When I am hungry, I have very little patience. The key is not to wait until you are hungry to eat. The other piece of the equation is to have a strategy.
Plan your food menu a week or a few days in advance.
- Look at your schedule for the week ahead. Do you have work meals with clients? Are you running around on appointments? Are you working from home?
- Schedule your meal times like you would a date.
- Decide what you are going to eat in advance and create your grocery list.
- You now know your schedule and have a menu planned, you are gaining more control.
On the days you will eat outside the home or do take-out, consider this:
- If you are eating out often, know the restaurant you are going to in advance. Look at the menu online and decide what you are ordering before you arrive. You can even call and ask for the specials.
- Eat a snack one hour before you go out to eat, this way you won’t show up ravenous and eat all the bread.
- Always keep a healthy snack in your bag for the days that get away from you. For example, I always carry a Cliff bar with me.
- Keep at least THREE healthy menus nearby if you decide to unexpectedly order in.
Cooking at Home
If you know what you are going to eat before you get home, you will be less bothered by cooking. There are plenty of options. First, invest in good storage containers. Here are a few options.
- Rather than make one chicken breast, make the whole package. Whether you are feeding one person or a family, leftovers make for a great lunch. I also use it as toppings for frozen pizza.
- On the weekend, make a lasagna or any large tray meal. Portion it for the week ahead. You can place portions in the freezer and anything you intend to eat within the next 48 hours in the refrigerator.
- Make a pot of brown rice rice and portion it. You can use it for your meals instead of eating bread or empty white starch.
I like to stock frozen ready made foods.
- I always keep items like chicken dumplings, seafood stew, frozen veggies, and whole wheat pizzas in my freezer.
- All items should have no corn starch, no high fructose corn syrup, no excess sugar and be low in sodium.
- When I am hungry these items are quick healthy meals and done in 8 – 15 minutes.
- I add veggies to all my meals. Frozen vegetables are as good as fresh and they are easily prepared.
- I love to buy ready made, low-sodium soups or broth at my local market. Trader Joe’s is excellent.
- Soups can sit on the cupboard shelf at room temperature until used. It is strictly heat and serve.
- Soup is a water-rich food that can help decrease calorie intake.
- I buy chicken and veggie broth and I use them with the aforementioned frozen dumplings.
- Add spice, tofu, veggies, chicken, and other ingredients to your pre-made meals to make them more hearty.
- Buy ethnic foods like curry chicken and mix it with freshly cooked chicken breast.
- Buy sides and let them spice up your dishes.
- Stay the heck away from hummus or dips unless you are entertaining.
- It is cheaper than eating out and you don’t sacrifice flavor.
- If want something sweet, I make myself go to the store and get it. This way I am working for it.
- Sweets are never handy or bought in bulk. Otherwise, I will eat it daily.
- All sweets must be out of the house in 24 hours. If I can’t eat it, I bring it to work and give it away.
- I set a price point and won’t exceed it. Food is not a reward.
- Another rule I have is I must make my own desserts from scratch if I want it.
What are some of your strategies for a quick meal?