating healthfully, and thanks for stopping by!