How do you plan your meals and do your grocery shopping? What needs to be improved in this area?
Take an inventory of your pantry and work on your food list at the same time. By keeping shelves organized, all it takes is glance to see what needs to go on "the list". Personally, I may have to reorganize few times before I am satisfied with the results, so if at first glance your organization system is lacking, go back and re-work it until you have a good system that works for you.
If weight is an issue for yourself or your loved ones, take a close look at what is in your cupboard that may add additional calories. Look for foods with added sugar and fats. Now is the time to read labels. Look for fat, sugar and calorie content per serving. In future posts we will go into more detail on counting calories, but lets face it, most of us know that the sugar and fat laden snacks are empty calories that add weight and leave us nutritionally deficient. Now if the time to replace those snacks with foods that nourish.
If your food budget allows, purchase precut vegetables in your produce department. This saves time and adds more nutrient rich foods to your diet. You can purchase precut fruits as well, which makes good desserts or snacks. There are also precut snack vegetables, like carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower, broccoli and shredded cabbage. Look for natural dressings or sauce to accompany the raw or steamed veggies.
Paring and preparing your own vegetables is budget wise and can be done quickly. If you have no experience with preparing fresh foods, start by preparing simple foods like peeling and cutting potatoes and carrots, dicing onions or peppers. If your are still uncertain and hesitate to cook with fresh vegetables because of prep and/or budget, try searching you tube for ideas about paring veggies. If you don't have access to a computer, and many do not, try the local library for a computer search as well as books on the subject. I found that with practice I became very good at "slicing and dicing." It was also empowering to learn new skills that I can use for many years to come.
And last, but not least, look at your daily menus, how many days in advance do you plan. Do you plan or just "wing it?" If planning is a challenge, start where you are and take it in small steps, just as we discussed earlier when making dietary changes. When you start planning for just a meal or two a week you will find it is less stressful when you have a plan than planning dinner on your way through the market after a tiring day at work or keeping up with the kids and all of their activities.
Looks like you've got some homework to do. We'll be back soon with more tips and encouragement on your road to good health.
Until next time we wish you good health and healthy eating.
We are "nuts for nuts".