My biggest derailment comes in the form of not leaving myself enough time—or enough energy—to cook dinner. It’s not uncommon for me to get hyperfocused at work and find myself making a decision to stay in the office a little longer. When I am finally ready to leave work and start dinner, I often find myself staring into the fridge and realizing that there is nothing quick and easy to prepare. On these occasions, I’ll announce with guilt, “We have to have take out tonight.”
Adults with ADHD are more likely to be overweight. There are a number of reasons for this, but time management is a big one. A lot of us don’t realize that healthy eating habits require good time management. Think about it. In order to prepare a healthy dinner:
- You have to make sure there’s healthy food in the house, which requires shopping in advance.
- You have t0 make sure that the food is defrosted in time to cook it. (Or that it’s not already spoiled. Ha ha.)
- You have to leave yourself enough time to cook the meal.
One way to tackle this problem is to make use of your freezer. When you have time to make a healthy meal, make a lot of it. And I mean, a lot. Double or even triple the amount that you usually make for a meal, and then freeze the leftovers either in individual or family-sized portions.When you don’t have time to cook, you can simply reheat. And precooked meals can be defrosted in the microwave and then cooked, or even just cooked in the oven or on the stove top as-is.
Chili, soups, and stews are great one-pot meals that freeze easily. Lasagna and some other pasta dishes freeze well, too. And did you know that you can also freeze cooked meats? (I wouldn’t freeze cooked meat on the bone, but a steak or a roast will freeze nicely!) Or that you can pre-cut vegetables and freeze them for easy cooking later? Some people will tell you that you need to blanch vegetables before freezing them but, trust me, you don’t. Just use them up withing a month or two.
Here are a few additional tips for making this trick work:
- Be sure to clearly label all your frozen food, and include the date.
- When you add a new container to the freezer, add it to the back and push the existing stuff forward, just like they do in the grocery store. Your frozen foods can go bad, so you don’t want anything sitting in the back of the freezer for too long.
- Make healthy meals that you and your family actually enjoy. A healthy meal can be anything that’s well balanced; it need not be steamed fish and vegetables in order to be healthy.
- Make it a priority to “feed the freezer.” This trick will only work if you invest some time and energy up front.
What tricks do you use to make healthy meals for yourself and/or your family? Please share them in the comments!
P.S. If you found this post helpful, then you’ll no doubt want to join us for the ADHD & Weight Management Seminar. It’s completely online. Dr. Roberto Olivardia, ADHD Expert and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School, will be teaching us How to Build Healthy Eating Habits that are ADHD-friendly. It’s going to be great. I’m very excited to attend this online seminar, myself!
But today is the last day to get the Early Bird Discount and save $50, so be sure to register now if you want to join us!