From B, L & D + Everything In Between
Nutrition should be one of the greatest compliments to your life. It should be easy, fun and fiscally sound. Rarely should it be stressful, and it is my dream for it to become second nature for anyone I come into contact with. This is why I want to help you maximize your options in the kitchen, and in other areas of your home.
Y'all know I love to cook, but I started small, and it took me years to gain confidence. I started feeling empowered when I developed enough experience to be creative without completely butchering an entire meal while simultaneously wasting the funds I spent on ingredients. Once I felt comfortable preparing any dish, or following any recipe I came to realize that preparing to eat the clean diet I enjoyed all week simply took organization. As a result of my learnings, I found money saving opportunities and a freedom to eat a variety of different meals with commonly used ingredients. So here are a few tips to help you meal AND snack plan, gain confidence and feel great!
Freezer Fare Peas, blueberries, edamame, asparagus and spinach are my favorite foods to purchase frozen. Having these in abundance help add flavor, nutrients and variety to salads, smoothies, yogurt or for desert. You can buy a frozen bag of organic peas that will fit any salad recipe for an entire week! Frozen fruit tastes better than fresh fruit in smoothies since it helps keep it cold after heat is produced from the blender.
Personally Prepare You deserve a weekend to enjoy yourself, but a well planned Saturday or Sunday can be your friend in driving the Monday blues away. Take an hour to make a few dressings you can have with your salad for lunch and dinner throughout the week. The perfect hard boiled egg takes 12 minutes, once boiling, and you can have 6-12 servings of protein awaiting in your fridge Monday through Friday! Roasted nuts are high in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids, feeding your mind, body and heart. What's great is that they are also so versatile, you can top your smoothie, yogurt, salad or roasted plate of veggies with your choice of protein. Lastly, smoothies and coffee are probably the easiest items to prep. Make three days of smoothies in the time it takes to make one, and store them a few glass mason jars. Prepare your coffee the night before to avoid a visit to Starbucks in the morning - potentially making you late, cash poor and crashing before lunchtime.
Canned servings of vegetables and legumes sometimes get overlooked, but they provide excellent ample option to always have a wide array of meal options. Canned artichokes brighten up any salad while canned garbanzo beans can be a crunchy addition to any dish too. For the ideal crunchy chickpea, just rinse, dry, add your favorite seasoning and oil to your canned garbanzo beans and bake them with S&P for 40 minutes on 400 degrees, shaking halfway! Canned pure pumpkin is also a great addition to soups, homemade lattes and sauces.
Are you ever intimidated by the protein bar and energy bar aisle in the grocery store these days? I swear the options have quadrupled over the last year alone. Typically, I suggest choosing whole foods like nuts to satisfy any between-meal cravings, but if I'm away from my office or home for more than three hours, I always take a Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar with me. This is my personal recommendation to keep hunger, blood sugar and mood in check.
Lemon juice is also great for dressings, flavored water and marinades. My home is rarely without this quintessential kitchen staple because I love how it enlivens almost everything without extra calories, sugar or processed ingredients! Shoot for the organic option for the best taste.
Almond butter is rich in protein and fat, and it is low in sugar which is perfect for satisfying smoothies or a mid-day snack over crackers, fruit or celery. It also provides a rich taste for dressings or asian inspired sauces. You can freshly grind it at most local grocery stores, or find organic options at reasonable prices.
We all have bio-individual needs, meaning one person's food is another person's poison. My salads and crudités may win the popular vote in my neighborhood, but they may never satiate your needs. Find flavors and ingredients to always have in your home that match your personal taste buds. If you always have your go-to recipes for dressings, sauces and toppings, you'll always feel like you have the tools to whip up your favorite meals and avoid another night of takeout!
For me, if I have olive oil, garlic, avocado, sea salt, lemon juice and any kind of nut I can make a mean pesto, dressing, salad or all of the above. If you're having trouble prioritizing your nutrition throughout the day or week, start with a handful of these suggestions and get to know what you enjoy. We all have the muscle of creativity, so we just have to work it. Be sure to let me know if you see and feel the reward.
Empty the dishwasher before you go to bed. Avoid a trip to the deli, or Starbucks by having a clean, organized space to make your breakfast and eat it at home.
Hang up your clothes after you come home. I sense that I'm beginning to sound like your mother, but momma's always right, right? Did you know Mark Zuckerberg has hundreds of the same t-shirts and jeans, so he doesn't waste his decision making capacity when he gets ready? A messy closet limits your ability to identify your options in the morning. Save time and avoid mind clutter by committing to this little effort.
Invest in quality glass tupperware you refuse to lose. Do you ever decide to buy your lunch because you do not have any tupperware left? Studies show that by purchasing plateware you enjoy, you're more likely to eat at home. By having the appropriate Tupperware, you will also be more inspired to craft your nutritious lunch away from home.
Cook once, eat twice. Quality over quantity. Create enough of your nutritious food to eat at least twice and reduce your time in the kitchen, giving you more time to seize the day.