15 March 2013

Make A Plan To Eat Healthy

This post is written by contributing author Shelly Kerry. 

I am a lady that needs a plan! I love schedules, notebooks and calendars and when it comes to eating healthy, I need a well laid out plan more than ever. With such a busy schedule it is easy for me to just eat whatever is quickest even if that is another peanut butter sandwich for dinner. Not really the well rounded diet I want for myself. So I have found that I do best by filling my fridge and cupboards with healthy, easy to make foods and to lay out a shopping plan for the week. For both my diet and my workouts, I make a weekly plan in advance and keep the menu and exercises simple. 

My experience has been that in order to eat healthier foods and to get well rounded nutritious meals, I need to accept that I will be shopping more often. Organic vegetables and fruits only last a few days on my counter before they start to go bad. Just a note - I do live alone so I buy less at a time. The best way I have tackled this is to first make a list of my weekly “to buys”including avocados, eggs, bread, 4 to 5 seasonal fruits and greens, lean meats and a seafood. I have accepted that the fruits and veggies will have to be purchased two or three times a week. This can feel like a lot but there are several ways to prevent getting overwhelmed by so much shopping.

Plan your shopping trips around other tasks
There is a farmers market near my gym on Thursdays and another one not too far from my home on Saturdays. I plan my workout schedule with my shopping. After the gym on Thursday, I stock up on healthy snacks of whatever is in season from the local farms. Saturday I take a longer walk and do other errands on my way to the larger weekend farmers market. Here I can pick up more things that will last an entire week - meat, seafood, dairy and bread. My walk home is a little more challenging with the weight of the bags but it gives me an excuse to indulge in a small, yummy maybe not so healthy treat. With all this healthy living, we deserve a small cookie or ice coffee beverage on the weekends.

Cook in batches
This is something I hope to get better at this year - I want one of my weekends nights to be spent preparing food for the week. I keep things pretty simple so meals are easy to prepare. This way I can enjoy the once a week dinner out with friends. Cook up chicken or turkey and portion it out for the week. Cook up a couple different grains to use as a side dish or in a salad. Cut up veggies for easy stir fries or snacks. I often have to take my dinner to my night job so I like to keep food ready to just throw in my bag. Soups are also a great easy thing to make in advance and freeze for later

Make it last
I am not a big fan of leftovers unless I can use them to create a whole new dish. If there are extra green beans or red potatoes, I will add them to a big salad for dinner. Chicken can be used both as a good protein for dinner and as a healthy after workout sandwich. Extra tomatoes can be added to an easy, homemade pasta sauce. Living alone I have to be really good about catching fruits and veggies before they go bad. As soon a fruit starts to look a little overripe, I either dice or puree and then freeze them so they are ready for smoothies. Same for veggies. Use extra ice cube trays to fill with purees and put them in the freezer.

Eating and living healthy takes effort but the benefits do outweigh the extra work. Make it a little easier on yourself by trying out some of the above tricks and creating a weekly healthy shopping list. Subscriptions to CSA boxes from local farmers can be fun especially if you like surprises and want to try new things. I haven’t tried it yet but Instacart, a local grocery shopping and delivery app is now delivering from Whole Foods. The charges are not too crazy and with such a busy schedule grocery delivery in big cities can be worth the extra change.

This post is part of Eat Healthier month on Kanelstrand. Read the rest of the posts here and join in the discussions, we'd love to know what you think!

Shelly is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself. You can also find Creating Space on Facebook or contact shelly@creatingspacemindfulliving.com


  1. I should make a plan too, I am having such a hard time in winter to eat healthy.

    1. It's so hard for me in the winter. I love that apples and citrus and root vegetables live a little longer here than summer and spring fruits and veggies. That helps me because I always have an abundance!

  2. I agree with Shelly that a plan can contribute to healthier eating habits. I use a list for most of my grocery shopping which keeps me focused & less likely to impulsively pick up "junk" food. I also find that when I have a plan for the week, less food is wasted. I'll decide on menus that use up the ingredients I've purchased that week. This week, for instance, the cremini mushrooms have been tossed into a stir fry, a frittata & homemade chicken soup, so not one has been wasted. I bought a bag of organic russet potatoes, & they've been mashed as a side dish, sliced for the frittata & chopped for the soup. There are, admittedly, some weeks when I'm less organized about groceries & menus, & we end up paying the price with less healthy, more costly takeout dinners &/or me feeling guilty as I throw away wasted food. Trying to minimize those types of weeks!

    1. It's easy for those weeks to slip in. Awareness is half the battle right?
      I hate when I throw out food. I am trying to minimize that!

    2. I hate letting food go to waste!
      I finally got serious about it by creating a list of all the ingredients I know I use in my cookery + a page of the recipes I usually use them in. The idea is to help me visualize how many different meals I can get out of each ingredient.
      I even assigned each ingredient its own color —partly because it's prettier that way, but also to help me 'read' the list at a glance. :)

  3. yes!should follow a balanced diet

    Take Care

    1. Thanks Leo! I know it makes me feel better!

  4. Excellent Post, I firmly believe if we keep healthy food in the house we will eat healthier. I have recently started counting calories and thought I'd challenge myself to lose 10 lbs, I think I am enjoying the awareness just as much as taking off the pounds. We have to do a lot less eating and a lot more activity...It is a healthy balance.

  5. Thanks for the great advice!
    I'm looking forward to future posts