With so many things to keep up with these days – work, social life, dating, family, housekeeping – it’s hard to even imagine how you can make enough time to look after your own health, specifically your nutrition. Sometimes it seems easier to grab something at a fast food restaurant than to spend time preparing your meals at home.
The truth is, in order to keep up with our busy lives as long as we plan to, we need to make sure we take care of our health.
Having nutritious food at home is not enough. It needs to be available in a manner that fits your needs and lifestyle. So having a fridge full of fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats from that spontaneous trip to the farmers market doesn’t mean you’ll find the time or place to prepare and eat them.
Here are some ideas that can help you stay healthy no matter what is listed in your to-do list for the day!
1) Pick and Choose Portable Fresh Foods
On your weekly shopping trip, picking healthy and fresh foods that are easy to grab, stick in your bag, and keep for hunger emergencies will be the key to eating healthy when you life a lifestyle of always being on-the-go. For example, while in the produce isle, you can pick more apples, oranges, bananas, baby carrots, and fresh peppers, than pineapples, mangoes, melons, spinach, and lettuce.
The green leafy foods are very important in order for you to get enough iron and antioxidants in your diet. These green leafy foods aren’t necessarily the most portable foods, so make sure you make up fresh salad or steam ahead of broccoli on your down time.
2) Make a Trail Mix
Making a trail mix will save you from making a detour into a fast-food drive-thru. You can make a jumbo trail mix zip-lock bag as soon as you get home from the grocery store and fill up one or two smaller bags or these clever storage containers to stick in your bag and in the car. You can have a mix that contains:
- raw almonds (better and more healthier than the toasted and salted ones)
- macadamia nuts
- sunflower seeds
- raisins and dried cranberries
If you have a sweet tooth, you can also mix in a handful of dark-chocolate chips, however, it should be less in proportion than the others.
3) Cook Ahead
If Sunday is your day for yourself, you can take advantage of this by cooking ahead for the rest of the week and packing with these clever containers. And if it’s the day you get together with friends, invite them over to cook with you! You can steam your veggies on Sunday and pack them for lunch with a lime slice for work.
This works well with:
- summer squash
Cutting up those big fruits into a fruit salad can lasts almost all week. You can also make some frozen veggie or turkey burgers and turn them into a burger melt for work.
You can take the pattie and put it between two whole wheat slices of bread with low-fat swiss cheese and tomatoes. If you have a microwave at the office, stick it in the microwave for thirty seconds and prepare for wholesome goodness. It’s still delish even if you don’t heat it up!
4) Take Turns With Work Friends
You can do this at work or with your friends in school. Each of you can have a day to bring something yummy, healthy and shareable for lunch or for snacks. That way, you know that you only have to plan for one day of the week, and the rest is up to your friends. It’s also a good bonding activity and will take some of the stress off your back.
5) Plan Ahead and Drive Thru
No matter how much you plan, there are days when you have to pick between going to the drive-thru or not eating at all. Go to a restaurant you know that has truly health options. Most restaurants have the nutritional information available on their websites, this can help you find acceptable options.
Pick restaurants with these options on your normal routes, and roll up to the window knowing that you know what you want without having to look at the menu. This will help you focus on what is healthy for you.
As a tip to complement the ones above, always carry around a bottle of water, as there are lot’s of reasons why we should drink more water. Fill up your bottle the night before and keep it in the fridge. Studies show that staying hydrated is key to fighting off cravings.