Eating Healthy When You’re Way Too Busy
When we saw this meme on instagram a couple of months ago, we could totally relate.
As women who work in clinics by day, and run a full-time business by night, we get the struggle. Not only are we all expected to excel in our career, maintain a social life, drink enough water, exercise, text everybody back, stay sane, survive and be happy, we’re also expected to eat a healthy, whole foods, that are plant-based and minimally processed.
It can feel like a lot.
Whether you’re in school or working fulltime, it can be challenging to stick with your healthy eating goals. One of the biggest complaints we hear is that clients don’t have the time it takes to eat healthy.
The truth is, that with proper planning, eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to feel like one more “thing” on the to-do list designed to run you into the ground. That’s why we’re bringing you our top notch tips for eating healthy when life has you on the go. Our motto is that healthy eating does not have to be time consuming, and with a little bit of planning, it will make your life easier.
These are our top tips for eating healthy on the go:
1. Meal Plan
We cannot express enough how helpful meal planning is. Meal planning can help to avoid many of the common pitfalls that get in the way of healthy eating. You’re also more likely to avoid that drive-thru or gas station when you have a meal ready on hand. Our favorite things to prep are overnight oats for the week (in mason jars) and hearty salads/grain bowls for lunch. Planning and preparing just those two meals will save you time before work or class. You’ll also feel less stressed knowing that you have healthy meals ready before you reach the hangry stage. Check out our meal planning article here for tips on successful meal planning.
2. Practice Mindful Eating
We all have a tendency to eat at the computer or during a conference call, but be sure to practice mindful eating. Slow down and take the mental break to focus on eating. One of our favorite tactics to eat more mindfully is to count our chews and try to identify the different ingredients we are eating. Try chewing 25 times per bite and savor all of the flavors in your mouth while you do so. This tactic can help with portion control, and being more in tune with your hunger and fullness cues. Read more on mindful eating here.
3. Eat a Balanced Plate
We love to use the MyPlate Method to balance meals and snacks throughout the day. If you are not familiar with the MyPlate Method, the main idea is that ½ of your plate should be non-starchy vegetables and fruits, ¼ of your plate whole grains or starches, and ¼ of your plate a lean protein. Aim for variety as well. Try to choose at least 3 of the food groups (carbs, fats, proteins) for meals and at least 2 of them for snacks.
4. Have Healthy Snacks On Deck
Snacks on snacks. Snacks are key for healthy eating on the run because you never truly know when hunger will strike. For those moments when you can’t get to your next meal or that class that ran late, have healthy snacks prepared and on hand. We love yogurt, spiced nuts, granola, or popcorn for a quick snack to grab on your way out the door. We also like to find some staple pre-packaged snacks to keep an emergency stash in your backpack, bag, or desk. Our favorites are KIND bars, pistachios, and trail mix.
5. Bring Your Own Lunch
Save money and make healthy choices by bringing your own lunch. Stick to easy lunches like salads, wraps, and soups that keep things simple. Prep early in the week when you have some down time so that they’re ready to grab in the morning before class or work.
6. Utilize Quick Cooking
Microwaves, sautéing, and slow cookers were made for people on the go. So use them! Cook potatoes, veggies, and grains in the microwave for quick weeknight dinners or when you need to eat in the library or between classes. Use a slow cooker to throw in ingredients for a hearty soup before leaving for the day. You’ll love coming home to some comfort at the end of the day.
7. Make Healthier Choices When Eating Out
Life happens and you will eat out, but try to make healthier choices when you can. Check menus online before arriving at a restaurant to find the healthier options, and choose vegetable-based dishes when possible. One of our favorite tips is to start each meal with a side salad and a basic oil and vinegar blend to fill you up on those vegetables first. Then split things like fries, dessert and mac and cheese with the table. It works!
We also spoke to one of our BFF’s (and insanely busy bee) Carolina Contreras, from Miss Rizos, about what she does to stay healthy when managing a million different things. Here are her top tips!
Tip #1: I ALWAYS carry a bottle of water (preferably BPA free plastic)! Staying hydrated when busy is super important for me
Tip #2: I try to NEVER skip breakfast. It’s definitely the most important meal of the day for me because it holds me up past lunch time, just in case I run late at a meeting.
Tip #3: Meal prepping is a MUST for me. If the food is prepped and already packed, then I will make healthier choices and save a ton of time and money when I am really busy.
You see folks? Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a burden. It just takes a bit of planning and a dash of creativity. Do the best with what you can and don’t stress when things don’t go according to plan! If you want more structure to help you plan healthy meals and creating a sustainable healthy eating lifestyle that you love, check out our 8 Weeks to a Healthier You Course which is now open for enrollment.
What are some of your favorite recipes throughout the school or work week? Let us know in the comments below!