Get Lean in 2015 Challenge – Week 2
Cooking and eating more meals at home can help you eat healthier. It can also help save money in many cases, which you can then put towards other healthy treats, like a new exercise class, a new workout gadget, an outfit (there are so many great options available now!), or a bigger budget for organic foods. BUT, you probably already knew all of this. It’s really the HOW of this week’s challenge that we wanted talk about in this post . . . you know, HOW to eat more meals at home.
We’ve had so many clients and friends tell us that they’ve set this as a resolution in years past, but that they aren’t sure the best way to go about meeting it, and for that reason the goal often ends up unmet.
How to make cooking more at home a reality . . .
Like any new challenge, the key is in making sure that you’ve defined the steps that will help you get there, as well as how you’ll measure your success. For instance, instead of saying that you want to cook more at home define that you’ll start cooking dinner at home at least 4 times per week. Then go further to set a goal of making a soup, stew, or other large meals that you can use for a couple dinners and/or lunches throughout the week, so that you don’t need to prepare something new every night. You can also pre-cook at least one type of protein over the weekend to keep in the fridge and use in meals such as grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, lean beef, or ground turkey.
Here are some additional tips to get you started. Choose what feels most comfortable and fits your lifestyle/preferences, or try to think of your own. The important thing is to be specific with your ideas and get them down on paper (or your computer, iPhone notes, etc.)
- Prepare a stew or soup over the weekend and save it for leftovers, or freeze in smaller batches to thaw throughout the week as needed.
- Prep at least 3 cups of veggies over the weekend. Chop onions, peppers, and cucumbers to use in salads or other dishes and cut carrots and celery into sticks to have around as snacks.
- Buy bagged spinach or other greens that can be thrown in a salad or cooked without a fuss, or wash and roughly chop your own so they are ready to cook or eat.
- To keep things exciting, make a commitment to try one new food (or new preparation of that food) each week.
- Pre-portion snacks (like a homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain cereal) from home in snack bags to take to work.
- Try one of these make-ahead breakfasts (link to Bee Nutritious blog: Four Fast Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas)
- Use a service to help you plan meals like Prep Dish, Blue Apron or com that deliver the recipes and all of the pre-measured ingredients right to your door.
- For ideas, check out all of the simple, delicious, and healthy recipes on bumblebee.com, like this fast and easy whole wheat tuna linguini with spicy sundried tomatoes.
How many home prepared meals will you aim to eat each week? Choose something that is an improvement from what you’re doing now, but is also a reasonable goal for you!