There are many definitions of healthy eating floating around these days. If you search the internet, turn on the TV, or glance at a magazine rack in a grocery store you will easily find multiple opinions about what healthy eating means. For me healthy eating is primarily eating real food instead of processed food. I lean towards a whole food, plant based diet though I am not always 100% plant based for various reasons. I am a great fan and follower of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (and the rest of the Esselstyn family), and Dr. John MacDougall, as well as many other plant based physicians. I took Dr. Campbell’s course a few years ago and it convinced me to make an effort to eat plant based.
Before you even bombard me with the question: lentils, quinoa, nutritional yeast, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, beans, to name a few sources of protein. Protein is not the topic of this post but it is the most frequent question we get. And I take B12 and vitamin D.
Back to the topic at hand. If you hop over to my other blog you will see that I am in the midst of an 8 week challenge from my coach. I have written quite a bit on that blog about prepping food and cooking. I want to bring the discussion here because it is part of the whole program that I am interested in sharing with people.
Preparation is one of my keys to a successful week. I spend a few hours each weekend turning this:
These few hours are important for me because they set me up for a successful week. I don’t have to think as much about what I am going to eat. I can easily combine prepared items or just grab containers that are already in portions. Some people are fans of planning out every meal for the week but I am not doing that right now. I prepare some staples: oatmeal, brown rice, cut up fruit, a few salads, and usually soup, and then I mix and match items.
Some of what I am preparing right now depends on what arrives each week in my CSA box from Snow’s Bend Farms. I have eaten several foods this summer that I had never eaten and definitely had never cooked. This week’s box contained shiso, an herb that seems to be primarily used in sushi. I found a recipe for a salad with watermelon and cucumbers that uses shiso. I am looking forward to trying this salad.
I find that the more I cook and prepare the more creative I become about how to prepare and combine foods. Even so, I don’t find it complicated or really terribly time consuming in the long run. I don’t have to think about what I will eat every day because it is already prepared and ready to put together. I still do some cooking throughout the week – usually stir frying vegetables to add to rice or quinoa. Overall this is a method that helps me remain healthy and not just grab something on the run.
If you don’t prepare ahead, I challenge you to give it a try. Let me know how it goes.