How to Eat Healthy When You’re Busy
I’m too busy.
How often have you muttered that phrase to yourself or to someone else?
Be honest now. There’s no shame in it. We’ve all been worn so far down we just can’t think about cooking dinner or trying to eat healthy. Unfortunately, that’s the life we live today. Everything needs to have happened yesterday, bosses want things now, and kids have places to go.
But…there is a way to lead a healthy lifestyle while you’re busy. It’s possible…I promise.
In this blog, I’ll give my best hints at cutting corners but staying healthy. I’ve also got a free download for you…10 healthy yet easy dinners made in 15 minutes or less!
Humans are creatures of habit. Especially me. I LOVE my routines. In fact, when I am outside my routine, it will kick off my anxiety. That’s never fun for me or the husband. Routine is key when trying to implement healthy changes when you’re busy!
I talk routine a lot with my clients. Maybe they don’t always know it but I’m helping them formulate healthy routines. We do this by making 2 to 3 changes each session and then work to really implement those changes over a 2 to 3-week period. Then we add more. We continue this process until they are doing without thinking.
The easiest way to strive to eat healthy when you’re busy is to build a routine. You probably already have one. Maybe you celebrate no-meat Monday or taco Tuesday. Maybe Thursday nights the kids are on the hook for dinner. Most of us make routines without thinking about it.
The goal of a healthy routine is to set it with intention. If there is intention behind it, we strive to stick with it a bit more.
Set a new intention each week to include one new healthy habit you can work towards and build on. Maybe this week it will be taking your water bottle with you each time you leave the house. This is so you can stay hydrated and healthy.
Or maybe it’s taking a snack bag with you (more on this in a minute) so you always have food to fall back on when you’re hungry.
Aside from our routines, we also have an all or nothing attitude. Sometimes that will get the better of us. When building a healthy routine, it’s important to set one intention at a time so as not to become overwhelmed and revert back to old habits.
Let’s talk snacks for a minute.
My husband works from home but he does leave the house for hours at a time when needed. And he does something that annoys the hell out of me…he doesn’t prepare any food to take with him. Nothing. Not even a snack. Now, I don’t harp on taking the trash out but I do harp on not grabbing snacks.
Because this is what happens. He’s in a hurry. He throws on some work clothes and runs out of the house. An hour or two into being away from the home, he gets hungry. He pulls into the closest gas station to grab a snack.
If you’ve stepped into a gas station lately to get something to eat, you know they don’t have the best selection when it comes to healthy food.
He’s gotten better with his selection. He used to grab candy (peanut M & Ms being his favorite) or chips. Now he reaches for a banana or nuts. But we have those items at home. Why doesn’t he just take them with him? I’m even yelling throughout the house, “Don’t forget a snack!!” Still, he doesn’t take a snack. I think this is his way of rebelling. I don’t know.
Anywho…get into the habit of taking snacks with you whenever you leave the house. If you set the intention to make that a habit and really work at it for a few weeks, it will become second nature. Having snacks on hand prevent you from making a “in the heat of the moment” food decision when you’re hungry.
If you get hungry, reach into your handy dandy snack tote and munch on something you brought with you!
Aside from routines with intention and snacks, having some pantry staples on hand is a great step towards eating healthy when you’re busy.
We all have our go to staples. You know, those foods in the store that always wind up in your cart only to get home and find you already have it? Yeah, those!
I am a big fan of staples. Everyone has them but you may just need to refine them a little so that you always have something on hand to throw together. Here are my staples:
Brown rice pasta
Vegan marinara sauce
Frozen brown rice
Canned beans…usually black or pinto
Unsweetened almond milk
That’s it. Along with herbs and spices I have on hand, I can craft a variety of dinners using these foods. Your staples may differ from mine. Here are healthy staples I think everyone should have stocked and at the ready:
Frozen brown rice
Firm tofu OR some form of readily made, quality protein (eggs, chicken breast, etc)
Canned beans (even if you aren’t vegan)
Frozen veg (always always always have frozen veg handy…and lots of it)
Brown rice pasta
Sugar free salsa (yes, they put sugar in salsa)
Sprouted grain tortillas
I know…it doesn’t seem like much. But if you grabbed the recipes in this blog, you’ll see how those come in handy. If you have these staples on hand, you always have something to make for dinner.
Making it is the tough part. Perhaps set an intention for that?
In this blog, I’m giving you 10 super easy and quick dinners you can make from some staples. I am confident that most people know how to cook. Or they are savvy enough to pull up some recipes on Pinterest. But the “doing” is the tough part.
There’s a couple of ways you can approach this. You can set an intention to cook more dinners at home. Or, you can set an eating out intention. I find the latter works best for most.
Take a look at how often you’re eating outside the home. The goal would be to reduce that number to 2 to 3 times each week. When you set that intention and work towards it, you are forced to cook at home.
Something else that helps is planning your meals in advance. Take the 10 dinner ideas and throw them into a calendar. If your intention is to only eat out twice each week, pick 5 dinners and plug them into what night you will cook them on.
What works in my house…we have assigned cooking nights. We found that when dinnertime came, I was waiting for the husband to cook and he was waiting for me to cook. Neither one of us wanted to do it so we defaulted to eating out. Now we have assigned nights and we find that really works well for us.
Find what works for you and set an intention to do it.
What is one healthy intention you can set to work towards in your busy life? Let me know in the comments section!
Don’t forget your quick dinner recipes!!