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Planning and Preparation Are Two Keys to Healthy Eating

It’s that time of the week. You have eaten pretty much everything in the house, and now you need to figure out what to make for the upcoming week. If you are trying to eat healthy, this is a pivotal moment. It’s much easier to stick to a healthy eating plan if you are surrounded by good choices, so planning and preparation are key.

This week I had no idea what to make, and my husband, who thankfully will eat anything I put in front of him, had no suggestions. Our family eats a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet, so my first step is to pull out my favorite cookbooks.

I really like Dr. Greger’s How Not To Die Cookbook and Thug Kitchen because they have great pictures and use simple ingredients, so I look through until something catches my eye.

I like to make big batches so I don’t have to cook every night, so I think of it as my “three big things”. For this week, I decided on bean and beet burgers with roasted potato salad with herb dressing; cold citrus noodles with tofu; and barley stuffed peppers. We will add a green salad each night too. Recipes for Moraccan spiced couscous and coconut lime rice with red beans also caught my eye so I added ingredients for those to my list. Then it’s off to the store.

Once you get home from the store, you have one more step. It’s tempting to just shove everything into the refrigerator and deal with it later, but if you prep your ingredients it will make your life much easier. If you have ever purchased a watermelon, you know what I’m talking about. That thing will sit on the counter until it rots unless someone (probably you) cuts it up. Then it’s gone in record time.

Having clean lettuce always makes it easier to put together a salad. We like to snack on celery with peanut butter, so that gets washed and cut up. Having fresh fruit and veggies clean and cut also makes it easier for kids to grab a healthy snack. Registered Dietitian Lauren Simmons says, “I like to keep individual portions of carrots, snap peas, bell pepper and cucumber in Ziploc bags so I have a healthy snack to grab if I’m in a hurry or at the office."

Yes, eating healthy takes some work, but with some planning and prep ahead of time, you can be sure to always have something delicious within reach.

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