The most common questions we get when talking to people about our Real Food lifestyle are related to our busy lifestyles or "Real Life".
"How do you afford all those vegetables?" and "How do you find time to eat that way?" and "But what about snacks?" (so many people are used to packaged, processed convenient foods). You get the idea.
We understand some of us work full time, some have kids activities to go to, some have clubs and organizations that keep us busy. We have found that the benefits of feeling amazing and being healthy far outweigh the time and inconvenience of eating this way. Weight loss and eliminating health issues are the added bonus. It just takes a little time and planning. Experimenting with recipes and learning where to shop are also key.
Here are some ideas we have to get you started and answer your questions on how real food is possible in real life. Of course, we'll share more ideas and practical everyday advice throughout this blog as time goes on!
1. Meal plan and figure out your budget.
If you're new to eating real food, try eating more vegetables and fruits and eliminating processed food. Decide how much meat you can afford and search for recipes. Meal plan for the week or month so you know what to buy. Create a grocery list. Considering your budget and your time, figure out how much produce you can buy in it's original state. If you don't have a lot of budget restrictions, by all means, buy some produce that is pre-washed and chopped (broccoli, for instance). Maybe it's worth it to you to pay the extra money. We buy most of our produce un-chopped to save money.
2. Set time aside to prep food for the week.
We usually do a lot of food prepping on Sundays. Bake muffins, cook soup, chop vegetables for recipes for the week, make a huge salad for the week. If I don't get a ton of prepping done on one day, I'll prep food on a night that I have a meal in the crockpot.
3. Consider the Crockpot!
Whether you work full time of stay home, it is amazing knowing that your food is cooking all day and it will be ready at dinnertime. We cook beans, soups, squash and meats in the crockpot. Sometimes 4-5 times per week!
4. Cook double batches to create leftovers for lunches
This is easily done with crockpot meals, but can be done with anything you cook. Make extra and portion into leftover containers to take to work, or just eat the next day at home. We prefer glass, because you can then easily reheat it the next day in the microwave (and not leak nasty chemicals into your food with plastic)
5. Set aside a night for leftovers
Everyone needs a break! Have one night a week where you eat leftovers. Maybe that's the night that you prep food for other days or you bake something to freeze for the week. Or just relax! Your freezer is stocked full of food for the next day's lunch :)