Enough of the back to busy rushed mornings and the last minute “What do we want for dinner?” madness.
Planning and advance preparation are the keys to turning madness into method. Almost no one likes making multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week in order to prepare a few simple meals. It’s expensive in both time and money. With a bit of thought, desperate store runs will be a thing of the past, saving time for more enjoyable and productive activities.
Here’s the plan:
- Keep one central grocery list-whether on a clipboard for your family to add to or use an app on your phone.
- Stick to the list! Resist impulse buys and don’t go shopping hungry.
- Use the weekend to plan the next week’s meals.
- Use the grocery store’s online shopping service, to save on time.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
- Prepare extra meals that you can freeze for later.
- Don’t get bogged down with fancy recipes or delusions of gourmet grandeur-the simpler the better! Come up with some solid “go-to” meals that you can whip up without thinking twice.
- Unload your groceries and begin to prep for the week. Encourage your children to help! They’ll learn valuable kitchen skills and be excited about eating what they’ve helped prepare.
- Decide what you can do ahead of time.
- Example: Pack up carrots, chips, nuts and other snacks used in lunch boxes. Cut up fruit to store (add a little lemon juice to keep them from browning!) in the fridge
- Decide what you can do ahead of time.
- If your family likes hard-boiled eggs (easy breakfast and/or snack!), boil a dozen and keep them in the fridge for easy access.
- Try and reduce unnecessary waste and use glass storage containers if possible (no phalates)
- Make lunches the night before. It will save you precious minutes and a whole lot of sanity the next morning!
- When starting dinner prep, a chopped apple or an orange can buy you some time when it comes to “Mom, I’m hungry! Is dinner ready yet?”
We asked healthy eating experts Adri and Carolyn of The Whole Tulip for pantry staple advice from their popular eBook, Let’s Cook, Real Food Recipes Worth Knowing By Heart”. This eBook covers staples for the pantry, fridge and freezer.
Organizing Your Basic Pantry
Whether you have already given your pantry a make over or you still can’t bear the thought of departing with your goldfish and cheerios, we have some great next steps for you. Building a real foods pantry takes time and can be a bumpy road. We are going to share with our favorite go to pantry staples and what we have found works well for busy people. Use it as a starting point and get curious about what excites you. Use these as suggestions. Your job is to fine-tune the list; adjusting as you go to add the ingredients you use most.
One of the keys to eating real food is always having fresh food available and accessible.
We always tell clients that if you have produce and some grains, you have a meal. Keeping your pantry stocked with essential dried goods makes it easy to feel that you can a simple meal waiting for you.
You don’t ever want real food cooking to feel boring or bland. Have those special go to staples that bring out the true flavors of your naturally simple ingredients.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
Making the choice to go 100% organic can be overwhelming, unrealistic and expensive. However, we now live in a time where it is necessary to eat organic foods to avoid pesticides that are toxic to the nervous system.
The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. We have listed the top 14 produce items to buy organic to avoid exposure to pesticides. However, eating conventionally grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. If at all possible, shop local. Buying local produce supports local farmers, will be seasonal and fresh, and reduces your carbon footprint.
You can rest assure that buying organic produce is less toxic. Crops grown by organic farmers are not exposed to toxic pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, synthetic grown hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients. Buying organic also means you are buying products that do not contain GMO’s, Genetically Modified Organisms.
Source: Environmental Working Group