So one of the biggest things I have learned with food (as well as many other areas of life) is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail. So MANY times I’ve failed. Life gets busy, things don’t go as planned, kids need more attention so dinner doesn’t get made, we get home late from piano lessons or gymnastics, the list of excuses can go on and on! It used to derail me from healthy eating quite easily, but with time and practice I developed a plan for my “unplanned days” that has helped keep me eating healthy! Here are the steps I take to put together dinner for us on those days…
Step 1: Vegetables! What vegetables do we have and what can I do with them. I try to use any fresh veggies we have first. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our freezer stocked
with frozen veggies we can steam in a pinch, but fresh
veggies are our favorite. Generally I roast them in the oven with a little olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper. I try to choose a green one because usually those provide the most health benefits, but I use what we have. Learning to build our meals around a vegetable instead of a meat, definitely took some adjustment! Almost all of us are raised to think of what meat we are going to prepare first and build sides around it. Making the vegetable the star of the meal is still new to us, but I think we’ve embraced it well.
Step 2: Protein! Sometimes this is a meat, sometimes it quinoa. When cooking my unplanned meal those are generally the 2 we bounce between. The most common for us is leftover chicken breast, lean steak, or turkey burger that we season with our homemade taco seasoning. I think that is my favorite! Sometimes I add onions and peppers to it and place it on a bed of mixed greens and a scoop of guacamole or avocado slices. 🙂
Step 3: Eat it! Yes, it’s that simple. Meals don’t need to have 3 or 4 sides. Keep it easy and simple and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully satisfying it is to eat REAL food! That’s how I adopted this unplanned yet planned meal idea in the first place…make it easy and I’m more likely to see it through!
Back Up Plan…Worst Case Scenario So this happens sometimes. I’m SO hungry and it is SO late, that I don’t even have time for what I’ve laid out above. So, what do I do? Well, I used to hit the nearest drive thru, but now that I’ve kept to healthy eating for so long, going through the drive thru makes my body feel horrible! Now I just make a protein shake. We have a couple protein shakes that we use. We love Pure Protein Complete from Young Living, (contact me for wholesale pricing) or the All in One Nutrition from Vega. (I’m not affiliated with Vega, just love some of their products!) Those are our favorites. We just add a little unsweetened almond milk, sometimes a little frozen fruit and blend it up in our Ninja. It helps keep me on target and even on days that it’s not what I really want, it tends to hit the spot.
How can you make dinner easier when you’ve forgotten to meal prep? What are your favorite healthy go-to meals for your family?
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