Eating Well with Ease
Chances are you’d love to live a healthy lifestyle, eat wonderfully nutritious foods each and every day, feel confident you are able to manage the stresses of life that come your way – who wouldn’t? And chances are you actually know how to do these things.
Of course you can. As long as there are a couple of extra days in the week so you can fit them in. Or as long as things go as planned, so the hours you do have can be spent like you planned them. Then you can live healthfully, eat for optimal energy and stay calm.
Trouble is, you never can find even one extra hour in the week, much less a couple of days. And things seldom go as planned, do they? So you’re stuck with having to find a way to fit everything in, to stay well and stay on track for the gazillion things you have to get done.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Can you imagine, for example, sitting down to 3 delicious, nutrient-dense meals every day for a week, with ease? Sound impossible? Well for my money, there’s no better way to eat amazing meals with ease than to plan a few meals that take very little preparation. Here are some ideas for making it happen:
- Develop 2-3 breakfast options and make sure you have the ingredients on hand at all times. Decide before going to bed which you’ll have in the morning. Get it nearly ready so that all you have to do is stir or blend, and you can eat.
Smoothies: Before bed, put in the blender jar some coconut water, fresh spinach, chia seed, peeled banana, handful of almonds. Put the jar in the fridge overnight. When it’s breakfast time, add frozen berries and simply blend and drink.
Oatmeal: In a bowl put 1/4 C rolled oats, 1 teaspoon chia seed, 1/4 t. vanilla, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 t. maple syrup. Cover the bowl and let it soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning add a handful of blueberries and pecans, stir and eat. No cooking time required!
Eggs: Boil a half-dozen eggs on the week end, peel them and keep in a covered container in the fridge. Put a handful of grape tomatoes in a plastic bag next to the boiled eggs. In the morning on the way out the door, grab an egg and a bag of tomatoes and you’re on your way!
- Look for 2-3 recipes that require little or no cooking that you can fix ahead and keep in the fridge for the days when you have absolutely no time. Fix one of these every week end for emergencies throughout the week.
Soups: This time of year when so many fresh fruits and vegetables are available, I love to fix a Watermelon Gazpacho. It’s a cold and very nutritious soup that can be made with ease in the blender, and simply taken out and eaten through the week. For cold days my favorite is Roasted Vegetable Soup. You can make a huge batch and freeze it in serving-size portions for emergencies. Check out the recipes below.
Bean and Grain Salads: Green salads can be put together easily, but don’t keep well once dressing has been added. A salad of quinoa and veggies with a vinaigrette keeps well and is a great dish to have on hand for those super busy weeks. A black bean salad with tomatoes, peppers and corn, some cumin, cilantro and lime has great appeal and holds up well for the week.
- Cook once, eat thrice! Many things can be cooked and frozen ahead such as rice, bean, soups, etc. Try cooking a dozen chicken breasts next time you get a break on the week end. Let them cool and then slice into bite-sized pieces. Divide into portion-sized bags and freeze. Grab one when you’re in a hurry for adding to a burrito, making chicken salad, adding chicken to a soup, adding to veggies in a pita. The ideas are endless.
It’s not always easy to stay well and live healthfully; however, with just a little practice and some planning, you’ll find you’ll start doing it with ease – and even enjoying it!
The Basil Oil
1/2 C packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. coarsely chopped cored tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs. coarsely chopped seedless watermelon
1/2 C pulverized oats
2 medium Kirby cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 C water
1/4 C coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 T sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar is OK)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds (can use ground cumin)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the basil oil:
- Process the basil and olive oil in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
For the gazpacho:
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Working in batches, process the mixture in a clean blender until smooth. Transfer the puréed soup to a large, nonreactive bowl. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and drizzle with the basil oil.
Roasted Veggie Soup
The Roasted Veggies
1 head of cauliflower
2 red or orange bell peppers
Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
Kelp or Italian Seasoning Blend plus sea salt
- Cut all 3 into small pieces and toss lightly in evoo. Season with Kelp or Italian blend plus sea salt.
- Roast in oven at 375°F about 40 minutes.
The Roasted Veggie Soup
2 cartons organic vegetable broth (or 3 vegan bouillon cubes with 8 C water)
1 T butter
- Pour 2 cartons organic vegetable broth in a soup pot. Add butter and heat on medium.
- Add roasted veggies to the broth and puree with immersion blender.
- Optional: Chop and sauté a handful of kale or chard, and add to soup after pureeing.
- Optional: To make it extra hearty, add some cooked quinoa or brown rice and chopped cooked chicken.
Bottom Image by Author
About Our Health Space Contributor
As a Holistic Health Coach, Paula Antonini specializes in helping business and professional women step off the diet roller coaster, get their energy back and take charge of their health through 1:1 coaching and small group programs. To learn more and sign up for her newsletter, go to www.simplynutrition.org. For a Complimentary Consultation contact Paula at email@example.com. Her eCookbook, Simply Nutritious, Simply Delicious is now available on the website to support you on your journey toward feeling terrific!