Growing up, my parents were divorced and both worked full-time jobs.
Despite working full-time jobs, juggling kids as single parents, and having to take care of their own households, my parents were both able to maintain and pass on healthy habits to my brothers and I. They didn't use excuses like "I don't have time", "It's too expensive", or "I can't".
They figured out HOW to make healthy happen and they DID it.
They didn't care that someone else may be in an easier situation than them, like a married household with a stay-at-home parent and higher income to support the whole family. They played the cards they were dealt and found a way to make it work.
While I learned healthy habits from both of my parents, I learned a lot about healthy eating from my mom and exercise/fitness from my dad.
Today, I'm sharing the best healthy tips I learned from my mom.
12 HEALTHY TIPS I LEARNED FROM MY MOM
GET & STAY ORGANIZED
Get organized and keep your kitchen organized.
Have a tupperware drawer or cabinet and ORGANIZE all of your lids. Keep an inventory of plastic baggies in multiple sizes, plastic wrap, parchment paper, aluminum foil, etc. Make sure everything has a home and at the end of each day, everything ends up out of the dishwasher and sink and back to it's home.
MOM'S PRO TIP: Buy containers that are different sizes but have the same size lid. For example, Ziplock makes tupperware that holds different quantities, but the lids are the same dimensions and interchangeable.
There's no reason to have a million different size tupperware with weird lids, so the more you can consolidate this, the better.
BUY GOOD KNIVES
Good knives should be your first kitchen investment. The difference between a good, sharp knife and a dull one is huge.
You don't need a ton of knives, just make sure the ones you have are good.
MENU PLAN FOR THE WEEK
My mom used to write up her weekly menu on Saturday mornings while drinking her coffee. She'd literally make a chart with the days of the week and would write out our meals for each day.
After she figured out what we were eating each day, she wrote her grocery list.
Her grocery list was pretty much written in stone and she stuck to it!
WRITE YOUR GROCERY LIST AND STICK TO IT
Mom's grocery lists were Level Expert quality.
She would check the ads from the local supermarkets and figure out what was on sale at each store.
Basically, her shopping list was 4 mini lists (one list for each store) and she would run to 2 or 3 local markets and to Sam's Club/Costco.
By doing this, mom was able to get the best quality items at the best prices and when certain items were on sale she would stock up and work those items into the next week's meal plan.
Healthy on a budget!
CHECK THE SUPERMARKET ADS AND SHOP AT MULTIPLE STORES
Mom was a wheeler and dealer with grocery store ads and coupons. Whether it was baby formula, canned goods, cleaning supplies, or frozen vegetables, my mom was awesome at finding deals and taking full advantage of them.
The amount of money she would save from coupons and store ads was crazy.
STOCK THE FREEZER WITH FROZEN FOODS
Our freezer was always full of frozen meat, fish, vegetables, etc.
We heavily depended on frozen meats and vegetables for our healthy meals.
HAVE A COUPLE QUICK GO-TO BACK POCKET HEALTHY RECIPES
Having a couple go-to healthy meals that can be ready in less than 30 minutes will make your life so much easier on busy nights.
A few of my mom's quick meals are:
- Grilled Chicken with Steamed Veggies and Mixed Greens Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Shrimp Scampi
- Pesto Shrimp
- Chicken, Shrimp, or Beef Kebabs
MAKE EXTRA AND FREEZE THE LEFTOVERS
Pasta sauce, wedding soup, chicken...Mom would always make extra and freeze leftovers in single size or family portions.
Along with keeping the freezer stocked with meat and veggies, she also kept plenty of leftovers in the freezer ready to go.
KEEP A FROZEN CASSEROLE OR LASAGNA IN THE FREEZER
I vividly remember mom taking her frozen lasagna out of the freezer in the morning and placing it in the fridge before leaving for her nursing shift at the hospital. She would write cooking instructions on the aluminum foil for us to follow when we got home from school:
"At 5:00pm, preheat oven to 400F. Bake 45-50 minutes"
Dinner would be ready just as she was arriving home from the hospital.
STOCK UP ON CANNED BEANS AND VEGGIES
Our cabinets and pantry were filled with a variety of canned beans, tomatoes, and vegetables.
These were necessary options for quick side dishes and as ingredients for chili, soup, pasta sauce, and other meals.
MARINATE YOUR FOOD IN THE MORNING
Mom would always buy frozen chicken breasts, turkey, fish, etc. The meat would go from the freezer into a bag with a marinade and would do it's thing while she was at work and we were in school. By the time we would get home, the meat was very tender from hours of marinating in the fridge.
This is by far the best trick I have learned from my mom.
CROCKPOT DINNERS ARE LIFESAVERS
Just like your back pocket quick meal recipes, having a few crockpot favorites will save you in a pinch.
Simple recipes with a few ingredients that you can throw into the pot and let it do it's thing are the best. Keep the ingredients on hand at all times.
Some of my mom's favorite crockpot meals are:
- Pork Chops and Rice
- Chicken and Rice
- Pot Roast
- Pulled Pork
These healthy tips I learned from my mom have made my life so much easier...I hope that they help you out too!
What healthy tips did you learn from your parents?