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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Plan Meals Ahead to Save Time and Increase Options

Everyone is so busy these days that nutrition and eating healthy many times take a back seat. Fast food restaurants are an quick and easy fix, but our health suffers because of ingesting too much processed food. A little planning can help avoid making poor eating decisions. When we plan and eat a healthy diet, we feel better and our energy and overall well-being are improved.

Most grocery stores have a variety of healthy organic produce, and in less than half an hour we can fill a shopping cart with good food choices and be out the door. That is just the beginning of the process. The next thing to do is prepare the good food. To save time, wash all the vegetables and fruits and put them in the refrigerator so you they are ready to use at a moment’s notice. Cut up some celery, broccoli, carrots and cucumbers and bag these up to go to work or grab at home for a quick snack.

Smoothies are incredibly easy to make and take only minutes to blend. They travel well in a mason jar and a small cooler with a frozen ice block to keep it cold. Smoothies are also quick because we can just drink and go, and there are hundreds of different combinations to suit most everyone.

Salads can be made ahead of time and easily transported to the job or kept on hand in the fridge for a quick lunch. Healthy, homemade salad dressings are a much better choice than the bottled varieties that are full of sugar and preservatives. The great thing about dressings that include lemon juice is that the lemon juice acts as a preservative, so we can keep them for several days or even a week or more in the fridge once we’ve made them up.

Soups are filling and satisfying, and there’s nothing better than a fresh, raw soup to add to a meal. Soups can go from savory to sweet in most any combination of fruits and vegetables. Warm them up in the Vita-Mix just by blending a little longer.

Who doesn’t love a little something sweet at the end of a meal, and a healthy dessert is completely guilt-free. Instead of reaching for the cookies and cake, whip up an easy and delicious raw dessert and indulge completely.

There is no excuse for not eating well when we take just a little time to prepare. It’s worth the time and we’re worth the effort, because nothing is more important than our health.


Shake Me Up Apple Smoothie

2 apples 2 stalks celery 1 tsp ginger 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup parsley

Put all the ingredients in the Vita-Mix and blend for 15 seconds.

Brenda’s Make Me Beautiful Salad

2 cups mixed baby greens ½ cup celery ½ cup cucumber ½ cup red pepper ½ cup zucchini ½ cup red bell pepper 1 avocado

Chop all the vegetables into bite-size pieces and combine, then make the dressing and toss.



Tomato Basil Dressing

2 tomatoes 2 Tbsp fresh basil 1 clove garlic 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp powdered sea kelp 1 Tbsp olive oil (or eliminate all oil if desired) 1 medjool date

Remove the pit from the date. Put all the ingredients in the Vita-Mix and blend for 15 seconds. Toss with the salad.

Carrot Ginger Soup

3 carrots 1 stalk celery 1 tsp fresh ginger Pinch or two of Himalayan salt 1 cup filtered water

Put all the ingredients in the Vita-Mix and blend for 20 seconds. Add more water for a thinner soup.



Figgy Pudding Dessert

1 cup fresh figs 2 medjool dates 3 Tbsp filtered water

Remove the pits from the dates. Put all the ingredients in the Vita-Mix and blend for 15 seconds.


Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of the Living Foods Institute, in Atlanta, with Healthy Lifestyle Courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing and anti-aging, including a therapy spa to detoxify, nourish and relax the body. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit

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