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Nutrition Tip Tuesday

Our bodies are the physical vessels that we use to navigate our lives. And the food we eat is the fuel that moves us. We literally get out of our bodies what we put into them. So if we want energy and strength and focus and longevity, then we need to give our bodies nutrient-rich foods.

I think most of us understand the basics of eating a healthy diet. Obviously, a mix of lean meats, fish, and fresh vegetables and fruits are excellent choices, while simple carbs, saturated fats, and processed foods should be kept to a minimum.

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Despite the fact that we’re familiar with these fairly simple nutrition guidelines, it can be surprisingly challenging to actually follow them. Sometimes that’s because we eat for reasons that are emotional rather than physical. Often we even eat when we’re actually dehydrated. But I suspect that most of the time our difficulty making healthy choices is more about convenience. That’s where this week’s Nutrition Tip Tuesday can really help.

Nutrition Tip: Plan your meals for the week and prep your groceries ahead of time.


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Grocery Shopping

We’ve all heard the adage that you should never go to the grocery store hungry, and if you’ve ever made that mistake, you know why it’s good advice! I’d like to take that tip a step further and encourage you to always go to the store with a specific list of what you intend to buy. Rather than wandering the aisles trying to figure out what looks good, plan out the week ahead of time and only shop for what you need. Not only will less browsing mean less temptation, but it will also save you money.

Sitting down and thinking about what best meets your needs for the week ahead is truly a game changer. What ingredients can be shared across multiple dishes to reduce waste and simplify shopping? What items are good to-go for lunches, school trips, or extracurricular activities? What nights will you need something super fast and easy because time is always tight? How about morning shake and after-school snack ingredients? Make sure you keep plenty of healthy options on hand like almonds, crunchy veggie sticks, low carb / high fiber fruits, green tea, etc.

Food Prep

The next step in making this Tuesday nutrition tip work is prepping your food ahead of time. I like to set aside a little time on Sundays to wash, cut, and store all my ingredients and snacks for the week. Just like on those cooking shows where all the elements are pre-prepared, cooking is SO much easier when everything is ready and waiting to be used.

Prepping your food mindfully also means that nutritious snacks like fresh, washed, stemmed strawberries are within easy reach when you need a nibble. Pre-cut celery sticks make a great quick snack and are easy to chop down for soup stock, salads, and sauces. Everything from shakes to side dishes are so much simpler to make when the prep work is already done. The easier it is to make healthy meals, the less likely you’ll be to cave to unhealthy choices just to save time and effort.


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Menu Planning

Planning your menus out in advance is the best way to help yourself keep your commitments when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating. Forget standing in front of an open fridge or pantry trying to figure out what you have, what to make, and where to start. Instead, grab your meal plan for the week knowing that you have already made intentional choices based on your time and your family’s needs AND you already have all the ingredients ready to grab.

The magic of a plan and prep strategy is that it eliminates a lot of the obstacles that inevitably arise when we just try to wing it. We make mindful decisions rather than impulsive ones. We save time without having to fall back on the convenience of take-out, delivery, or processed foods. We can be confident that we have all the ingredients we need. We even have a jumpstart on putting it all together thanks to pre-prepared ingredients.

I am absolutely positive that you will find yourself making better, more healthy meal and snack choices as a direct result of conscious decision-making. And in the event that you find yourself feeling peckish or in need of a pick-me-up, you will have plenty of yummy and nutritious options at your fingertips. Making it convenient to stay on track can make all the difference.

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