From the outside looking in, it can feel like other people have it all figured out when it comes to balancing day-to-day chores and responsibilities. When you see your friends living busy yet productive lives, you may find yourself wondering, “How do they find the time?”
On top of checking things off of a seemingly never-ending to-do list, it is hard to imagine how you can successfully manage to keep your household intact and well-fed.
For time’s sake, it can be tempting to forego meal planning and prepping in favor of a drive-thru, pulling over at the first food truck sighting, hitting the snack machine or even neglecting to eat at all. But keeping your body nourished with the right foods is a vital part of living well. Plus, keeping those quick-fix snack options to a minimum will help free up your budget for other things (like the vacation you have been saving for).
Healthy eating is a struggle faced by many busy people who live life on the go, but being prepared in advance is one of the ways you can start your day off right.
If you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to keep a nutritious routine, these tips and tricks can guide you as you incorporate healthy meals into your day-to-day grind.
1. Get back to the basics
Most humans eat three meals per day with snacks in between. But you need to let go of the expectation that every dining experience needs to be a decadent party for your taste buds.
Fresh fruit, nuts, and granola bars are great grab-and-go options that require no prepping on your part. These options are also good sources of fiber, which aids healthy digestion. Sandwiches made with whole-grain bread are another simple solution.
While it is great to have simple go-to’s as a staple in your weekly menu, you will not want to deprive yourself all the time. Plan to make a couple of easy recipes throughout the week that taste great but take minimal time to prepare.
2. Rethink your routine
Like working out and spending quality time with loved ones, meal prepping is a priority you have to be intentional about. Make it a habit to plan your weeks in advance by writing lists. Determine which day of the week is going to be the best for meal prepping.
If finding time to grocery shop is an issue, there are many convenient services that can help lift the burden. Explore apps that allow you to pay someone to bring groceries to your door, or find a supermarket near you that accommodates advance online ordering. Meal-kit services can also simplify your life by providing perfect portions of everything you need for a recipe.
From time to time, take a day to cook a few freezer-friendly casseroles that you can warm up when you find your schedule is more demanding than usual.
3. Stick to your routine no matter what
As you embark on this journey, there will be times when it seems acceptable to veer from the path. This often happens when traveling. When you know you are going to be out of town, plan in advance.
Don’t make excuses by saying, “It’s too hard to do this while I’m traveling. I’ll get back into the swing of things after I return home.” If you slack off, getting back into your routine will be a challenge when you return. It may be easier than you think to incorporate healthy eating habits while traveling.
You only get one body to carry you through the human experience. The small choices you make each day really do make a difference. Eating a healthy meal now may not seem like it will make much of an impact in the big scheme of things, but your future self will thank you for your compounded efforts.
4. Invest in time-saving cooking supplies
Sometimes, strategic meal planning has less to do with the recipes you choose and more to do with having the right tools on hand.
When was the last time you took stock of your kitchen supplies? Spruce up your arsenal with gadgets that will simplify your cooking life and make meal prepping easier.
Vegetable slicers, meat shredders, and lime juicers will get the job done in a single movement. Electric pressure cookers have also gained popularity because they drastically reduce cooking time. By using these tools and implementing other ideas from this article, you set yourself up for healthy living no matter what!