Eating healthy is often associated with spending more time in the kitchen. It can be tempting to stop and pick up fast food or packaged foods at the grocery store to reduce the time you spend doing the work.
Once you develop some new routines, however, this will change. You will start to notice positive changes in how you feel and you will want to spend time preparing healthy foods at home. Here are a few strategies than can turn your life around in a healthy way:
1. Plan to spend a period of uninterrupted time for each meal. The time you spend on each meal can vary each day and throughout the day. Decide how long you can realistically spend in the kitchen and commit to it. Give yourself time to prepare a healthy, tasty meal, but don't feel like you have to spend all day in the kitchen to accomplish this, because you don't.
Here is what a typical meal preparation day might look like for me:
-15 minutes to make my morning smoothie, about 45 minutes to drink it (usually while I'm doing something else), and about 5 minutes to clean the NutriBullet.
-15 minutes to prepare a sandwich and a side of veggies for lunch, 30 minutes to eat, and 5 minutes to clean up.
-5 minutes to dish my dinner out (most often it's leftovers), 20 minutes to reheat it in the conventional oven (during this time I often make a salad), 30 minutes to eat, and about 10 minutes to clean up.
The time you spend preparing meals, eating, and cleaning up will vary according to yours and your family's needs and schedules. The point it to commit to a certain amount of time for each meal and stick to it.
2. Develop a healthy relationship with your kitchen. Think about the relationships you have with others. How do you nurture those relationships? You probably spend some time with them and you spend some time apart from them. Both are healthy in a relationship. The same applies to your kitchen. You probably don't want to spend all day in the kitchen, but you do want to dedicate a certain amount of time to it. Give your kitchen the gift of time.
3. Eat hearty servings of raw food. For example, maybe have a smoothie for breakfast and a salad with dinner. No cooking involved! Need I say more?
4. Eat primarily with the intent to nourish your body, not just satisfy hunger. You have choices about what to eat. Ask yourself, "How will this nourish my body?" If you can't answer that or if the answer is, "It won't," then it may not be worth eating. Of course, splurging happens once in while. Just don't make those once in a whiles add up to everyday.
5. Invest in a few kitchen essentials. Some of mine are two cutting boards, the NutriBullet, and a quality knife. Figure out what works for you and invest in them. Focus on just a few essentials. This will save you money and clean up time. Fancy gadgets can be fun, but sometimes they cause more stress than they're worth. Enjoy a few good quality ones that often have multiple uses.
What works for you when it comes to maximizing your time in the kitchen? Please share!