What to do with leftovers? Using leftovers will help you save money, precious time, and help us attain our health goals. This reduces the amount of take-outs and eating out which often leads to weight gain. As a matter of fact, the FDA reports that 40% of food is wasted in the U.S. Yikes! Let’s reduce this for financial, environmental, and social reasons. Furthermore, it’s crazy that 70 billion pounds of food goes to waste yet 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. Let’s start with basic strategies and mindset.
Basic Tips for what to do with Leftovers
Nearly half of food waste is from individual households so we have lots of control for reducing waste. No amount is too little. And all the flavors add to a fantastic meal where you don’t have to cook. It’s a win, win. Additionally, we often forget what’s in the fridge so make sure you store leftovers in the front where it is visible.
If you don’t like leftovers, then don’t overcook. Appropriately, figure out the perfect portions for you and your family. If you’re eating out, try splitting your food, sharing, or just ordering on the smaller side. This aligns with weight loss too. Why not reap all the benefits?
Short-term Use for Leftovers
For me, I always make a big dinner that we use as leftovers for the next day’s lunch. I love this! I never worry about lunch. I might even add more fresh vegetables if it needs extra freshness or bulk.
Plus, you can reinvent both home cooked and restaurant food. I’ve added leftovers to fried rice, scrambled eggs, soups, bowls, salads, quiche, etc. For example, left over vegetables go well in all those examples. Or adding left over roasted yams, potatoes, zucchinis, etc. to a salad or bowl. I love cooked and raw combinations. Another example, my daughter always leaves eggs on her breakfast plate which I reuse in my lunch. Again, no amount is too little to save. And many parents eat their kid’s leftovers while complaining about weight gain. Just save it for later!
Long-term Use for Leftovers
Sometimes, I’m just done with a certain dish. That’s the perfect time to freeze it and use it another day especially for busy weeks. I love freezing leftover chicken, grains, soups, and other meals. You can also freeze vegetable scraps like carrot heads, peels, other vegetable ends and boil it into a stock when you’ve collected enough. What a way to save the planet and get all the nutrients to boot.
In summary, you can save your wallet, planet, time, and waistline all by being creative with leftovers. It’s worth starting and fine tuning as you go. Get support if you feel lost.
Support is Key to Success
Making lifestyle changes all at once can feel overwhelming especially with all the conflicting noise on the internet. Humans are hardwired to need support; seek it both personally and professionally. Get a free 30-minute phone consultation. See if this is the right match for you by addressing natural weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, nutrition, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck. See what others are saying on Google and Yelp.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA