Patients often ask what MY go-to meals are and how I keep my family eating well, while having a busy schedule (doesn’t everyone!?). I am more than happy to share because these types of food ideas are really what get us through the tough time crunches and lack of being fully prepared.
I know full well, if it’s not convenient to buy, find, or eat, it’s not going to be a lasting option. Been there, done that. These choices need to be as straight forward as possible. I’m not even going to give you all my ideas, because I find the less options the better. Choose 2 or 3 from the list, put the ingredients on your shopping list, and just have those things for the next week or two. It IS important to change up what you eat, but consistency and predictability go a long way when making lasting changes. Just rotate your choices every week or two. Your grocery shopping will be much easier and you’ll get into the habit of always packing the same things for awhile.
Some of these ideas can also be found in my Real- Food- Fast ebook (right column). I made this book for those who want straight forward, convenient, and quick meals all laid out for them. Many people identify themselves as someone who is really good at following a written plan, with no “options” to choose from. It takes the brain effort and decision making out of the equation, but you still learn along the way based on your continual shopping habits, prep, and cooking.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorites:
- Taco salad
- ground meat with taco seasoning on top of a salad, with salsa, cheese and guacamole. Black beans optional.
- Chili with frozen, chopped spinach and corn added
- Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs (I make a big batch of this rub, so I don’t have to make it every time. Use 3 Tbs honey)
- with sweet potato and broccoli- Use large sheet pan and cut up the sweet potato into large bite sized pieces. Cover sheet pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup and a crispier outside. Put potato pieces on sheet tray, spray with olive or coconut oil, and add salt and pepper. Do the same with the broccoli, or steam it, or microwave some frozen stuff. Potato will go in first at 425 for about 30 mins.
- Curry Salmon or Chicken (one pot meal)
- Crock Pot Pulled Chicken
- With salad or just spinach underneath it. Can also serve with regular rice or cauliflower rice (or mix the two!).
- Burgers cooked in the oven or on the grill
- If gluten-free or reducing carbohydrates, skip the bun or use something like these. Serve with with roasted cauliflower or broccoli, grilled veggies or stir fry veggies. Add sweet potatoes if you’re looking for a complex, nutrient dense, carbohydrate source. Sprouted bread could be a good option as well.
* A word on snacks- I don’t necessarily support snacking, although it’s dependent on the person and situation. People tend to under-eat at their meals, which are more nutrient dense than snacks (snacks are often “snack foods” not real food, like meals). If you find that you are consistently hungry only a few hours after your meal, consider the following:
- Are you drinking enough water? Dehydration can make you feel hungry. It’s really just a signal confusion (craving water, not food)
- Are you eating enough at your meals? I like the saying, “eat until you’re not hungry” rather than “eat until you’re full.” It may be worth playing around with your meal sizes, even if you do feel a little more full than usual.
- Are you eating enough protein and healthy fats with your meals? Read more here on why healthy fats are essential.
- Carrots and one or two guacamole 100 calorie cup(s) (these freeze well)
- Apple or pear with a handful of almonds (Trader Joes has 200 calorie packs of roasted and unsalted!)
- Siggi’s brand 2% greek yogurt (look for lowest sugar option). Or full fat plain yogurt with frozen blueberries
- Trader Joes Organic Beef Jerkey
- These KIND bars
- Hard boiled eggs
- Celery with all natural PB or almond butter and raisins (an age old favorite!)
What are some of YOUR favorite, healthy, go-to snacks and meals? Leave a comment below! Sharing is caring, people!