When you’re trying to make big, sweeping changes toward a healthier life, it’s often the smallest tweaks or shortcuts that prove the most life-altering.
Case in point: I tried — and failed — to go to the gym every single morning for months. I’d wake up, get overwhelmed by the idea of leaving my bed, groggily hit the snooze button, and feel bad about it an hour later. Then I started laying out my gym clothes the night before. That one little tweak streamlined the process enough that I was able to get myself out of bed and to the gym, and ultimately met all my fitness goals. The key wasn’t hiring a personal trainer or signing up for an ultramarathon, it was just taking five minutes the night before to track down my sports bra and gym socks and make sure they were easy to grab in my 5a.m. haze. Small change, big result.
The same is true for healthy eating. Doing a week’s worth of meal planning and prep in advance is obviously a great way to ensure you eat better. But if the idea of spending three hours every Sunday night cooking and packaging all your meals for the week is a bit too daunting (and it is for a lot of us!), try this small step first: just pre-pack some smoothies instead.
It’s an easy, simple shortcut that guarantees you a healthy breakfast, ready in seconds. Tiny amount of effort. Delicious results. No excuses. Here’s how to do it:
- Gather the ingredients for your favorite smoothie and do all your washing and chooping at once. (Need some inspiration? Check out our Blueberry Beet smoothie, Raspberry-Orange Immunity smoothie, Berry Banana smoothie, or these awesome green smoothie recipes).
- Pack the non-liquid ingredients (fruits and greens) together in single-serving containers or ziploc bags. If you have a Magic Bullet or any smoothie maker that blends in a single to-go cup, you can pack your ingredients right in the blending cup and cover with a lid.
- Label and store the pre-packed smoothie mixes in your freezer.
- When you’re ready to make them, just pour the liquid ingredients (juice, milk, and/or yogurt) and the pre-packed smoothie mixture in the blender and blend until smooth. So. Easy.
Using this make-ahead method, you can easily prep a few weeks’ worth of smoothies in half an hour, and on those mornings when the snooze button proves too tempting, you’ll be so glad you did!
READ MORE: Scientists Discover Cooking Hack to Cut Calories in Rice