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Bless Your Future Self

posted on

May 4, 2024

Bless Your Future Self

A common barrier to a nourishing daily diet is time. Between work schedules, after school activities, self-care (hopefully), and hobbies, there are many things competing for our time. It is very easy to turn towards convenience when it comes to nutrition; unfortunately, many of the convenient options may not support your overall health or goals. Today I want to share a few ways you can bless your future self by preparing for those busy days. 

Keep It Simple

There is a time to try new recipes and cooking methods, but busy seasons are not it. During hectic evenings, keep your meals simple: a protein, starch, and veggie. Keeping each macronutrient to a single ingredient eliminates the possibility you are missing a crucial item in your kitchen. I love my oven when we have after school events or a busy evening doing chores. It doesn’t require my attention while it cooks and can manage my whole meal. Chicken thighs and diced potatoes, drizzled with avocado oil and seasoned simply in garlic powder and sea salt, can cook at 400 degrees at the same time; throwing in a tray of broccoli when there are ten minutes left. Keeping it simple doesn’t mean flavorless; season liberally with sea salt and spices (fresh or dried). 

Prepare Large Batches 

There is no limit to what can be prepared in large batches. Cook once, eat twice, three times, etc! This is my favorite way to simplify packing adult lunches for work. Make enough for dinner so you have plenty for a round of leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. My favorite options for this are chili, soups, stews, jambalaya, or other one pot meals. Easy to reheat or throw in the freezer to pull out on the night you don’t have the bandwidth to cook. 

You can also prepare large amounts of protein to use throughout the week. Cook two whole chickens (when they are in season again!) to be used in soups, salads, casseroles or a large pork shoulder for BBQ or tacos.  Rice or meat stocks are another favorite option to have on hand that are easy to pull together and pop in the fridge for use throughout the week. Baked egg cups or banana muffins are easy to freeze and pull out the night before to ensure a healthy breakfast option on the run. 

Buy In Bulk

There are many ways you can stock your pantry or fridge, so you always have common ingredients ready to be thrown together. If you keep your freezer and pantry stocked with items you turn to often, the temptation to grab take out drastically reduces. A meal can pull together quickly if you have access to the foods that keep it simple. 

Grand View Farm offers a Subscribe and Save option that ships a variety of meats directly to your door at regular intervals so you can keep your freezer stocked with pastured options at a reasonable monthly price. A favorite option for my family is to purchase a beef and pork share from Grand View Farm twice a year and grocery shop directly in our freezers. Ground beef and sausages are easy and quick to defrost and get cooking in a short amount of time. 

I like to grab a few extra bags of frozen veggies when there is a good sale at the store to keep on hand. The veggies are frozen at peak ripeness and nutrition so you can enjoy them knowing you are feeding your family well. The prep work is done for you so you can toss them in a bit of avocado oil and sea salt, give them a quick sauté, and get them on the table quickly or toss them into soup or stew. I prefer a fresh veggie when time allows, but a frozen veggie in the freezer removes a barrier to a healthy meal. 

There are other great options to keep pantry staples in stock like rice, canned veggies, cooking oil, etc. Common bulk stores, such as Amish markets, Costco, BJs, etc., offer cost effective ways to buy in larger quantities. Azure Standard also offers bulk options if you are available to pick up monthly in your area. The goal is to have frequently used items ready for a simple meal. 

Meal Prep

We can’t talk about blessing our future self without mentioning meal preparation. You could either plan your meals by pulling favorite recipes to ensure your weekly grocery trip has all the necessary ingredients for the week or you could spend one night a week hustling in the kitchen, so you have prepared items ready to grab. I have tried both options and it doesn’t work for me as well as the options listed above, but it works for many. You may have to experiment to see what works best for your personality and schedule.

I hope you can find a few strategies to set yourself up for success in the kitchen and bless your future self with some thought and effort when time allows! 

- Laura Tricarico, NTP

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