Quick Essentials Tips for Super Busy People who want to eat healthy.

I love nothing more that leafing through a cookbook and placing endless sticky notes on recipes that I "definitely plan on making". But that's usually where the dream dies. Reading cookbooks is like looking at a menu. It's like once we pick a recipe the work is done. But then reality hits and dinner ends up being something microwaved, ordered or smushed between two pieces of bread. Here is my personal top five tips when it comes to EASY and FAST healthy food.

1. Keep it Simple

Nothing will drive you crazy faster than trying to mimic the blog post that has a perfectly dressed mom cooking while her kids sit still nearby, grasping onto a carrot just grinning away.  I have literally raced around my kitchen trying to cook these recipes, child crying or demanding my full attention, while my recipe slowly dies a slow death from overcooking.

Lesson learned? Keep those recipes for special occasions. For everyday meals, keep it simple. I use the "protein, veggie and carb" rule. Grab some grass-fed, organic groceries (free-range chicken breast already cooked or smoked salmon), organic fruits and vegetables (cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grapes, berries, apples, etc), and a carb (white rice, squash, potatoes, flax crackers, etc). On a plate, arrange a protein, fruit and veggie and a carb source. Season to taste. You will be amazed (1) how gorgeous the plate of food looks like (2) how nutrient dense it is (3) how delicious it is. 

Luckily for us places like Costco, Target, Trader Joes and other major chain stores carry organic, free-range at very economical prices.  Or mix it up and spend some cash at your Farmer's Market, if anything for the learning experience your kids will get. My son has been going to the Farmer's Market since he was 6 weeks old. He now loves getting his lunch there (delicious fruits, vegetables, smoked salmon and a treat). 

2. SUBSCRIBE TO THRIVE MARKET

Thrive Market is THE Costco of the health food world. It offers incredible deals at up to 50% off retail. All those cool per-packaged foods, supplements, cleaning supplies, etc that you see at Whole Foods are massively discounted on this site. Its a membership based website (like Costco) but I guarantee you will save twice the membership price ($59 a year) on your first order. And free shipping. And they throw in a new product when you order $50 or more that is usually valued around $15-20.  The food categories are broken down for easy shopping (allergies, paleo, vegan, etc). Making lunches is a breeze when you have healthy, economical snacks to put in the lunchbox. I have used them for four years and it has saved me a lot of time. Take a look at Thrive Market's website and see if its for you.

Click here for more info.

 

3. THE ESSENTIAL COOKING TOOL

Most of you own or have heard of a slow cooker. And although it is a great tool, I can never get the timing right. The usual cooking time is 4-6 hours for a meal. Im at work longer than that and that's too long to cook at night. Yes, you can set it to "warm" but then everything tastes overcooked. I use this more on weekends. When I bought an Instapot my whole life changed.  There are many free recipes for the Instapot. I usually modify them to fit our dietary needs. For example, instead of corn I'll use greens. Swap regular pasta for gluten-free pasta. It's pretty easy. The food retains flavor and the cleanup is contained to your Instapot. It's glorious.