Once upon a time, I looked on at people who “had it together” in envy. How, I wondered, could they possibly have time to work, exercise, go out, and maintain healthy eating habits? Did they have some kind of superhuman secret?
While I still haven’t stumbled across any superhuman secret, I have figured out a few quick tricks that have made a world of difference in my quest for healthy eating. A task that once seemed overwhelming – maintaining a delicious, healthy, balanced diet – now feels like a natural, easy part of my weekly routine.
Here are 5 simple tips that will help you master healthy eating, no matter how busy life gets:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan!
Have you ever hit 4pm on a Tuesday and realized you had no idea what you were going to whip up for dinner? Every Tuesday, you say? Meal planning will keep you out of the Tuesday take-out pitfall.
Keep a list of your favourite meals handy, as well as some good resources for recipes, and spend time on Sunday deciding what you’re going to make for dinner each night. Then make a master grocery list of everything you’ll need for your meals (and snacks too!). You’ll not only be physically and mentally prepared for the week, but you’ll waste less food and money too.
Tip: Want to save even more time? Get someone else to do this for you – holistic nutritionists LIVE to create meal plans, and you’ll end up with a healthy plan perfectly suited to your on-the-go lifestyle and nutritional needs.
2. Shopping List
If you’ve ever ended up at Whole Foods with an empty belly, you’ll know why a list is important. Healthy eating starts at the grocery store, and armed with your meal plan and grocery list, you’re already ahead.
Having a list helps keep you honest and out of trouble – I’m looking at you, chip aisle! Armed with your list, you should only be buying what you need, which will also save you money! Lastly, shopping with a list undoubtedly saves you time – precious, precious time.
Tip: To avoid time- and calorie-wasting temptation, focus on the outer edges of the grocery store where you’ll find produce, meat, and whole grains. The middle aisles are more likely to contain packaged foods with empty calories.
3. Pack Snacks
Did I mention snacks when meal planning? I have been struck with hunger pangs that have led me to make unhealthy choices more often than I like to admit.
Nutrient dense, protein rich snacks will curb cravings and help keep your blood sugar balanced. The result: sustained energy and healthier choices. Nuts, fruit with nut butters, and veggies with hummus are all great snack ideas.
Tip: Layer the bottom of a medium sized wide mouth Mason jar with nut butter or hummus and put apple slices, celery, carrots or cucumber sticks in vertically for a handy, healthy snack.
4. Simplify Breakfast
Often the trickiest meal to master for any human, busy or not, is breakfast. It’s also the most important meal of your day. When prepared properly, breakfast can set you up for a day of balanced blood sugar and energy levels.
Tip: Smoothies! Speed up your smoothie making by prepping and washing any fruit and veg in advance and freezing in portioned out Ziploc bags. Just add liquid, blend, and go!
Bonus Tip: Oatmeal! Cook steel-cut oats or groats (minimally harvested oats) overnight in a crock pot for a hearty, healthy breakfast that’s ready when you are.
Leftovers are a busy foodie’s best friend. There’s nothing better than rolling out of bed and heading out the door (with breakfast, of course!) knowing that you’ve got a healthy lunch all taken care of thanks to last night’s dinner. Be sure to plan for leftovers by factoring in larger amounts while meal planning and shopping.
Tip: If the idea of leftovers doesn’t fill your taste buds with excitement, plan meals that incorporate leftovers – perhaps Monday’s leftover grilled chicken breasts become Tuesday’s pesto pasta with chicken. Yum!