With the right ingredients on hand, eating healthy can be easy, quick, nutritious, and fun!  Let’s face it, some nights we just don’t have it in us to cook something healthy let alone something that calls for a recipe.  Having a few basic things on hand that were prepared in advance or even store bought can help make the decision to cook healthy that much easier.  After all, this a way of life, and sometimes other parts of our life can get in the way.

I recently was speaking to a group of people about diet and nutrition and a few things dawned on me as the words were escaping my mouth.   Someone had mentioned that sometimes they just dont feel like they even have a free second to eat something let alone make a healthy decision.  I have been in that very same predicament-where life just seems too busy and I know I should eat something.  This happens in the professional kitchen more often than not, where we get caught up in everyday challenges and forget that what we put in our bodies is ultimately our fuel source.  It is not uncommon to see people in these situations eat junk because it is easy and available.

If you can stop for 30 seconds and think about something healthy to eat we have made all the difference.  While speaking I realized that the decision to just stop and wrap our minds around what it is I want to put inside my body will ultimately lead to success.  Think about it, in no time we can devour something easy, calorie filled, fat filled, filled….. that’s what is does, fills us up in moment.  Now think about that junk we just put in our body.  Yes, it was easy but, was it?  Say that food was high in calories and unhealthy fats.  It may have only taken a minute to prepare and eat but, how many minutes will you spend trying to ‘burn’ it off at the gym?  How minutes will you spend stressing over the fact that you feel overweight?  How minutes were really saved?

If we can stop for those few minutes and think about a healthier choice, in the end we have saved ourselves time, money, stress, and ultimately we stay on the right path in meeting our healthy lifestyles.

Part of being organized also accounts for those times when life is going to really be on the run.  Even though I like to pride myself on cooking almost everything from scratch-organically farmed and locally sourced, I know that I have a busy schedule at times and there are times when I simply forget to pull something out of the freezer ahead of time or have not had the time to stock pile and replenish homemade veggie burgers or tomato sauce.  There are a few things I find to be quick and easy staples to have around for these such instances.

I’ts ok to buy these things, they make life easier.  I often ‘doctor them a bit or use them as the base of a healthy dish cutting my preparation time down to few minutes for a quick and healthy meal.  It is important though to do the research on the food and read labels.  Choose foods that contain ingredients you would want as a fuel-source and, be conscious of things like calories, sodium, fats, sugars, protein, and serving size.  Serving size is a biggie-the food may only state it is 100 calories but, the serving size is so miniscule that it would never fill you up rather, causing you to over-eat.

Most of all, enjoy what you eat and know that you are on the path of a healthy lifestyle.