This post was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I’ve posted before about my (admittedly on again, off again) clean eating journey – from my first experience with a week with zero sugar to my three month strict clean eating challenge. And while part of me wishes I could devote much more of my life to a hardcore clean eating regimen for both myself and my family, the truth is that I genuinely don’t have the time. Between the kids’ extracurricular activities, Essley’s school, Robbie’s work schedule on the road with the band, my own work schedule, my own activities, and just being a mom to two very young (and rambunctious) children, I started to find myself repeatedly failing on keeping up with my clean eating/recipe making attempts, and giving up completely as a result. A couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to embrace the fact that while I just don’t have a lot of extra time right now, I could absolutely find small ways to incorporate clean eating into my family’s life. And I did! Today, I’m sharing some of these tips, in hopes that they help those of you in similar situations.
1. Drink daily smoothies. This is such an easy way to use up whatever you have on hand in terms of produce, nuts, etc., and create a yummy, nutritious, on-the-go snack. We drink them everyday! It’s such a simple way to get nutrients we all need that only takes five minutes.
2. Prep meals in advance for the week. I’m not a good meal prep-er by nature, but I am learning. I have so many friends who set aside one day a week (usually Sundays) and use healthy foods to prepare an entire week’s worth of meals. This saves a lot of time in the long run, and prevents you from being tempted to eat junk food or make a fast food run because you’re out of time for dinner.
3. Commit to one clean meal a day. If you’re not ready to devote yourself entirely to clean eating, or (like me) you know that you realistically don’t have time to prepare three clean meals a day, make the commitment to one. It’s an easy way to know that you (and your family, if you’re cooking for them) is consuming at least some foods that are genuinely good for the body. And it’s hard to make excuses when you know you just have to do it once a day! (I also find that when the pressure is off, I’m more likely to make it more than one meal a day. It’s funny how that works.)
4. Eat out – at healthy restaurants. We like to go out to dinner every couple of weeks, because it gives us a break from cooking, and if we’re already out for the kids’ activities, it saves time. There are endless options for unhealthy meals at most restaurants, so we opt for restaurants that we know specifically have mostly fresh, local choices on their menus.
5. Serve Eat Smart Sweet Kale Salad Kits. This is my secret weapon! I keep at least three of these on hand at all times to serve either as meals on their own (see #3 above!) or as a guaranteed clean sides to larger meals I’m preparing. These babies are so delicious (even Essley, who try as I might isn’t a fan of most greens, loves them), really good for you (with seven superfoods!), and ridiculously simple to prepare, as you can see throughout the photos in this post. I just open the package and remove the packets that contains the roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, and the poppyseed dressing. I pour the contents (kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and chicory) into a bowl, open the packets of seeds/cranberries and dressing, and mix it all up. Then we eat it. That’s it. And every single one of us devours them. It’s really nice to know that my family is all enjoying the same dish (which is a rarity), and that they’re eating clean, thanks to Eat Smart‘s 100% Clean Label. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives of any kind, it’s vegetarian and gluten free, and it contains some of the healthiest ingredients you can put into your body. And it’s not available in Walmart stores nationwide, so if you’re looking for a clean eating staple that takes less than a minute to prepare, I highly recommend trying it out!
We’re actually fans of the whole Eat Smart line. It’s the first of its category to commit to all clean ingredients and labeling. In fact, all of its products will contain a “100% Clean Label” by the end of 2018. Pretty cool, right? Click here to check out the brand and all of the products they offer (and be sure to sign up for their mailing list!).
I hope these tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way are helpful for those of you trying to eat cleaner meals but feel pressed for time. I promise you, even if it seems overwhelming, there are small things you can do that will up the nutrition scale for you and your family. And if you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!