With a 5-day cleanse beginning next week, I have begun brainstorming (and daydreaming) about how I want this experience to look for me – which means thinking about what foods I will be eating, what new recipes I want to try, and how I can best prepare to make this cleanse as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. All of this mouth-watering brainstorming got me thinking about preparation, and how important it is for success when sticking to a specific way of eating.
Being prepared is not only important for cleanses and detoxes, but also plays a huge part in making healthy choices a lot easier on a daily basis. I mean, if we don’t surround ourselves with healthy food options, how would we possibly choose them!? Chances are that we will stray from our desired eating pattern and sabotage the big health goals we have for ourselves (which we don’t want to do!). In my experience, getting and staying prepared has been one of the most important factors in creating healthy habits, because after all, it is much easier to choose healthy foods when they are within reach.
Over the years I have gotten pretty clear on what works and what doesn’t, and in celebration of a week of cleansing (and preparing) next week, I wanted to share my favorite ways to make healthy eating more accessible, simple and enjoyable.
Make a menu
Have you ever come home from work, hungry, and stood in front of the fridge waiting for a cooked meal to jump out at you? I know I have… and those good intentions of eating well usually go right down the drain when we are really hungry and maybe a little overwhelmed with what to make for dinner (which usually leads to quick and easy meals – and you know what those look like).
Now, imagine coming home from work and already knowing what you are going to make/eat for dinner. Ahhh I can feel the relief already!
Take some time on Sunday afternoon (or whatever day works for your schedule), pull out some old cookbooks or check out your favorite foodie websites, and decide on what you will be having for the next few days. Mapping this out ahead of time will relieve all of the stress and anxiety associated with throwing together last minute meals.
Now that you know what you need for the week, write it all down and head to your local health food store. Buying only what you need will help you save money and help prevent waste!
*Tip: eat something before you go food shopping. Being hungry while grocery shopping is usually messy for a variety of reasons. Have a smoothie, enjoy a piece of fruit, or load up on some chia pudding before you go.
Get your goodies ready
The whole point of preparing ahead is to save some time during the week, so as soon as you get home from the grocery store, give yourself an hour or 2 to wash your produce, cook a big batch of grains, and prep your veggies for the week. This will change according to whatever you will be enjoying that week, but do what you can to save time later on (wash and chop that broccoli, rinse and dry your leafy greens, prep your smoothie ingredients, etc).
I am totally a leftover gal. Few things make me happier then opening the fridge and seeing a totally healthy meal ready to go. So, to keep myself happy, I cook once and plan on eating twice (or maybe even 3 times). This is a great system for grain dishes, soups and even stir-frys.
Don’t forget to eat mindfully
We spend so much time rushing from place to place that we often forget to sit down and enjoy our food! After all the effort, time and money we put into our meals, we should really try to sit down, calm down, and enjoy every bite! Not only does this practice help up enjoy our food, but it also helps strengthen our digestion and prevent digestive upset! Beginning to incorporate mindful eating practices can be the perfect reminder to slow down and take time with our food These practices may include taking a few deep breaths before we begin eating, chewing our food thoroughly, and/or removing any distractions that will prevent us from fully experiencing our meal (turn off the TV!).
How will you prepare? What would help you feel more secure in creating better food choices and eating habits? I would love to hear about it in the comments below…
with love and being prepared,