You know what the saying is, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” This is very true when it comes to planning & preparing meals and having the type of food available and accessible that support your goals to be healthy, fit & fabulous! I know time is an issue for you with planning a wedding on top of leading a 24/7 rushed life, but being prepared for events like HUNGER and STRESS cravings are super important if you want to be wedding dress ready! The key is to be armed with healthy choices when hunger strikes in addition to the cravings that comes up when emotions are high. You will save money, time and “unplanned eating” when you’re prepared. The task of planning meals may seem daunting but here’s some tips to get you on the right track:
- Start with a “clean slate.” Clean out the fridge and throw out the spoiled produce and leftovers. I like to empty the shelves and wipe them down with a non-toxic cleaner. If you haven’t done this is a while, take everything out of the door shelves and get rid of the dressings and condiments with high fructose corn syrup and corn/soybean oils. These ingredients make us fat, sick & tired and definitely don’t support a Bride Fit Body & Mind!
- Sit down with your partner to discuss and agree on meal options, which is a habit that supports a Bride Fit Relationship! Happy couples communicate and are usually on the same page with goals of healthy eating and lifestyle choices. You can find some great ideas on the Just Eat Real Food page on Facebook. I also found the Tasty page on FB to be helpful, although I “reinvent” some of the recipes on this page using higher quality and gluten free ingredients
- Plan “back up” food for emergencies. There will be days when time is more limited than normal. Having some Bell & Evans gluten free chicken tenders or Amy’s organic ready-made soups on hand for example, is a good idea.
- Make a shopping list to keep you on track when you’re at the food store. Consider ingredients for recipes, healthy “fast” foods, favorite healthy products, perishable items and basic whole foods/pantry items. You may shop at different stores like Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Make a list for each one since you may find better values and favorite products at one over another. For example, Costco has a lot of organic and non-GMO products at a great value. My “go tos” there are the frozen organic berries and black cherries for sweet snacks and smoothies. They also have Kerrygold butter (pastured), and some other items that are high quality, organic and non-GMO produce and products that are less expensive than Whole Foods. Another source of non toxic, organic and nonGMO food at a big savings is an online store, Thrive Market, which has an added bonus of free delivery and the ease of shopping at your convenience. I love saving time & money! I always recommend and encourage the highest quality food available, when it comes to meat that means grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and wild fish. I realize when you compare the prices to conventional meat it may be a hard pill to swallow! Save money on grass-fed meat and pastured chicken with US Wellness Meats or find a farm in your area that raises animals with kindness! In addition, remember that meat should be treated as a condiment versus the main event on your plate. Buy less and eat smaller portions of the protein and increase the portions of vegetables, which will fill you up with fiber! Fiber is crucial for healthy digestion, feeling satiated and releasing fat. This is a staple in your diet for a Bride Fit Body!
- Prepare some foods in advance which makes pulling meals together easy & simple. When you get home from the food store, wash fruits and vegetables. Soak them in water with a few drops of iodine or white vinegar to kill bacteria that may be lurking on your produce. Yes, even if it’s organic! Organic is free of chemicals and GMO’s but is handled by people and was in contact with dirt and possibly animals. Rinse with water and dry on clean dishtowels. Salad spinners are useful to dry your lettuce and leafy greens. It’s time saving to slice some vegetables and fruit like peppers, cucumbers and melons and store in glass containers or plastic zipper bags (BPA free). Preparing gluten free grains like rice and quinoa, baking chicken and slicing in strips and making bone broth ahead will make healthy choices available and stress free. Setting up single serving snacks like ¼ cup of raw nuts helps with portion control when you want to munch!
I would be negligent if I didn’t mention some recommended food, or “food like substances” NOT to have in your kitchen. These would include trigger foods that set off a course of overeating where control is lost. They are usually high in calories and low in nutrients, like chips, cookies and ice cream. Did I mention wine? It’s a guarantee that you will be faced with cravings for various reasons, by making it more difficult to feed the emotional craving will give you some time to think about it and decide if it’s strong enough to get in the car to go to the store and get it! Meal planning & preparing is a must. The way you prepare your food matters. “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” Alexander Graham Bell.