A few years ago, when I first got pregnant, my husband and mother-in-law started encouraging me to choose natural and safer skincare and cleaning products. So, slowly I have been changing my soaps, and disinfectants, and window cleaners over to more natural brands. I also started taking USANA vitamins on a daily basis. Then about a year and a half ago, I heard about Beautycounter, and was impressed by their rigorous testing process and commitment to cleaner and safer makeup and beauty products. I started switching out foundation and moisturizers as I used them up. Then I fell in love with the products and the way they performed (after years of underwhelming products from the health food store) that I decided to become a consultant. So as far as “healthy” living goes I checked off three areas that desperately needed to be “cleaned” up: household products, supplements, and personal care products. But have you noticed what I haven’t mentioned yet….food.
I am such a convenience eater. Really. I want something that is made for me or read in like 2 minutes. I have never LOVED cooking. I just fail to see the point in spending hours slaving over a hot stove just to have the fruit of my labor literally consumed in 20 minutes (maybe? Some days it is more like 5). Add to this the fact that I have three small children clamoring at me while I try to cook or eat (which I sometimes sneak into the kitchen to eat all by myself.) And then the house that we are renting has a kitchen that is tiny. Like tiii-ny. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t compare to the small spaces of a NYC apartment, but it is tight. You can’t get through from one side to another if someone has the refrigerator door open. So yeah. Having a Lilliputian-sized kitchen doesn’t help my desire to cook.
But it doesn’t matter. Because I know I need to eat healthier. Having three babies in 4 years has done a number on my body. And now I’m “in my thirties” so my metabolism isn’t what it once was. I also went through a life-style change of running around and standing all day while teaching, to a much more sedentary pace – especially right now when I’m nursing. I’ve always known what I SHOULD be eating, I have just been too lazy and unwilling to spend the time and money to do it. But Dean and I have been talking a lot about how we can make better choices in what we eat, meaning more veggies and protein, and less carbs and sugar. It’s not full-blown paleo or anything, but it is a commitment to switching out food items that are full of sugars or lots of carbs that turn into sugar and eating more REAL food. For instance, to me this means that if we have bread in the house, it is fresh baked bread – maybe one day I will even get around to making it myself, but as Bill Murray once said, “Baby steps. Baby steps.”
It also means that to really DO this, it also has to be convenient. Like I know I am not going to sautéing up a bunch of veggies every day for lunch. That is stressful to me, and not practical. You would realize that after ONE lunch with us since there are usually at LEAST two children crying – outright, ugly crying and leg holding -right before lunch because they are STAARRRRVING. Never mind that they had a snack like 2 hours earlier. Dean’s hours at work are also changing, which means I now HAVE to make dinner solo. Two meals, cooked, all. by. myself. erry. single. day.
Enter in…..meal prep. Yep. So we tried it this week. Cutting up a bunch of veggies, cooking several meats, having lunches and some things for dinner already started. It was a lot of hours in the kitchen. Dean and I had to switch off making things and taking care of kids or washing/putting away dishes because the kids want to try and help (which I love…wait do I love that? No. Some days it down-right drives me bonkers!) or they need attending to. Plus the idea of 2 adults, 2 toddlers, and a baby in the kitchen the size of a large walk-in closet is like a ripe plot for a sitcom (if we were funnier) or just a recipe for disaster. Did I mention that we also don’t have a dishwasher? Yeah…. the plot thickens.
It was good though. It may not seem like it, but I am excited about this process and how it will help teach our children about cooking, and the importance of good ingredients. I am excited for eating food that really nourishes my body instead of just filling it up with junk. And with all that said, I thought I’d share three of the recipes I made: one breakfast, one dinner, and one dessert (cuz mama’s need dessert. And wine. Hell, everyone needs those things).
I can’t do cereal anymore because I have given up dairy while nursing, and I’ve yet to find a milk substitute that tastes good with cereal. But cereal is sooooooo convenient. So to overcome this, I have to have something already made up. This hash is easy to make in advance and add the eggs to in the morning. I just added them ahead of time, and it still tasted good re-heated.
These stuffed sweet potatoes are delish. Once again, I didn’t fully follow the recipe (I didn’t do the dates or the coconut aminos but it was still really good). I think a big key to making some of these recipes is to not drive yourself crazy looking for weirdo ingredients. Some times I cheat and sub in things I already have. Or sometimes, if it doesn’t seem essential, I just cut it out altogether. The really great thing about this dinner is when you scoop out the insides of these sweet potatoes you will have enough mash to make……
DESSERT! I also made this dessert (sort of… I used whole wheat flour instead of almond flour, and regular sugar instead of palm sugar because we are still using up these ingredients before replacing. Once again. Make it work for you. Baby steps. And I don’t like to be wasteful). It was excellent! The brownies are softer than most regular brownies, but you can’t even tell that you are eating sweet potatoes!
Also, I am apparently OBSESSED with sweet potatoes. Lol. But I guess there are worse things to eat a ton of. 🙂
What does meal prepping for you look like? Do you have favorite healthy recipes? Or healthy-eating gurus you follow? I would love to have more ideas!
P.S. I know my feature image may not really represent “healthy” eating, but it was DELISH! And I’m not ashamed of it. 🙂 Also, I just am not that person that takes pictures of my food. I usually just eat it. Quickly. Before 2 sets of small hands grab at it.