Today I wanted to talk about how in the world us busy moms and families can possibly find the time to cook homemade meals.
When clients and I are getting started on their programs and looking at nutrition I always want to start with quality of the food they are consuming. Especially for pregnant clients and new moms we are looking nutrition, quality of food and ingredients. We aren’t as focused on calories other than making sure we are consuming enough food for the hard work we are doing growing baby and subsequently feeding baby or simply keeping up with a new baby’s schedule. We food journal to see what they are eating, where they get their food and what portions they are eating. I always try to get moms and their families to make more food at home and use less packaged products. This way we can know exactly what we are eating. Packaged and restaurant food have some many hidden sugars, salt and additives that we just don’t need and can really prevent us from reaching our goals.
Now I am not saying never eat out, but make sure that when you do it is something you really want to eat and enjoy eating and that you know exactly what you are eating, and consider how the food will make you feel. If you know a food will make you feel sick or unhappy, consider making a better choice for you, your body and soul.
Now back to home cooking. I find the only way that I can succeed nutrition wise is to plan, plan, plan. I know my week is busy, I have a toddler, I am pregnant and I have a growing business. I have to plan my meals, prepare things in advance and batch cook. I just don’t have time to cook and prepare food every day. I cut veggies in advance, and make a huge batch of smoothies in the beginning of the week and freeze them in single portions in sandwich bags. I do my prep on Sunday or Monday for the majority of the week. I often do a slow cooker meal on Sundays in a huge batch that we can eat throughout the week especially on days that we don’t have anytime to cook. My slow cooker recipes include chili, stew, soup, whole chickens, pot roast and veggies, casserole. There are so many options. Usually at the end of the week I freeze 1-2 servings in one or more containers so that another week we can have it as a leftover night meal or a lunch meal. For breakfast, I make hardboiled eggs for a few days, which can double as a quick snack or salad protein for lunch. I make omelets in batches as well and save an extra one for another day. I make baked oatmeal fully loaded with eggs, nuts, seeds and other hearty, healthy ingredients to make a well-rounded meal out of it I make this in a big batch so we can have at least 2 breakfasts out of it. It helps me if my mornings aren’t too hectic. Prepare single servings of granola, trail mix or nuts and seeds for easy healthy snacks that can be paid with a piece of fruit or celery sticks on the go during the day.
You have to make your nutrition a priority and make time to plan for you and your family. If you have young kids get them involved and helping you so you can still spend time with them and get them interested in good food, real food. My daughter loves mixing, stirring and pressing the blender buttons for me.
Don’t get me wrong, not every week goes perfectly, I indulge when I want to as well but I always try to make it a worthwhile indulgence that doesn’t make me feel like crap afterwards (most of the time), because that just takes the fun out of it. I also love trying to recreate healthier versions of my favourite treats and meals.
Also, get hubby/ your partner involved. I am sure he can cook too. If he can’t then he can clean. The whole family needs to be a team and work together for ultimate success.
Plan or plan to fail. This may sound cliché but it 100% true. If you don’t plan you will be going in circles and trip over yourself and old habits. You need to plan or you will fall back on old habits. Plan to move forward rather than yo-yoing or moving 2 steps forward and move 1 step back all of the time because this is the most demotivating thing you can do for yourself especially with your health.
These are just some of the tips I have to help you have a more successful week for your health and nutrition.