Many of my clients ask me, “What do you cook for dinner? What snacks do you bring to work? Do you snack yourself? Do you pre-plan and prepare your meals and snacks?” And the answers to these are: Yes, Yes, Yes, & Yes. One has to practice what one preaches or else the message really doesn’t get across. Experience is everything and I’ve definitely had my experiences in the kitchen of being prepared and unprepared, having a plan versus not having a plan, and ultimately making sure I set myself up for food success so I can make my life as easy as possible when it comes to the daily grind.
Let me share what’s cooking in the kitchen with the dietitian….On a typical Sunday, I love making my routine trip to the local Farmer’s Market. Next, I head off to either Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Rainbow (a local co-op grocery store), or the local bodegas to buy the rest of my goods for the week. Knowing that I work long hours and get cranky if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours, I spend 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the work week to prep about 10 snacks for the week for each member of my family. Making life as simple as possible, I pick 2-3 different snacks for the week (check out our snack list for some great ideas). Place those snacks in bags or containers. Many times I’ll even bring the whole bag of baby carrots or whole box of crackers to work and just portion those out accordingly. This simple Sunday prep work sets me up for the entire week with my snacks.
Being realistic about dinners, I do my best to plan 3 easy to cook meals at home for the week + 1 throw-it-together meal such as a “frozen fiesta.” An example of a frozen/packaged fiesta would be:
- Frozen brown rice (microwavable)
- Frozen chicken breasts (easy to thaw)
- Frozen bag of vegetables (I enjoy the medleys because they offer a variety)
- & a sauce of choice (such as Teriyaki or Soy Sauce or Salsa or favorite type of sauce)
Making life as simple as possible while having a plan is key to one’s success. For the 3 easy-to-cook meals at home, check out our recipes. Choose at least 2 meals for the week that you know how to prepare and are comfortable with making. Then choose 1 simple, new meal to try. That way you expand your cooking repertoire without having to stress about it. One new meal per week is doable and should be fun. So here’s to tips in the kitchen with the dietitian. Eat Free!