A lot of people feel trapped by their busy lifestyles when they’re trying to eat healthy. After all, who has time to cook when they need to commute two hours each way, pick the kids up from school, and do the laundry? Eating healthy with a busy lifestyle does not have to be complicated. Here are a few steps that can help you eat well even when you’re constantly crunched for time.
1) Simplify Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to eat healthier when you’re strapped for time is to simplify your diet. You might want to have that fancy curry reciple you’ve just learned, but do you really have the time for it? Stick to the basics of what you like, buy them in bulk, and mix those up over the week in a few basic meals. You’ll be surprised at how much you actually like simple foods. For instance, one of my favorite meals for lunch is a simple microwaved baked potato with some sunny side up eggs. It might sound weird, but it definitely gets the job done and is healthy and quick to boot! If you’re not into cooking at all and eat out for every meal (tsk tsk) the following tip will probably help you much more.
2) Eating Out Like a Pro!
Not everyone has time to make a baked potato and eggs. Some people don’t even enjoy cooking at all! In order to eat healthy while eating out, you really only need to ask yourself the following question: Is what I’m eating something that someone from the 1940s would eat? Think about it in terms of how processed the food is and how big the portion size is. There weren’t too many obese people back then, so they must have been doing something right! Portion size should be about what you can fit in both of your hands (unless you have freakishly small/large hands). Also, when you eat out DRINK WATER! In the San Francisco Bay Area eating out like a pro has been drastically simplified as everything has calorie listings. I tend to go for whatever has the highest food volume to calorie ratio.
3) Carry Food With You!
It isn’t terribly hard to carry some good healthy snacks with you. Carry some nuts (unless you’re allergic, because then you would die) and eat a few every time you feel like you’re getting hungry in between meals. A hand full of nuts can go a LONG way in keeping you satiated. Fruits are also delicious, healthy, and portable snack foods. I always carry two or three bananas with me along with some almonds in case I get the munchies. For you extreme folks out there you can resort to carrying canned goods in your car (along with a can opener if you cant open cans with your mind bullets). A lot of canned goods last forever and are actually pretty good for you (especially the low sodium variety).
Photo Credit healthy enteraining platter 1 image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.comA busy lifestyle may leave you little time to cook and eat healthy meals. According to Jeannette Bessinger and Tracee Yablon-Brenner, authors of “Simple Food for Busy Families: The Whole Life Nutrition Approach,” it is possible to eat a diet filled with nutritious foods even when you are busy with a career and family. A few simple changes will allow you to create cooking and eating routines that focus on a variety of healthy ingredients.
Prepare meals ahead of time. Take a few hours on a weekend afternoon to make soup, chili or pasta dishes, for example. Portion them out into freezer safe containers and freeze them. Focus on cooking with healthy ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, sodium-free canned beans and whole wheat pasta. Pull out one meal each evening for a quick and healthy way to feed your family.
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Keep healthy snacks bagged and ready to go. Cut up fresh fruits and vegetables and store them in individual serving sizes. Portion out small amounts of nuts, seeds, dried fruits or air-popped popcorn. Grab a couple healthy snacks as you leave each morning to have a nutritious food choice on hand no matter how busy you get.
Pack your lunch everyday. Put several healthy foods into a lunchbox to help you avoid the fast food line when hunger strikes, recommends Sharon Jean Wiginton, author of “Abounding Health Naturally.” Make sandwiches with plenty of vegetables on whole wheat bread or wraps made with whole wheat tortillas. Pack one or two pieces of fruit or one or two servings of vegetables to round out the meal.
Make a smoothie to take with you when you are on the go. Place your favorite fruits along with low-fat plain yogurt and ice cubes into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a portable cup to drink as you go about your day, suggests Wiginton.
Look up restaurant menus ahead of time to help you choose the healthiest meals when you eat out. Search for nutrition information from the place you plan to eat and make your meal decision before you arrive. Stick to your choices by ordering without looking at the menu again.
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Tips and Warnings
Pack lunches the night before. Get your lunch and your children’s lunches ready ahead of time so everyone has a healthy meal ready to eat. Stash a few snacks in your purse, bag or car so there is always a healthy option when you are hungry. Do not eat while you are driving because it may increase the risk of an accident. Keep foods in the car but wait until you reach your destination to eat them.
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