Tips to Help You Find the Time to Eat a Healthy Diet
When you have diabetes it can be confusing to decide what types of food you should be eating; what diet to follow. Every person with diabetes is unique and there are many ways to eat when trying to control your blood glucose. One of the things I have noticed among the myriad of food plans is that they all encourage you to eat whole, real foods and shun processed carbohydrates. While weaning yourself from your beloved sourdough bread or favorite pasta dish is definitely difficult, finding time to eat a diet of “real” food is often much harder!
Eating “real” food requires more cooking. Let’s face it, when you’ve been working hard all day it can be daunting to think about cooking a meal. Making a boxed meal or popping a pizza in the oven can seem so much easier than chopping and cooking vegetables, am I right? But we all know that those types of foods aren’t the best choice on a daily basis so what can we do to make cooking the good stuff easier? Plan ahead.
I have some friends who used to spend their Sundays preparing meals for the whole week. I openly applauded them but was secretly mad at them for being so organized. I never felt up to the task myself. However, they were right all along: preparing meals in advance or at least prepping for meals, is a great way to ensure you’re eating a healthier diet. Here are just a few ideas I’ve incorporated into my low-carb lifestyle that I think you might find helpful.
- Make a menu for the week. If you know in advance what you’ll be eating for the week, it can help you to have the ingredients on hand. I have found that purchasing all my fresh vegetables at once can sometimes backfire on me because they may wilt by the end of the week. A mid-week veggie run may be necessary.
- Chop lots of vegetables at one time. Several of the meals I prepare these days require chopped vegetables: peppers, onions and zucchini, etc. Chopping can be very time consuming, so while you’re doing it why not chop some extra? I especially hate chopping onions so I’ll chop up enough for my planned meals and have them ready in the refrigerator. Making a stir fry just became easier if you can simply reach into your fridge and pull out the prepared vegetables.
- Use frozen vegetables. There is nothing wrong with frozen vegetables! In fact, frozen vegetables often have more nutrients than fresh. Odd as it seems, this is true because frozen vegetables are flash-frozen as soon as they’re picked so they don’t have a chance to lose their goodness. Choose frozen vegetables without added sauces. I make a stir-fry that is similar to eggroll stuffing and I use a bag of prepared coleslaw mix, the one without the sauce. Having a bag of chopped cabbage, carrots and such makes this meal a quick and easy idea.
- Make extra. If you’re making a casserole, make two…or three! Pop the extras in the freezer for a future dinner that is quick and easy. It doesn’t take much more time to put together more than one casserole and you’ll be glad you did on that day when work was awful, traffic was intense and you just don’t feel like cooking.
These are just a few ideas of how you can make healthy eating easier at home. What are some of your tips and tricks?
What aspect of diabetes management do you struggle with most?