A little planning goes a long way when it comes to eating healthy

Sometimes, it’s hard to eat healthy. (Sometimes it’s seems like it’s always hard to eat healthy.)

So the challenge for most of us is making “eating healthier” easier. How is that possible when you’re spending your day fighting traffic, getting the kids off to school, putting in long hours at work and then trying to squeeze a workout in at night?

Planning — and more planning — helps. In fact, a Plan B can stop you from going for the unhealthy stuff when your Plan A falls through.

Here are some of my back-up plans:

crockpotGo for the slow cooker. If it’s going to be a long day, have a quick and easy slow cooker recipe ready that you can start in the morning. If your cooker has a removable insert, you might even prep the dish the night before, and store it in the fridge. In the morning, just drop it in, turn it on and go. Check out my slow cooker recipes for ideas.

• Expand your rice cooker’s horizons. Your rice cooker isn’t just for rice. Try cooking your rice and your vegetables together. You can use frozen vegetables and save time chopping. I’ve even seen a recipe online for making spaghetti (pasta and sauce) in the rice cooker. Haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds interesting.

• Turn up the heat with an indoor grill. Grilled vegetables and lean proteins are very healthy, and take minutes to prepare. Get a full contact grill, allowing you to save time on clean-up and reduce the amount of fat in your food.

• Explore your freezer. Frozen veggies and proteins are great in a bind. They’re tasty and healthful. Whip up a great dinner from your Plan B freezer fare, and take pride in your resourcefulness. Or at least be proud that your Plan B came through for you.

shawndraShawndra Holmberg writes about small things we can all do to live a healthier lifestyle. And she believes weight loss is a journey not a destination. Like any journey, weight loss has switchbacks, reduced speed zones, blind curves ahead, and a few fast lanes (yes, even on the Big Island). She also believes that a successful journey begins with small steps. Connect with Shawndra on Facebook or check out her blog.

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