“Be Prepared and Control Your Environment” and this may mean planning out meals quite a few days ahead, having a weekly schedule for shopping and always having a number of basic ingredients at hand. Having a number of healthy treats, snacks and go to meals is critical to build new habits as well.
Make sure you’ve downloaded or printed out the recipes in the meal planner you got on day 7, and the ones you’ve received subsequently. Make a weekly shopping list and choose a day when you might make 3-4 dishes or 2-3 treats (this may take you a morning or afternoon, so perhaps the weekends are best) and make up some salads ahead of time that’ll keep, or a Dahl or veggie curry that can easily stretch to 2 evening meals or 1 evening meal and 2 lunches. Just doing this takes the pressure off the weekdays when you might be out and about and run out of time for a nutritious dinner.
A veggie lasagne or soups are also ideal for this, as they last a few days; or can be frozen. Then all you need to do is whip up a quick salad and you’re sorted. We sometimes spend a morning or afternoon doing raw treats as well so that there is always a bliss ball or something sweet to grab, when the urge hits. If you need a few more recipes to plan ahead let me know and I can send you a few that will help you out. I have dried fruit and nuts etc. in glass jars in my pantry – this way they are visible and become a realistic option for a snack as well. Do you have any space to plant some greens at home? This will help to cover you when the stores are running low; or you just can’t get there. They’re remarkably easy to grow even if you’re not experienced in having your own garden.
Tips for being prepared
- Put aside time to go through your kitchen completely.
- Unpack each item, one at a time, from your fridge and pantry.
- Read the ingredients (see GOLDEN Rule 5 for more on this).
- Ask yourself, ‘Is this food healthy?’
- If it is one small component (say tinned beetroot) to be added to the rest of a fresh, plant-based wholefood meal, then the answer could be, ‘Yes, it is healthy.’
- If it is mostly sugar, salt, fat, gluten, chemicals, additives, preservatives, names you cannot pronounce and are unsure of, then it is likely to be, ‘No, not healthy.’
- If it’s healthy, return it to the pantry or fridge.
- Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds (including quinoa, millet and buckwheat), wholegrains and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas and so on) can remain.
- Pasta is okay as an emergency meal when nothing else is prepared and the kids are starving, but stick to gluten-free varieties (clever joke that, given it is the gluten that is sticky) such as quinoa, buckwheat, rice and other combinations.
- Snacks — fruit leathers, pure muesli bars. Unflavoured or naturally seasoned rice or corn crackers or wafers (organic where possible) are a good back-up.
- Always ensure you have a large bowl of fruit out in the open where the kids can see it, keep the bowl’s contents fresh, rotated and abundant.
- Always keep lots of fresh yummy vegetables, such as carrots, beans, snow peas, tomatoes, celery and cucumber (actually a fruit but generally eaten like a vegetable) for snacking on.
- Do not have chocolates or lollies in the house. You will eat them when you are stressed. Have good delicious snacks already made so that when you or the kids are hungry for a sweet snack, there is one available.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.