Today, I am back with tips to help with the “juggling act” most of us experience everyday. Work, families, activities………they have us running around like crazy. What we need is real food to keep us energized so that we can keep up with our busy lives. Unfortunately, when things get busy we often feel like there is no time to cook and feel like we are forced to turn to fast and convenience foods. I totally get it. Been there. Done that. And……..still struggle with eating real food on a daily basis if I don’t focus on the importance of eating healthy food. Our families deserve nourishing foods that keep them energized and focused on what matters most to them. School, sports, scouting…..it takes a lot out of a kid. They need food that can really keep them performing at their best.
Since I am not one to just sit around and complain about how busy I am, today I am sharing some of my favorite tips for juggling real food…. and real life. I’m not here to preach. I’m not here to accuse. I’m here to help. By incorporating these tips in my daily life, I have been better able to get real food to the table on a regular basis. Do we eat real food 100% of the time? I wish. However, I have come to find out that 100% is just not realistic for most families. Try eating real food 80% of the time and you will notice a difference in how you and your family feel. It’s pretty awesome to feel how your body changes for the better.
Don't let your busy schedule be the reason you don't eat real food. Tips to help. #cleaneating Click To Tweet
Cooking Tips For Busy Families
Make extra portions.
You’ve already got the water boiling. Double your pasta. It doesn’t take any longer and then you have pasta ready to go for another meal. Double batches of muffins freeze well for easy mornings. Hummus takes 5 minutes to make and can be used for multiple meals and snacks. Make big batches of rice, quinoa, and soups and you will have lots of easy go-to meals ready to go.
Use a crockpot.
In case you don’t know, I love, love, love my programmable crockpot. Toss a few ingredients in the crock in the morning and things are ready to go when I get home. And with the programmable crock, I don’t have to worry about things cooking too long and drying out. Sloppy Joes are one of our favorites in the crock. So good and so easy.
Make easy meals.
Real food meals don’t need to be fancy. Quick flatbread pizzas with simple salads or grilled chicken sandwiches with cucumbers and dip always get big cheers at my house. Complicated meals are fun to make, but on a regular basis stick to easy to make meals. Even whole wheat pasta with a good jar sauce is better than a trip to the drive-thru.
Use small/thin chunks of food.
I love to cook peppers and onions to add extra nutrition and flavor to sausage sandwiches. In order to speed up the cook time, I cut the vegetables into small pieces. They cook in way less time when you use small pieces.
Don’t throw out leftovers.
Make sure to store your leftovers promptly after meal time. They can then be used for a quick meal the next day or used to create a different meal. Leftover veggies make awesome omelets or soups. Leftover taco fixings make delicious burrito bowls. If you take the time to cook, make sure you get the most out of it. Don’t waste anything.
Use pockets of time to cook food. Experts like to say “cook the night before.” I have a different approach. Look for times in your day that you have 5, 10, 15 minutes without something else to do. It happens. You just have to look for the time. Rather than hopping on Facebook to kill time, grab a knife and prep some veggies, look at a new recipe, or stir up some sauce for dinner. By doing your prep work ahead of time, you will have more time in your schedule to prepare meals when you are busy. See more on my pockets of time prep here.
These are some of my favorite tips for getting real food meals to the table on a regular basis. Each of these strategies helps me to take the chaos out of my life. No more struggling with messed up orders from fast-food restaurants. No more wondering about “what’s for dinner?” No more junk food that makes me feel like crap. There I said it. It’s time to start feeling better and real food is what makes me feel good. Give it a try. Slow, but sure you and your family will adjust to your new real food lifestyle.
What are your favorite tips for getting real food to the table on a regular basis? What or who is holding you back from eating real food? What confuses you the most about real food? Leave me a comment and let’s get the conversation going. If you ever have a question, you can leave that as a comment also. I’ll either answer you directly or write a post based on your question.