It is summer and between vacations and running around to various summer activities with the kids it’s difficult to eat healthy. One of the biggest struggles that most people face today is a hectic schedule.
We’re so busy that it makes eating healthy a real challenge. Quick and convenient foods end up taking the place of healthy, nourishing food when we’re on the go, go, go all the time. These less-than-ideal food choices put us on the hamster wheel of experiencing low energy, weight gain, and potential health problems.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? You don’t have to be a slave to your schedule and resort to fast food or processed foods on a regular basis.
It’s possible to eat healthy foods, even with a jam-packed schedule. It just requires a little bit of pre-planning to ensure success. You’ll feel better; have more energy and your waistline will thank you too.
When you start fueling your body with healthier choices, you’ll probably also find that you don’t have that 3 PM slump or need that afternoon caffeine boost. (These are a couple of added benefits many of my clients experience, and they’re always pleasantly surprised).
It’s important to Plan Ahead so you don’t have to rely on your willpower alone to keep you on track. Before you head out pack easy to carry healthy snacks (below is a list to help you out), and keep them in either your purse or your vehicle. This way you always have healthy choices right at your fingertips.
Going on a Road Trip? Plan on stopping at rest areas along the way; pack a nutritious picnic lunch to eat so you won’t be tempted to go to a fast food drive thru.
Going on a Long Flight? No worries, you can pack wrapped whole food snack bars, nuts, seeds, lettuce wrap sandwiches and/or pieces of fruit in your personal items bag. With a little creative planning, you can keep your nutrition on track, and save yourself a bundle of money you would have otherwise spent on pricey (and often unhealthy) airport food and snacks.
Foods That Are Easy to Pack
The following items are all easy to prepare, and convenient to take on the go. Feel free to experiment, and find out which snacks best fit your preference and lifestyle. Mix and match options to see what works for you. Be sure to keep any perishable foods in a cooler or use an ice pack.
Baby carrots, celery and cucumber slices with hummus or guacamole
Sliced or whole apples with nut butter or sun butter (1-2 tbsp)
Clementine or mandarin oranges
Fresh fruit (keep cool with an ice pack)
Sliced or whole pears
Smoothie (if you plan to drink it within 30 mins or so)
Nuts and raisins (you can make your own trail mix)
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and/or sunflower seeds
Whole Food Snack Bars (such as Larabar)
Lettuce wraps (keep cool with an ice pack)
String cheese or cheese cubes
High quality beef jerky
Cut-up rotisserie chicken (keep cool with an ice pack)
Hard boiled eggs
Almonds walnuts or cashews (small palm full is a full serving)
Rice chips with hummus
Kale chips or zucchini oven chips (make your own).
Sweet potato chips (make your own)
Make the Most of Technology
Almost everyone has a smartphone with them at any given time. You can use this readily available technology to your advantage. Keep your food choices healthy when you’re on the go by utilizing apps that make healthy living easier.
“Healthy Out” is a handy app to keep your nutrition on track when eating out. You can search by tags like meals under 500 calories, paleo, heart healthy, and more. Download the app for iOS or Android to find restaurant meals that fit your needs.
If anyone in your family is gluten intolerant, it may be a challenge to find restaurants that serve gluten-free meals. You can use the app called “Find Me Gluten Free” to help find restaurants with gluten free offerings in your vicinity.
Make Midweek Meals Easy
Just because you have had a busy day doesn’t mean you have to resort to fast food or processed foods for dinner. With a little forethought, you can make sure your family has healthy meals ready to go when you walk in the door.
Meal Plan Prep your meals on a Sunday. With the advent of Pinterest, you now have thousands of healthy crockpot meal ideas available for free. Do a quick search and see what recipes may interest you and your family. If you prep everything the night before, or even earlier in the morning, you can come home to a delicious home-cooked meal that is ready to serve.
Other helpful website for crockpot recipe ideas is Allrecipes.com and Myrecipes.com.
TIME SAVER TIP: Batch cook and plan for leftovers. When you do have time to cook, simply double the recipe and set the extras aside to use later in the week on a particularly busy day. It takes very little extra effort to double the recipe, and you will reap the benefits of time savings later in the week.
Make Healthy Eating Strategies Work for You
Even with a busy schedule, you can still make sure that you are eating healthy, nutritious meals. By putting in a little bit of planning, you can ensure that you and your family enjoy healthy foods that support your lifestyle and your goals.
Need someone to help you navigate into a whole foods approach so you can start feeling better? Or help you to jump start an exercise program? I'm here for you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a complimentary consultation.