If you’re in the habit of eating fast food regularly, we challenge you to go one week without it. With a little bit of pre-planning and a trip to the grocery store at the beginning of the week, you can prepare your own “fast” meals and skip the junk food.
Get up 15 minutes earlier and make a smoothie that you can drink on the way to work. Start with leafy greens like spinach or kale, add some greek yogurt or plant milk like almond, cashew or coconut. Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or cherries. (If you buy organic frozen berries of your choice, they’re ready for you to use when you need them). Throw in some chia or flax seeds and you’re good to go. Feel free to add or substitute items you like (like bananas for added sweetness, or cinnamon or cocoa powder for added flavor).
Use those same 15 minutes to make some eggs or some oatmeal. You can also make a yogurt parfait with some unsweetened or lightly sweetened greek yogurt, berries, walnuts and a little honey if you need it.
Instead of running to your favorite drive thru at noon, bring your lunch instead. One of the easiest options is to pack up the leftovers from last night’s dinner and warm them up at work. A healthy sandwich can be made with whole grain bread, mashed avocado (or guacamole if you have it on hand), cooked chicken or turkey and tomatoes. If you prefer a wrap, use a whole wheat flour tortilla with the same or similar ingredients. Make a salad and add cooked meat or nuts for extra protein.
Instead of ordering take-out, you can make a healthful meal in about the same amount of time. Saute fresh veggies in olive oil with garlic, onion and your favorite herbs and spices. Add pieces of chicken or tofu and soy sauce for a quick stir-fry that can be served over brown rice or quinoa. Those same veggies can be combined with cherry tomatoes then added to whole grain or gluten free pasta, with or without meat. Don’t forget to make enough to have for lunch the next day or even for a second dinner. For meals that take longer, like stews or casseroles, cook them on the weekend and freeze them for use during the week.
Let your taste be your guide and make the foods you enjoy. If you’re not used to cooking, learn! If it feels like a lot of work, remind yourself: I am worth it!