Most people would equate healthy eating with the notion that it will take heaps of time and money, therefore, they glide through a drive-thru in an attempt to avoid the inconvenience of cooking and the expense of shopping. But I think that is where the Western mentality gets it absolutely wrong. It is cheaper to cook at home. It is healthier to cook at home. And it does not have to take an inordinate amount of time to do it.
Now that I work from home I do have a little more wiggle room in my schedule; however, my behavior is almost entirely the same as when I worked full-time away from home. In order to feed my family a diet free of processed food ripe with artificial ingredients and mounds of sugar and unhealthy fats; I do the following and it seems to work.
Pick a day and do meal preparation for the week ahead. I typically choose Sunday and I will spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours preparing food. Typically, I will make a large batch of grains (rice, amaranth, quinoa) and I will make a couple of batches of various beans (chickpeas, black beans or lentils). Then I get to work on making a salad dressing for all of our greens and I boil a dozen eggs and whip up several servings of granola. None of this takes much time. And if my kids are around I let them help me. If I am really on top of my game, I will grill chicken and have it ready to go for any dish I may make. That’s it, folks. Planning and prepping saves the day and my sanity!
We focus our eating on plants. No, we are not vegan. We eat dairy, meat, eggs, and seafood. But we are about as plant-based as they come. Beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables and fruit fill the majority of our plates and we fill in the gaps with animal protein. Plant-based eating is simply cheaper. And guess what? Healthier! Bam… two for the price of one. Just how I like it. America is now waking up to the fact that a majority of the healthiest regions in the world focus their eating in this manner.
On another note, I rarely use coupons because there just aren’t many for fresh food, yet, I meet the USDA guidelines for a thrifty budget for a family of four. I am a family of five and 90%-95% would be considered organic. So, what other tricks do I have up my sleeve besides limiting animal protein? I buy in bulk. I shop at the local farmer’s market. I buy what is on sale not necessarily what I want to eat. I limit processed food to almost a none entity in my home. As a result, we eat quick and inexpensive food – it just doesn’t require a drive-thru.
To learn more about healthy cooking and easy meal preparation check out this informative website No Meal No Health. It is full of great ideas to keep you organized and inspired.