Now more than ever it is important to take care of our health. Nutrition creates the very foundation for us to not only survive, but to thrive. We are all knee deep in this pandemic. If you are anything like me we are trying to adapt to this new normal, keep up with our work, figure out what day it is, and stay on top of our at-home workouts – all while checking in to make sure our families are healthy and safe. Combine all this stress with our stocks of food and it is a recipe for some stress eating, comfort food, and serious snacking. In order to take care of ourselves, we need to shift our focus to making the healthier choices the easiest choices for ourselves. So, let’s set you up for success and I am going to give you my best tips to making easy healthy meals.
Start with what you have. You never have to start from scratch. Check out what you already have and what you already know how to make with those ingredients. Sometimes all a recipe takes is a few simple swaps.
How to make it healthy. Healthy can mean something different to every single one of us. But something that is universal in healthy meals is the foundation. Here is your cheat sheet for creating a healthy balanced meal:
[lean protein*] + [vegetables] + [healthy fat] + [healthy carb]
*lean protein can also include any vegetarian/vegan source of protein
Make a simple (but effective) plan. Use your cheat sheet to create your balanced meals. If you find you are low on any of these items, then you can venture out to the store knowing exactly what you need. This will limit the amount of time you need to spend IN the store and cut the frequency you need to have any interaction during grocery shopping or deliveries!
The Easiest Meals to Make During a Pandemic.
Wrap or Sandwich.
Don’t underestimate the health power of a wrap or a sandwich. Nutritionally they can be a balanced, quick, and easy option. Sandwiches sometimes get a bad rep, but this is because sometimes they get served on what would be a full loaf of bread! The trick here is to watch your portions- try to find a whole grain bread that is thin sliced.
Not only is chili a great health one-pot meal, it is also a hearty meal that freezes really well. You can make entirely from frozen and canned foods. Make this once and eat on it for a week or longer! Tip: freeze it in individual portions so you can re-heat for different meals over the next few weeks!
Chicken Sausage & Veggies. Another one pot meal, that is as simple as the name. Grab a turkey or chicken sausage (Italian flavored), dice up a whole potato and roast or dry fry with a bit of olive oil. Slice one or two bell peppers, a whole yellow onion, add in asparagus and brussels sprouts if available (the more vegetables the better)!
Find a few staple meals that are quick and easy for you to make and keep those ingredients on hand. When you can get fresh, eat those foods first. But don’t hesitate to buy frozen or canned. They are both healthy and will last on your self a lot longer. If you keep healthy food in the house, you will eat healthy food – create an environment that makes eating healthy easy.