6 Healthy Eating Hacks for Busy People…
Many of my clients say that they are just too busy to eat healthy at home. “Eating healthy all the time takes too much time.” With a family, a full time job and a business on the side, I get it. I am also going to challenge you.
Are you really too busy or are you just not prioritizing it?
It all comes down to what you believe matters. It doesn’t take any more time to make a quick batch of muffins than it does to run out to the grocery store a second time because you ran out of granola bars. It’s all about planning and priorities.
What I’ve learned as a mom/nutritionist, and I teach my clients, is that eating healthy can be simple, with a few basic strategies.
Again…it all comes down to good planning.
If you want to maintain or lose weight, improve your energy, sleep better, be more focused and look great, it is important to eat more ‘real’ food and less processed food.
It’s as simple as that.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
1. Have a smoothie for breakfast.
Find a great smoothie recipe and make sure you have the ingredients on hand at all times. No thinking required!
My ‘standard’ recipe is 1/2-1 cup mixed berries and sometimes a half banana or 1/4 avocado, 1-2 tbsp chia/flax seeds, 1 scoop of a greens powder, 1 scoop of Garden of Life Protein Powder or 1/4 cup hemp seeds and then water/almond milk to desired consistency.
Smoothies are perfect because you can drink them while you run around the house doing all of the things you have to do to get ready for your day. (or you can take them with you). In cold weather you’ll want to drink them at room temp for better health and to support your thyroid gland.
2. Plan meal prep time into your week.
Every Sunday I try to do a few of the following:
- cook a pot of quinoa, brown rice, black beans and/or garbanzo beans – to be used for stews, stir fry, soups or salads
- make a batch of banana bread or protein muffins or another healthy baked good for lunches (get your kids involved)
- make a huge pot of chili or stew/soup to use for lunches throughout the week
- cook a whole organic chicken – which you can use for soup and sandwiches the next day
- cut up raw veggies – for those busier weekends, buy the ready cut ones to keep in your fridge
- make a batch of homemade hummus or dip
- hard boil eggs and keep in fridge
3. Keep your snacks and meals simple.
Snacks don’t have to take a lot of time. Try any of the following:
- grapes and walnuts
- celery and almond/nut butter (top with raisons)
- veggies and homemade hummus (already prepared from prep day)
- rice cakes and avocado
- half a pepper stuffed with avocado and lemon juice
- mixed raw nuts or homemade trail mix
- apple or pear
- brown rice cake with nut butter
- leftover soup
- coconut yogurt topped with toasted buckwheat, raw cacao, coconut or whatever you have on hand
- hard boiled egg
Meals – we usually have eggs one night each week.
4. Use a Crockpot or Insta-pot
I’m sure you will agree that there is nothing better than coming home to a great smelling house and a meal that is ready to eat. There are many delicious crock pot recipes that can easily be thrown together the night before or in the morning.
5. Make enough for double duty.
If you’re making chicken, brown rice and broccoli for dinner, make enough so that you can use the extra chicken and brown rice in a healthy chicken burrito or a hearty chicken soup.
If you have chilli one night, put the chilli on rice or pasta the next night.
If you have butternut squash soup. Use it the next day as a pasta sauce.
Leftover roasted veggies are great on a sandwich or in a salad the next day.
6. Consider ‘Healthy’ Prepped Foods
You DO NOT have to be perfect. It’s ok to purchase foods that make your life easier. Here are some of my favourites.
- pre-cut veggies
- ready made guacamole or hummus (try to use brands that don’t use seed oils)
- frozen chicken breasts or fish (again, try to find cleaner brands)
- frozen mixed veggies that you can stir fry with ground beef or turkey or chicken
- organic, non-gmo granola bars
You can do this!
Linda Ljucovic, Registere Holistic Nutritionist, Oakville