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Eating Healthy During a Schedule-Packed Autumn: Part 1

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Autumn is a busy time for anyone. The kids are back in school and businesses are picking up the pace for the holiday season. 

Whether you're in finance, retail, marketing, logistics, or any other career, autumn is probably the time we are most likely to skimp on healthy foods in favor of quick snacks and takeout. When you don't always have time to cook, this can be bad news for your nutrition, energy, skin health, and even your sleep quality.  Let's get you using your kitchen that we just remodeled!

Quick meals are often packed with sodium and saturated fat without any real nutrients. This can lead to low energy which only makes the problem worse. Fortunately, you don't have to take nutrition shortcuts with just a few healthy meal hacks and some beautiful fall fruits and vegetables mixed into everything you eat.

The cold-weather season is always a busy time of year and the right kitchen design makes a difference. Whether you're dreaming of a kitchen renovation for your big self-present this year or have a gorgeous kitchen you just have to cook in but can't find the time, we're here to dive into a few handy ways to make healthy autumn meals fast and easy to cook with just a little planning ahead.


Get Ready for the Week Ahead


The Weekend Chop-Up, Wrap, and Freeze

The Weekend Chop-Up is a hallmark for home chefs with a busy week schedule. If you love natural foods but don't have time to cook every meal on workdays, preparing your ingredients beforehand is a huge advantage.

You can still benefit from the great prices and natural selection in the produce section. Just turn some of your family time into meal prep that everyone can be a part of. The youngest members can do the veggie washing.

Chop all your veggies for the week. Then keep them sorted in Tupperware in the fridge or - even better for transport - freeze them in pre-sorted ingredient pots you can throw into simmering broth for a nearly instant meal later in the week. If you have fresh meats, chop, wrap, and freeze individual servings that will cook up fast. 


Cook Batches of Ingredient Meats

While many of you know, I gave up eating meat many years ago on my health journey, this is for those that still do eat it. Meats take the longest to cook, and their done-ness is a matter of food safety so it helps to cook your meat ahead of time. You will be amazed just how fast dinner is to prepare when you already have shredded chicken or browned sausage ready to throw into the pan.

Instant recipes benefit from pre-cooked meats. Make the most of your cook time by cooking big batches of your most-used ingredients. Chicken seasoned with garlic and lemon - for example - can go into salads, stir frys, and soups with equal instant deliciousness - especially combined with a tasty broth. If you have a favorite sandwich-dipping sauce, cook it up at the beginning of the week so every sandwich is healthier and more enjoyable.


Pre-Sorted Recipe and Meal Portions

Want an instant chef experience? Sort your prepared ingredients to throw directly into the pan. Use containers for hot foods or use your work microwaved meals if you must. Put all your frozen or prepared ingredients into one broth-ready container, then heat it all up together so the flavors blend instantly in plenty of time for a leisurely lunch break. For planning ahead family meals, prep bigger portions ready to throw directly into the saucepan or soup pot.

This is well-worth investing in lidded ingredient bowls or a new multi-sized set of Tupperware for portioned ingredient storage. Your family will feel like you spend all evening cooking, even if you spent fifteen minutes simmering (and emptying the dishwasher at the same time) instead.


[Continued in Part 2]

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