The benefits of eating a whole foods diet and upping your nutrition after 50 are indisputable. But one complaint we often hear is that it takes too much time and effort to put a healthy meal together.
We get it! We have aging parents that need our attention, a constant influx of emails, the demands from managing a household and maybe a business, helping out with grandkids, or just wanting more time to yourself to do the things you enjoy.
That’s why we’re always on the hunt for tricks and hacks that make eating healthy more doable.
So many women we work with think that eating healthy means spending excess time in the kitchen and doing complicated recipes. But what we have found is that when you incorporate time-saving hacks into your day, it makes healthy eating so much easier. And that’s what we’re all about.
So instead of relying on willpower, which is finite, set up your environment for success!
Ready for the hacks? Watch here or read below:
HACK #1: USE PREWASHED GREENS (and add them to everything)!
Before we get into the hack, let’s give a shout out to why greens are so amazing, especially for women over 50. They are incredible for our heart, our brains, and our bones. They even have a neuroprotective role, so they’re really good for memory.
They also include lots of vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium and potassium and vitamin K and beta carotene and folate and fiber. So they’re very, anti-inflammatory great for reducing blood pressure, great for heart health.
And they contain two really powerful antioxidants, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. So who wouldn’t want that?
So here’s what to do. Go into any supermarket and buy prewashed triple-washed greens. There are so many things you can add them to in a snap and they work in most dishes as they don’t have a super strong flavor. Think chili, soups, stir-fry’s, eggs, and smoothies. Again, just toss them into any dish you can think of, and you will immediately upgrade your nutrition.
HACK #2: PUT HEALTHY THINGS IN PLAIN SIGHT
Think about it. You are what you eat, and you eat what you see, right? The first thing you see is most likely what you’re going to grab. So put things up front that you want to eat, and make it harder to eat the things that you don’t want to eat!
If something’s a little junkier or you don’t want to grab at it, hide it behind other things in the fridge. Another words, make yourself do some work to reach the unhealthy options. Also, ask other household members not to leave things out like chips and cookies. Because again, once you see it, you’re going to grab at it. So just set up your kitchen in a way that makes it easier to grab healthy things and harder to grab the unhealthy things. Make sense?
When you open the fridge, if you have some cut up celery and carrots, your chances are, you’re going to grab that first, right? And another little tip is when you cut up carrots and celery, keep them in cold water and they will stay nice and crunchy.
HACK #3: USE ICE CUBE TRAYS FOR MORE THAN JUST ICE
The reason we love this hack is because not only does it save on food waste, but you can then put the extra food into a form that you can preserve for later. Just pop out your cubes, and then use them in other dishes.
For example, we use ice cube trays when we find ourselves with leftovers of the following items that tend to go bad quickly:
- Tomato paste – pop out and use in your next tomato sauce
- Avocados – add cubes to a smoothie or puree them (after defrosting) nto like a dip with some yogurt, lemon juice and garlic
- Fresh herbs – use them in pesto’s or soups or stir-fry’s
- Vegetable or chicken broth – add to soups, sauces or stir fries
- Coconut milk – in smoothies and sauces (see hack #5)
Another tip here is to add one tablespoon to each cube, so you know exactly how much you’re using when you pop them out. Keep in mind that 4 tablespoon equals 1/4 cup. This makes for easy measuring! Also, you can buy ice cube trays with covers to reduce the risk of spilling, like these.
HACK #4: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SMOOTHIES
We talk a lot about smoothies and if you are a smoothie fan, this is for you. If not, you might want to consider it! Smoothies are an AMAZING vehicle to add everything from fruits and veggies to spices and even supplements. Here is a sample of various things we may add to different smoothies:
- Supplements: Powdered magnesium, vitamin C, ashwaganda, inulin (a prebiotic), blue spirulina
- Veggies: Go beyond greens and toss in zucchini, white beans, beets, celery, cucumber
- Fruit: Frozen berries of all colors, pineapple, mango, cranberries, frozen acai packs
- Spices: ginger (powdered or keep a few chunks frozen), turmeric, cinnamon
- Other: ground flax, chia, walnuts, hemp seeds, almond butter
Smoothies are also a wonderful opportunity to get metabolism and muscle boosting protein into your day. Jane’s favorite protein powder is Genuine Health, and Stephanie favors Sunwarrior Warrior blend. For more on smoothies, check out Tackling your Smoothie fears HERE, or our anti inflammatory smoothie video here.
HACK #5: HAVE 3-4 SIMPLE SAUCE RECIPES IN YOUR HEAD TO FLAVOR DISHES IN A SNAP
If you have go-to sauces you can enhance the flavor of almost anything in 5 minutes or less. We suggest choosing three or four simple sauce recipes that that you can put together in five minutes or less. You can use the sauces to brush on chicken, fish, or tofu, add to a veggie stir fry, or mix into ground turkey for delicious patties.
Four of our favorites that we rely on 1-2 x a week include the following:
- Healthy mayo and mustard (+ dill is a great addition here too)
- Toasted sesame oil and tamari or coconut aminos (+ added scallions and ginger work well)
- Coconut milk and curry powder (SO yummy in stir fry)
- Olive oil and balsamic (+ basil dried or fresh)
For more delicious ideas, grab our sauce download HERE.
That’s a wrap! We hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this and gotten some great ideas to take home with you.
FYI, setting up your environment for success is a really big part of what we do in our three month, Simply Nourished Solutions program. What’s really cool about this program is that we address absolutely everything from the ground up. So not only what to eat, but also how to do it in a sustainable way.
Women get regular access to us, tons of handholding, lots of accountability, and a way forward that really teaches them how to stop the dieting cycle and lose weight and keep it off in a healthier, happier, and realistic way. If you want to know more about this program, reach out to us in the comments.