Many people feel overwhelmed when trying to eat clean…the number one complaint being how high maintenance it is to prepare every meal fresh. Between cleaning and prepping veggies to cooking meat every night, it can be exhausting, which will eventually lead us back to eating from a box. But eating fresh doesn’t mean hours spent in the kitchen. It can mean having something to eat at all times so when it’s time for food, you’re opening up the refrigerator to options and not despair.

Shop once a week

Have a general idea in mind of what you’de like to have that week.  The nice thing is that you don’t have to be exact. Pick up enough protein and produce so you can mix and match easily.  Pick out random fresh spices that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought to use.  Sometimes learning about a new spice or a new veggie leads to a new recipe creation and that’s what cooking is all about.

Prepare Your Food Immediately

As soon as you get home with the groceries, prepare them.  Make this your new habit! Take out the veggies and peal, prep, soak and wash them right away.  By doing so you have done two important things: number one saved yourself the mental anguish of not wanting to deal with them later in the week and two you’ve committed to using them.  Next thing is to look for a new recipe with your new spice or new veggie.  Print it out and get inspired to try it out. 

If you know you rather not prep food, go ahead and buy for convenience.  Stores are great about offering pre-cut and riced veggies that you can just open up and throw in the pan. Beets already peeled and boiled with a little flavor added might actually get eaten…

Cook twice a week

This is the biggie!  You don’t have to cook every day to have great tasting, fresh and clean food.  A few prepared items can translate into a week of meals. So grab your first new recipe and cook extras.  Plan on having that for dinner and packaging up the rest for both a couple lunches and the rest goes into the freezer.  If you always make extra, you can fill your freezer of easy-grab food to take to work or just defrost for the next day. Take out a couple frozen meals and keep them in the refrigerator so you will have easy access to food waiting for you. 

Don’t like leftovers?

Even if you don’t like leftover, you can still cook ahead of time and save yourself the despair.  Try cooking batches of items that you’ll incorporate later in the week or even month.  Cook chicken and chill it so you can cut it up later to add to a salad.  Cook up hard-boiled eggs, shell them and place in a baggie with a little water.  These are easily transported this way and don’t have to be continuously refrigerated to last. Roast up a large batch of veggies on the grill with the meal you plan on having that night. Package up the veggies and use later in the week with something fresh.  Sweet potatoes are great to bake ahead of time, refrigerate and then fry up later. Try a batch of french fries or fried potatoes. Take those prepared veggies out of the refrigerator and whip up a juice to go, this grab-and-go breakfast will ensure you start your day green and clean!

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