For most of us, half the battle of clean eating lies is making sure that healthy food is always conveniently close at hand. Let’s face it: when we’re craving an afternoon snack, we’re probably not going to wash and cut veggies for a salad when it’s so much easier to reach for the cupcakes sitting on the counter. But since (like everyone) I feel so much better when I make healthier food choices for both myself and for Phoebe, I’ve developed a few post-grocery store habits that help me feel ready to face the crazy week ahead, armed with nutritious ingredients ready to go. These are the types of tasks that can be hard to get around to when my schedule gets packed, so I’ve had the best success when I do these on a slower-paced Sunday right when I get home from the grocery store, and it’s amazing how much more prepared I feel to start the week. Click through for my timesaving post-grocery store rituals, and I’d love to hear any tips you guys have for keeping healthy food at the ready!
Wash, peel, and chop sturdy veggies like carrots, celery, and jicama. I store in glass containers with lids in the fridge where I can see them, and when I’m craving a snack, am 20 times more likely to reach for the veggies and hummus.
Soak beans, grains, and nuts that I’ll be using during the week in mason jars filled with water and a pinch of salt. I’ve been a “soaking” convert for a few months now, ever since reading in this book about how it encourages digestion and absorption of nutrients. Here’s a good article if you’re interested in learning more about why and how to soak nuts and legumes. I’ve found that if I go ahead and soak a favorite grain like farro or a legume like lentils, I’m more likely to cook a big pot and incorporate it into quick weekday lunches throughout the week.
Fill a pitcher with filtered water and sliced citrus fruit, or brew a pitcher of flavorful herbal iced tea. I always like having something refreshing to reach for instead of an afternoon iced coffee or sugary drink. Lately I’ve been making a big pitcher of this hibiscus sangria iced tea and infusing it with orange slices and mint leaves — it really hits the spot when I’m craving something besides plain water.
Wash and drain berries and keep in a colander — they make for an easy-to-reach for bite of sweetness, and they’re ready to go for sprinkling on yogurt, salads, or in smoothies. In the summer especially, I’m never without at least a couple of varieties, and I love to have these cute mini colanders sitting on the shelves of my fridge.
Wash and dry greens like arugula, spinach, kale, and collards in the salad spinner, then store in the produce drawer of your fridge wrapped in damp paper towels to ensure the longest life span. There’s no better encouragement to chop up a quick salad on a busy weeknight than having a fridge full of greens ready to go!
Mix up a salad dressing. I really prefer the taste of homemade salad dressing over bottled, plus I like knowing that mine doesn’t contain any preservatives or other fake stuff. I add all my ingredients to a mason jar, shake it up, and then store in the fridge for salads all week long. Peruse our recipe files for some of my go-to salad + dressing recipes.
Hard boil some eggs. I love to have eggs ready to throw on salads or slice up and layer on a sandwich, and a hard-boiled egg is a great healthy foundation for a quick meal for Phoebe, too. I follow Martha’s method for perfect hard-boiled eggs, and then store in a ziploc bag in the fridge until ready to use.
avocado radish toast recipe here
Decant bulk snacks like chia seeds, nuts, and dried fruit into jars for the pantry. Not only do I feel way more organized than I did when prepackaged bags cluttered my shelves, I’ve found that when healthy snacks are visible, the whole family is more likely to reach for them.
*image from my book