Anyone else have spring cleaning on their mind when March rolls in? Just like it’s important to periodically deep clean and purge unnecessary clutter around the house (which my super-talented friend Carol could help you with), it’s also helpful to reevaluate things like your meal planning, shopping and food prepping routine too. Here are a few simple steps for ‘spring cleaning your cooking routine‘ as we head into this new season.
Step 1: Take inventory of your pantry
It may sound scary (especially if you’ve not spent much time in there over the winter), but now’s the time to dare venture into the depths of the pantry to see exactly what you have, then strategize how to use it (or, if you can’t see yourself using it within a reasonable amount of time, then consider donating it, or even tossing it!). Save money as you work through shelf-stable items before purchasing duplicates and remember to re-stock those healthy staples that make fast weeknight meals, like some of the sheet pan dinners we can have Stacey show you are a breeze. Some of my favourites are canned tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth and nutrient-rich whole grains like quinoa and chickpeas.
Step 2: Embrace seasonal produce
One simple way to get out of a cooking rut is to switch up your go-to fruits and vegetables based on the season. Bonus: this also means fresher and less expensive finds! Try our simple grilled vegetables as a spring side dish (especially tasty if it means you get to open up your outdoor grill!) that are likely to get rave reviews. We also love salads with seasonal fruits and vegetables – like some we feature in the meal guides we provide clients struggling with chronic illnesses – featuring strawberries and radishes which come back in season in March (unless you’re here in eastern Canada like I am…but we DO look forward to our friends opening their seasonal garden at The Happy Farm!).
Step 3: Find a meal planning method that actually works.
Remember that as I often say, meal planning is key to staying on track with healthy living goals, but is ALSO simply a guide. So if your current setup isn’t working, it might be time to switch gears. Make it a goal to find an approach that feels doable — and more importantly, sustainable — in the long term. If this is something you struggle with, you might consider outsourcing. Try out our meal planning program (like our Anti-inflammatory Guide, or the 28-Day Refresh, or others – depending on your diagnosis) to save time so you can focus on improving your culinary skills and enjoying home-cooked meals over endless recipe searching (and while the links shared are for our unassisted trial offers, it allows you to check out the customizability of our programs, and we can always sing you up for personalized guidance after).
Dedicating time to freshen up your prep and cooking routine can produce results that last. A simple, well-planned menu and well-stocked pantry can reduce your stress in the kitchen and limit the need for takeout.
Set yourself up for success! Which step will you tackle first?