Mar 26, 2015

Time Saving Tips for Healthy Eating



Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger Theresa Walker - BeachBody Coach


If you are a busy mom who wants to eat healthy, fresh foods, then you, like myself might find this a stretch some days.  It’s hard enough to find time to get the kids off to school, run all the errands, keep up on housework, help with homework, attend all the kids events…the list goes on.  So I’d like to share some of the tips I’ve learned over the years that have helped myself and my family to eat healthfully, even on the busiest days.  Some of these you may have heard before, but I’m hoping you can find something new that might help you as it has helped us.

Buy fruits and veggies in bulk and pre-cut what you can for the week.  Usually twice a week I’ll pull some out to wash, chop and seal in a ziplock bag or container.  Then when it’s time to make lunches or dinners or you are looking for a quick snack, you’ve got fast easy go-to options.   

CROCK POT- The crock pot is a busy person’s best friend!  If you don’t own one, go get one now.  They are affordable, and after your first dinner made, you will be wondering why you haven’t done this before.  My favorite crock pot recipe book series is called Fix It and Forget It.  They hold hundreds of recipes for the crock pot, many of my favorites come from those books.   You may also want to invest in the slow cooker liners as well, these are a few dollars for a box of 5 and save the time on clean up. 

Meal planning- It sounds simple, but often it falls by the wayside, I know I am at fault here.  But it really does help to plan your meals for the week.  Set up a wipe board in kitchen/on the fridge and every week fill it in.  That way you are never scrambling at 6pm with nothing defrosted trying to figure out what is for dinner.  You can even get the kids involved and let everyone choose a meal.

Keep healthy snacks in the car.  Some days you may not plan on being home so late from work or from running errands, but by keeping simple healthy snacks in your car like almonds, granola bars, pop corn or trail mix, you won’t find yourself running to 7-11. 

FREEZER MEALS- Meals made and prepared to go straight to the freezer and then pulled out through-out the week for a time-saving healthy dinner, are what many busy moms are doing these days.  Thanks to google and Pinterest you can find hundreds of freezer meal recipes at your finger-tips in minutes.  It may take some time initially to prepare, dice, and measure out the ingredients, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find the initial time spent is well worth it.  And then you will have a stocked freezer full of meals you can pull out through-out the week and cook in your crock pot or oven and take the stress off of your week-night meals! 

Buy a veggie steamer (I have one from Tupperware) and use it!  Ziplock even sells steaming bags.  Couple minutes in the microwave and voila!  Easy side dish to go with dinner. 



Explore the grocery store and find some healthy, yet easy prep meals. Here are some of the items I’ve found help me out quite a bit for fast, yet healthy dinners:

Butterball Turkey breast; I just place it in the crock pot with some broth, approximately 5 hours later it’s done.  



Perdue whole chicken roaster in a bag, preseasoned.  All you do is place in roasting pan in oven, cut slit in bag and let it cook for 90ish minutes, or until thermometer reads 180 F. 




Jennie-O Cook from frozen turkey burgers; these are amazing because you can pull them out anytime you need them.  





Trident Salmon Patties, again, cooks right from frozen.




Microwavable rice pouches, Uncle Ben’s makes some whole grain and wild grain options.  I know there is debate on cooking in these bags, but currently for our family, some nights we need something like this that is fast.  Better than the boxed dehydrated potatoes I used to buy in cheesy sauce. 

Trader Joes crab stuffed flounder, defrosts in fridge or fast defrost submerge in hot water, cooks 25 minutes in oven.

Trader Joes Mojito Salmon- cook from frozen or defrost/cook.  60-25 mins in oven

Trader Joes egg rolls and won ton soup.  Egg rolls go in the oven for about 20 mins, won ton cooks in microwave for 5 mins, add some steamed veggies and dinner is served. 

Obviously, one thing to note with most “fast” pre-packaged dinners, is to read the labels!  Most are full of fat, sugar and sodium.  There are more that are on the healthier side like those I’ve mentioned above I’m sure, if you have one you’d like to share, I’d love to know about it!       

Last but NOT least; think EASY!  I know we all love Pinterest and the fancy or unique recipes, but when you keep food simple, it’s usually healthy!  You don’t need to make yourself anything elaborate for dinner, because the more ingredients, the more calories.  A good example can be a salad, I like having a salad for lunch, but sometimes by the time I add on my chicken, chick peas, an egg, some tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, hmmm, what about some dried cranberries and feta….well you can see where this is going!  All of those ingredients are healthy, but they all pack a big calorie punch.  Next thing I know, I’ve made a 500 calorie salad, before even adding dressing!  The same can be true with dinner.  You find a yummy looking chicken casserole, take a look at EVERYTHING inside it.  Add it up, you may be surprised at how many calories you are eating.  So instead, get back to basics!  A roasted chicken, brown rice and asparagus.  A turkey burger, sweet potato fries and some broccoli.  Pork roast, baked potato and green beans.  Elaborate recipes are fun, but often they take time, ingredients add up in cost AND calories.  If most of your meals are prepared simply, with seasonings or a light sauce, you’ll be making a big impact on your diet.  Once you find some “simpler” or lighter recipes, rotate! Soon you will have a go-to list to shop with and the question “what’s for dinner” answered!

If you have tips that have helped you save time while eating healthy, please share them in the comments section!  I’d love to hear your ideas or comments.  And if you have a suggestion for a future blog, I’d also love to incorporate it.  Thanks for reading!    

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (8) and Aiden (5). She has a bachelors in Communications and prior to being a mother she worked at Better Investing magazine in advertising and as a Corporate Account Manager. These days she is fortunate enough to spend time with her boys checking out all of the local fun there is to be had. She and her family love to travel. She is also active in a large online mom's group through Facebook that she started called Planet Mom. She enjoys being active and one of her proudest accomplishments was running the Detroit Half Marathon as well as the Romeo to Richmond Half. In her free time you can find her running or biking through Stony Creek. Or curled up on a couch with a good book and her cat in her lap. She recently became a BeachBody Coach, so that she could share her love for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health & Fitness. She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves trying new recipes, experimenting and new restaurants around town. She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans.


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