Are You Prepared to be Healthy?

DCJArticles by Judy

knife cutting pepper

By Judy Weitzman

As we look forward to those hot sunny days of summer, thoughts of wearing swimsuits and shorts abound.   Every magazine we pick up is chock full of new fashion trends for spring. Have these styles driven you to thoughts of shedding a few pounds?

Eating healthy is not easy, or convenient, unless you make it that way.   One of greatest gifts you can give to yourself is doing the “Grocery Store Prep”. Most of us do one big grocery shop each week.  The trick is to come home from the store and allow an hour or so to prep your foods.  I know, I know, you don’t have time.  But the fact is, you do.  By taking the time to prep, you will save valuable time during the week.

How many times have you thrown out vegetables or fruits that were hiding in the drawers of your fridge?  By having all of your produce washed, chopped and ready to go, you will be more likely to eat healthy throughout the week.   Use clear containers for prepped fruits and veggies and place them on the top shelf so when you open the fridge, that is the first option you see. Keep processed foods and soda pop in those drawers where healthy food goes bad.

Besides prepping your produce, here is a list of other foods to have prepped and ready to go:

Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes - bake them for an hour in the oven to achieve that nice soft center. After they cool, place them in a baggie in your fridge. When you get home from work during the week, all you have to do is pop a potato in the microwave for three minutes to warm it up.

Grilled onions – These are a great treat that add tons of flavor to foods, but who feels like taking ten minutes after a long day at the office to make them?  By making them ahead, you can add them to a variety of dishes throughout the week.

Roasting vegetables – Eating too many vegetables that are raw, can be rough on your stomach. By roasting, steaming or grilling a bunch of veggies during your prep you will have low calorie treats that are easy to digest available for snacking all day long.

Hard boils eggs – these are a great low calorie source of protein and easy to take with you on the go.  You can eat your egg solo, add them to salads, or if you want a real treat, try this: Pitch the yolk and add a teaspoon of hummus to each half of the egg white. It has the texture of a deviled egg and tastes delicious! Enjoy a yummy ‘hummus egg’ for your afternoon snack.

Crock pot  – chose one of your favorite recipes and get that going during your prep so you have a back-up meal to serve one night during the week. These are great back-ups for those nights when you have to work late.

Steel cut oats – if you are a fan of this healthy and amazing cereal, make a big pot and either freeze individual servings or keep them in the fridge for a warm and wonderful breakfast in the time it takes to heat it up!

Create your own 100 calorie packs – Pour your new bag of chips, crackers or cookies onto a paper towel; measure out single servings and place them in baggies.  Then place the baggies back in the original bag.  This way you will have controlled portions and still have the nutritional information available on the package.

By simply taking an hour or so, it will be much easier for you to eat healthy throughout the week. What other foods would you add to this list?   Which new outfit are you going to buy for spring? Remember the old Girl Scout motto, and “Be Prepared!”

Are You Prepared to be Healthy?