It doesn’t happen overnight. Not usually anyway.
The excessive carbs, the tsunami of sweets and treats, and the gradual fading of the rainbow that used to fill your refrigerator.
I’m talking about fruits and vegetables and the way the holidays tend to sweep us off our feet, in spite of our best efforts. It seems like we were swimming in sweet treats every week in December, mostly gifts from friends and family. And I’ll admit it — I caved more than I care to admit. December has a way of enticing me to do things I wouldn’t usually do (or eat!). It was nice, because the kids don’t usually get sweet treats at home. But it seems like there is always a chance to “break the rules” even with the holidays behind us. Sweets lose their ability to be a real “treat” when they are so common.
So yes, I might have been a little anxious to tear down our tree and press the giant red reset button in our life to get our lifestyle back in order. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way about the new year before. I love sweets more than I should but I was ready to refill our kitchen with color, nutrient-dense food and less junk.
If you’re anything like me, you need quick and easy. So here are five ways you to get back those rainbow colors in kitchen and make them last!
Shop with intention.
Know what you need ahead of time. What recipes will you be cooking this week? What snacks are you preparing for? Medleys? Fruit for flavoring yogurt or adding to cereal? Fruit salad? Stir fry? Having a mental or physical list will help you to remember to grab these goodies when you’re in a rush to get the shopping done. Make shopping a meditative exercise. This might mean seeking out a time to grocery shop alone. I find it exciting because it means new dishes to make and food! I love food.
Chop & store ahead of time.
Chopping up your vegetables right after grocery shopping might seem tedious, but when you add up all that time you spend chopping and washing throughout the week, I am pretty sure the argument could be made that you’re actually saving quite a bit of time. Not only does this save time, it makes your life easier and it also encourages you to eat healthier when you see all those pretty colors every time you open your fridge. Making fruits and vegetables as accessible in your crazy, busy life can only mean good things. Lastly, chopping ahead of time also helps you to spot the “bad apple”. If, for example, there’s a small portion of rotten celery, you are more likely to catch it before it spoils the entire plant and therefore getting more bang for your buck. Like I said before, only good things.
Chop & store when you’re not starving.
This bit helped me tonight. Normally I would not have dreamed of trading this twenty or so minutes of Netflix/relaxation time with Pete for time in the kitchen, but lemmetellyou… it is going to be epic when it comes to making lunches for all of us every morning. That being said, if I would have been doing this while I was hungry, I never would have finished. I would have cut just enough to eat tonight, and gone straight to eating!
Carbon dioxide=LIFE for greens.
So this might sound CRAZY, but just try it. Cut up any leafy greens, dump into a big ziploc bag and before zipping, breath into it and zip it shut right away. Do this any time you open it. We exhale carbon dioxide, and plants need this gas to survive and thrive. This has extended the life of many spinach bags for us!
Add color to every plate.
Make it a habit to make every meal and snack as colorful as you can. It might just be adding blackberries into your morning yogurt, or a few leaves of romaine lettuce and tomato slices to a sandwich, but any color is still color. And the more color, the more nutrients and fiber into your diet.