Do you think that you're too busy to eat healthy? Do you often find yourself stopping at a convenient store, or drive thru due to tight schedules, and a a rumbling stomach?
This is such a common issue that I believe it is warranted a bump up on my blog posting list about developing healthier habits. On a previous post about this topic a reader asked me for some tips about how to eat healthy while balancing a hectic schedule. I would have liked to do a post about what to eat, and what to keep in check first, but I wanted to address this question, because it is a terrific one. I believe that time is probably one of the biggest, second only to maybe not having the correct information, obstacles most of us face in eating better, more nutritious food.
I will address the reasons why in a later post, but here are some tips to eating a healthy diet when busy:
*If you can afford it, take advantage of the already prepared produce trays at the store. This can cut down time when you're in a hurry, and is still likely less expensive to prepare a meal using already prepped ingredients than eating fast food.
*Cook things likes beans in bulk, and freeze them for tacos, and chili meals.
*Use white meat in recipes as much as you can.
*Go grocery shopping once a week, buying some staples like potatoes, chicken, wheat bread, wheat noodles, natural peanut butter, tuna, olive oil, and of course lots, and lots of produce,
*When you go shopping soon after as you can, get all your vegetables out. Wash, and cut them up. Doing it all at once saves on dishes, and a lot of time. Now they're ready to use for meals.
*When you're done with the cutting board for veggies, rinse it, and use it to cut, and freeze your meat, also saving on dishes, and time. I cut all chicken breasts in half for freezing, and put hamburger in 1/4 lb balls. This makes it frugal, and quick to defrost what I need. If I am needing a hamburger, or a chicken sandwich, or some chicken strips to go a side in a quick hurry I can defrost only that much in the microwave.
*Eggs are a very quick, easy way to get protein for breakfast, or a supper if you are needing a quick meal.
*Pack yourself a lunch, instead of going out everyday.
*Plan, prepare, and pack snacks. Don't wait until you're famished to reach for food. Plan ahead. Eat 2-3 snacks a day, and while at the grocery store (or before) decide what they're going to be. Fruit, nuts, veggies, and whole grain crackers/chips, cheese, and some unsweetened yogurts are some good ideas to get you started,
*If you need to go out to a fast food place pick a salad. If you can't get a olive oil, or vinegar dressing then order your dressing on the side, and dip only your fork tines in it to minimize the processed fats, and sugar. Don't worry about the caloric intake as much as the sugar, and vegetable oil content of items in your salad. You need protein. This is important when choosing a salad, because if you don't get any protein with your lettuce you're going to be starving in an hour, and that means possible unhealthy snacks. Put nuts, chicken, beans and cheese on your salad to make it hearty.
*Instant brown rice is nurtrtious, quick, and better tasting than from scratch. Jazz it up with chicken broth, and veggies.
*Never, if it's an option, choose fat-free, sugar-free, low-fat versions of anything. They are filled with empty calories.
* Whole wheat bread, and pitas are a great way to go in the evening if you're too tired to cook. Peanut butter, and jelly (without the corn syrup) is always a good choice. Lunch meat is so-so in terms of healthy eating. It's better than frozen, or fast food. Sauteing some chicken strips is even better.
*For a good snack, or light meal mix some tuna up with some lemon juice, mayo and dill. This is good on bread, pita, and wheat crackers.
*Limit soft drinks. Drink unsweetend seltzer water, club soda, and plain tea.
*A little bit of broth (I buy the broth granules in the soup aisle) some vegetables, and meat, or beans if you'd like can be added together, and eaten for a healthy, yummy soup for supper, or lunch.
*Stir fry is an a very healthy meal. If you dice up your veggies when you get them home, then all you have to do is make the sauce, then get to sauteing!
*Chicken breast can be broiled in the oven in about 15 minutes for a quick, and healthy main course. I usually take the breast, and cut it in half, and once lengthways, so it is not too thick. You want it to be somewhat thin, or it will take a long time to cook all the way through. Put it on the broiling pan, and put a couple of tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle some seasoning, and cook it. It's a simple, quick, tasty way to make chicken!