My Tips for Eating Healthy On a Busy Schedule
In today’s world it seems as though everyone is busy, which impacts the food choices we make. Being on the go all the time may lead to skipped breakfasts, quick, unhealthy meals at fast-food restaurants for lunch and processed, pre-packaged microwaved meals for dinner. Hey, I talk to people all the time about this… it happens, and they don’t like it either. They want to eat healthy, but feel that there is just no way to do so with their busy schedules.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
I have some suggestions today that may help. First, I realize many people think skipping breakfast is no big deal. Well, it is. You may not always have time to prepare a healthy breakfast at home, but you can keep some healthy items in your car that you can consume on your way to work. If you’re always rushed in the morning, I suggest keeping a box of low-fat granola bars and a small bag of apples (or another item listed below) in your vehicle. These things don’t spoil quickly and they’re much better than skipping breakfast.
Pack Your Lunch
For those of you that are visiting fast-food restaurants way too often for lunch, I suggest that you start taking a bag lunch. I realize that it sounds too time consuming, but if you make a trip to the store once a week with a variety of the items that you can be included in your lunch, you’ll find it’s as easy as opening a cupboard and placing the items in the bag. Leave the vending machine change at home and please: avoid sweetened beverages and drink water instead.
Fire-Up Your Slow Cooker
As for dinnertime, when I know that my day is going to be a chaotic one, I use my slow cooker. I place skinless chicken breasts, or any other lean meat, into the slow cooker along with any of the following fresh vegetables, such as: onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, green bell peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts. I add a few cups of water and let it cook all day. When I come home, it’s done and I know I’m eating healthy.
Avoid Late-Afternoon Lapses
When my kids were in grade school, we were always running to several sporting practices or games each week. Once it was time to load up into the car and go home, I’d hear: “We’re starving! Can we get a quick snack before we go home?” Instead of running to a convenience store to pick up a bag junk food or making a trip through the drive-thru for some fries and a shake, like I used to do before I began focusing on healthy living, I began keeping some of the following items in my car so I would have healthy snacks on-hand to offer them:
- Whole grain crackers
- Whole grain pretzels
- Whole grain crisp breads
- Sunflower seeds
- Raw almonds
- Mixed nuts
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit including, raisins, apricots, figs, dates, prunes and bananas
- Dried peas
- Small sealed fruit cups (remember the plastic spoons too)
- Small cans of vegetable or fruit juice
- Granola bars (low sugar/low fat)
- Protein bars (low sugar/low fat)
- Rice cakes
- Soy crisps
Remember to note the serving size and calorie content per serving of each of these items. Many include several servings per bag which could add up to several extra hundred calories if you’re not careful.
Plan Ahead For Better Health
Today I want you to make a grocery list. Make sure to include some of the snack items listed above. The few minutes it takes to make the list will be well worth it. You will find that your week will include: less stress, more money, fewer calories and a lot more satisfaction knowing that you are living a healthier lifestyle.
Photo Credit: k8lane