Lately I’ve been re-thinking my food, where it comes from, and what exactly I’m putting into my body. I’m not sure if this is due to my recently becoming a mother (and trying to lose some weight from that), or just because the seasons are changing very shortly. In any case, I’ve been trying to buy most of my produce from the local farmer’s markets, and waste less. I’ve also been attempting a keto-ish diet. I say it is keto-ish because I am not as strict with it as some people are, but I’m following the low-carb/low-sugar idea of keto. So far, this whole lifestyle change has been beneficial to me and my family – I have more energy, and I find myself thinking a little clearer (minus some sleepless nights with the baby 🙂 ). So I thought I’d write a little blog post about some easy ways to bring more healthy food into your life. It doesn’t have to be difficult – and it can be delicious![Disclaimer: I am not a dietician/nutritionist! If you have any specific dietary concerns, please speak to a professional. There are many, many resources out there for people who may need a little extra help/guidance with healthy eating, especially if you have any health issues that may be impacted by your nutritional intake.]
Step One: Plan Your Meals – This may be easier said than done, especially if you have family members to cook for that don’t like much variety in their food (aka: picky eaters). However, with a bit of creativity, and a dash of trial-and-error, I’m sure you can find lots of ideas for healthy meals that appeal to everyone in your family without making three (or five!) separate meals. Do you like chicken? Bake some marinated chicken breasts and turn them into sandwiches for Dad, slice and pack with some dipping sauce for the kids, and slice and throw on a salad for Mom. Yes, this may be slightly more work than sending lunch money with the kids and going out to eat a burger yourself, but just think – you want to eat healthier, and this often means a slight investment in time. If you are out of ideas of what exactly to prepare, Pinterest and Google are filled with all sorts of ideas for fun, flavourful lunches and dinners.
Step Two: Get Your Supplies – For many people, getting all your groceries at the grocery store/Wal-Mart is the easiest and most time-friendly thing to do, but it’s not the only way you can get your food. Now, farmers and food suppliers are making it easier than ever to get your hands on healthy, natural food at a great price. I love going to our local farmer’s markets to grab my weekly produce, and knowing exactly where it comes from. I wrote about going to the farmer’s market last year, which you can read here.
For any of my readers in Northern New Brunswick, there is a great program run by the Northumberland Food Security Network called Fresh 4 Less, which offers a monthly produce box for $10 or $20. This program is open to the public, and from what I’ve seen, these boxes offer a great variety of fresh produce at a great price. You can check out their Facebook page here.
Step Three: Get Cooking! – Now it’s time for some fun. Savour your ingredients in new ways, and enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh delicious food! For lunches I love to mix-and-match in bento style lunch boxes, with a few of my favourites being: hard boiled eggs, cheese slices/cubes, sliced veggies or fruit (cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, apples – are a few examples), deli meat, and tuna salad with crackers. I’m also including a few links below to some great lists of lunch ideas, just in case you’re stumped on how you want to plan your first meal.
- Vicky Barone’s Back to School Lunch Box Ideas
- The Pinning Mama’s 2 Weeks of No-Sandwich Lunch Box Ideas Kids Will Love
- Laura Fuentes’ 75+ Healthy Office Lunch Ideas
- Kristine’s Kitchen – 10 Healthy School Lunches for Kids
So, there is your crash course on healthy/flavourful lunches to ring in a new school year, and of course, you can also add more fresh protein/produce into your other meals as well! Do you have any other issues with food at your house? Would you like more ideas on how to make more out of your weekly groceries? Let me know below in the comments, or on my Facebook page!
Have a great week, and soak up those last few days of summer!