It is Spin Tuesday once again! I am super excited to get myself back into the spin.
Remind me of my excitement around 10:00 am when I am 15 minutes into the grueling class.
Yes friends, this morning I revert back to my motto of, “Please do not call me, text me or expect me Tuesday mornings between 9:45 am-10:45 am, thanks.”
What is not so exciting is food shopping, meal thinking and cooking in the summer.
Even I am struggling these days to maintain kitchen order.
My coupons are suffering. My grocery list is at the bottom of my beach bag.
It doesn’t help that not only are there less coupons in the summer, a majority of the brands that offer coupons in the local newspaper circulars are not for items I normally purchase.
Lately I have been stopping into the stores every few days just grabbing the essentials and winging it from there.
Please note the container of ice cream. I am in a heated competition with the Ice Cream Man who makes himself known every afternoon. Without fail. Rain or Shine.
One container of Breyer’s ice cream $1.97 (ON SALE!) which easily dishes out 6 or more sundaes vs. the blasted Ice Cream Man’s selections that cost at least $2.50 each.
The score so far: Ice Cream Man 2 – Mom – 0
I am convinced this container of Breyer’s will help me make my comeback.
Anyway, back to the point of this post:
I was never big on the Sunday food prep and the truth is, when the weekends are beautiful, who is home or feels like prepping and cooking after a day in the sun? No one.
I have decided it is going to take some planning, of another form, to get the healthy meals on the summer table.
We need to allow ourselves some slack during this time of year.
No, I do not mean you sit back and go to town with yourself and survive on fast food and chips.
The lettuce and tomato on your fast food burger will not count as your vegetables for this plan. I am sorry.
I simply mean it is A-OK to go semi-homemade and pull together meals that require less preparation and planning.
So how does this little summer plan of action work?
THREE TIPS FOR THROWING TOGETHER QUICK, NO BRAINER YET STILL HEALTHY MEALS:
1 – PRE-CUT VEGETABLES-
Trader Joe’s has a lovely selection of a variety of pre-cut vegetables ready to be eaten or quickly cooked a variety of ways.
- Quick salads
- Roasted vegetables
- Quick Side Dish
- Veggies and hummus
Please bear with me on the quality of the photos – I took them quickly yesterday and the employees kept questioning what the heck I was doing.
Don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you? No problem. The photo above was taken in Target. Most Target stores have some form of a grocery section.
Which is totally perfect for multi-tasking the errands so you can get yourself to the pool faster.
I realize that buying pre-cut vegetables may cost a bit more than cutting up yourself.
However, it is still cheaper (AND HEALTHIER!) to buy the cut up veggies and prepare the meals at home versus eating out every day instead.
2- MAKE THE FROZEN AISLE YOUR FRIEND-
Afraid to buy fresh produce because it may spoil before you cook it? Don’t have time to cook the quinoa or brown rice? Need a little assistance from our friends Amy and Dr. Praeger?
No problem. Hit up the frozen aisle.
Your possibilities are endless people. Frozen vegetables are perfect to store in the freezer, they are always ready to be cooked and won’t spoil. Many stores sell a wide variety of vegetable blends including stir fry ready packages.
Trader Joe’s sells frozen quinoa mixes as well as individual bags of frozen, already cooked brown rice.
They also have a nice variety of pizzas and other frozen meal options.
Again, if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, just look in the freezer section of your local grocery store for products like this.
I post about these products often because they are staples in our freezer.
Dr. Praeger’s and Amy’s Organic sell a wide variety of healthy frozen foods that are perfect to come home to when you don’t know what to cook and can easily be paired with a quick salad or side dish.
**JUST WATCH THE SODIUM CONTENT WHEN BUYING PREPARED MEALS.
In my opinion, a little bit more sodium than normal during the summer is OK since you are sweating more and need to replace some of the salt. However, everyone is different and we all require different amounts of sodium in our diet so adjust this advice accordingly.
#3 – TRY MEATLESS- This is the perfect time of year to incorporate plant-based protein into your diet.
Meat/poultry takes planning. Defrosting. Preparing.
Skip it and go for the beans.
Long shelf life, no need to plan and ready for you when you need them. Easily added to salads, stir fry dishes, simple rice and beans, loaded baked potatoes…your possibilities are endless.
Not to mention easy on the waistline and less taxing on the digestive system.
I would love to hear your ideas and planning strategies for the summer months. Do you find you cook less in the summer and eat out more? Does your grocery shopping change like mine does?