I get, you are busy. So am I. I think the phrase “I just have a lot going on” should be the slogan of my life. As a matter of fact, it should be the slogan for everyone I know. I think being way too busy is some weird badge of honor for being overworked and exhausted. But hey, this isn’t that type of blog. I’ll save that topic for another day and another site. If only there were an emoji, to sum up the phrase LOL.
Anyway, with all of that being said, I decided that since our busyness isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I would share some tips on how to keep your healthy resolutions and eat right while being on the go.
So here are 11 ways to eat healthier, when you’re always in a hurry.
- Make it a priority. Oh, the power of a made up mind. Here’s the thing, if you don’t have a goal to eat healthy, then what is your guiding force? When it’s time to decide whether or not you are going to stop on the way home to get come chicken strips and fries in the drive thru or if you are going to hold on for another 20-30 minutes until you get home, which one wins. Deciding to eat healthier is the first step. Commitment is the next.
- Grocery Shop at the right time. Okay, I have worked in a grocery store before and I can tell you the absolute worst times to grocery shop. THE WEEKEND. It’s when everyone is out grocery shopping, the lines are long, the aisles are crowded and grocery shopping begins to feel like a chore. To be even more specific, Mid-day Saturday and Sunday afternoons are peak times. Also the two days prior to any National holiday are the worst. Don’t make poor life choices. Don’t go at these times. The best days to shop are weekdays during the day, but if you can’t make it during the day, go after 7 pm so that you can miss the “after work” rush that happens on weekdays.
- Consider Grocery Delivery. I haven’t tried this yet because I am a chef and I enjoy perusing the grocery store and looking for inspiration. But recently I saw one of my neighbors getting their groceries delivered and I must admit, I was intrigued. Imagine how much time you could save by having the shopping done for you??? All the ways, that this might become a staple in my life in the future. Plus if you belong to the group of people who absolutely hate to grocery shop, but still enjoy eating, give this a go.
- Stock up and keep lots of healthy food on hand. I find that I eat healthier when I only have healthy options around me. So I do my best to not buy the things that I have to ‘ration’ myself on. If it’s there, I’m going to eat it. It’s kind of like not wanting to dress bummy. Get rid of all of your bum wear, and only buy really cute stuff, and every day when you get dressed you have no other option but to stunt out here in these streets because it’s all you have. #SameThing
- Snacking saves lives. Trust me. When you are always on the go, always at work, or volunteering or running kids around or do whatever it is that you do, having a healthy snack on hand can literally save your life (or a least your resolve to eat healthier). I’m not even going to lie, I never was big on snacking until I became a Part Time Vegan. Then I realized that if I was going to create a new lifestyle of eating healthy, snacking was an essential component.
- Meal Plan. You knew this was coming. And I knew it too. There is no way of getting around it. You have to have a plan or you are planning to fail. Period. The End. Listen. the way our society is set up, it’s hard-wired for convenience. And let’s be honest, rare are convenient decisions the best decisions. The purpose of meal planning is to avoid making real-time, in the moment, stressful, doomed-to-fail-at-eating-healthy decisions. You can not wait until you are in the moment, #hangry, and think you will make the healthiest choice. You won’t. Need a meal planner to get you started, this is the one that I created for myself: EatOutAtHome Meal Planner & Food Journal
- Meal Prep. There is no point in planning the meals you are going to eat, if you don’t take the time to make them. And noticed I didn’t say MAKE time, I said TAKE time. Look, if you are really trying to get healthier, and you are really committed, then you are going to have to TAKE time from somewhere else in your life and give it to preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family. This is not up for debate. Yep, I know you are busy. Yep, I know your schedule is full. Yes, I know you are tired when you get home. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. I hear you. If you could make the time, you would have done it by now. Stop playing games with your life (and health) and TAKE the time to nourish your body. It’s time to #EatOutAtHome. Ok, rant over.
- Carry a cooler. I know what you are thinking, a cooler Evelyn??? What I really mean is a mini lunch bag cooler. The kind where the entire bag itself freezers and also has freezable inserts. I use one when I’m running errands or when I’m shopping to keep me from stopping and ordering a kid’s meal to hold me over. I also keep water in it as well, to help curb my appetite and keep me hydrated. This is the brand that I use: PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
- Hire it out. Wanna be a baller, shot caller? (too old school? I guess I’m telling my age at this point). I have worked as a freelance chef for years, and a lot of my business came from individuals and families who really needed to eat healthy for a variety of reasons and decided to hire me to take on that responsibility for them. While I don’t offer personal chef services anymore, there are many chefs that do. The create the meal plan based on your preferences, they do the grocery shopping, they prepare and portion the food, and all you have to do is heat it up and enjoy. This could also be your plan.
- Have “emergency food”. Similar to knowing what to do in a fire drill or where the closest exits are to you on the airplane. You need to have an emergency food plan. What happens when you have to work late unexpectedly on the day you were scheduled to grocery shop? Or if a friend comes to town and you go out to eat on the night you have reserved for meal prepping? Having emergency food options (& places to go) come through in a clutch. My mother likes to have vegetarian freezer meals, and I have a few places that I like to order from or go to the salad bar when I know I’m going to have a crazy week or when my schedule has a few surprise changes. Find a handful of places and options in mind, or in your planner, for when life does life.
- Schedule time to eat. I know this may seem counterproductive, but just like you know when you are going to wake up, shower and get dressed, knowing when (and what) you are going to eat keeps away a lot of unhealthy pitfalls. Put it on your calendar. Stick a sticker in your planner. Put a reminder on your phone. Whatever you need to do, make sure you make time to nourish and fuel your body. It’s the only one you have.
What are some other ways you have found to eat healthier with a busy lifestyle? Let me know below.
I will also be sharing how to set your kitchen up for healthy eating, how to form healthy eating habits, meal planning tips and lots of video cooking lessons in my Healthy is Homemade Online Cooking Class. You can Register for the class here.