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Eating Nutritious and Tasty Meals Even When You Have No Time

One of the most common questions (and complaints) I hear is that prepping and eating nutritiously balanced meals is overwhelming and just too time consuming.


I get it!


The shopping and chopping and storing and cooking and on and on and on. Then you add working outside the home or being a busy mom on the go!


Grabbing that burger and working through your lunch hour then filling up on energy drinks when you start to get tired. It's just easier this way!


HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO PREPARE AND EAT NUTRITIOUS MEALS WHEN I DON'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO SIT DOWN AND BREATH?!


The good news is that there are plenty of ways to turn it all around and eat nutritiously yummy meals, even when you are super busy.


Keep reading because I am going to break down my top 10 tips for eating healthy when time is limited.


Plan Ahead


A lot of people say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and when it comes to healthy eating this is absolutely right. If you don’t put together some sort of plan to eat healthy then you are going to end up eating less nutritious foods that will leave you feeling even more tired.


The best way to plan ahead is to list down the foods you plan to eat tomorrow at the end of each day and then prepare what you can the night before. You may argue that you simply don’t have the time to do this, but I promise it only takes 10 minutes to pack a few nutrient dense snacks and prepare a lunch. Surely, you can find 10 minutes at the end of each day to do this?


You might not WANT to it (no judgment- you are talking to a busy mom- I get it!), but I know you can find the time.


Don’t Do Your Weekly Shopping When You Are Hungry


As part of your nutrient dense eating plan, you need to start buying whole foods when you do your weekly shop. Doing your weekly shop when you are hungry makes this task a lot more difficult, as your hunger will naturally draw you towards convenient foods. Overall, just make sure you have a satisficed belly before you do your weekly shopping.


Take Full Advantage of Fruits


When you are busy, and you start to feel hungry, what’s your usual course of action?


If you answered, “Head over to the vending machine and grab a quick snack” then you are not taking full advantage of fruits.


Fruits can be just as filling as chocolate or crisps, nut they provide way more nutritional value and contain less calories. Fruits are just as quick and easy to eat, so even if you are super busy, fruits are the perfect snack food. Make sure you pack a few pieces of fruit into your bag each day and then when hunger calls you have them ready to enjoy.


Always Carry Nuts


Nuts are another fantastic, satisfying food that you can use as a substitute for vending machine snacks. Nuts provide your body with a selection of health boosting vitamins and minerals along with good amounts of protein and fat (which leave you feeling fuller longer and keep you satisfied). To avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks, make sure you always carry a bag of nuts with you. Grab a handful of delicious nuts whenever your stomach starts to rumble.


Incorporate Vegetables into Every Meal


This may sound like too much of an effort when your time is limited. However, if you choose the right vegetables, it hardly takes up any of your time at all. Salads, soy beans, sun dried tomatoes can all be purchased from supermarkets in a ready to eat form whilst chopped tomatoes can be heated up and used as a sauce in under five minutes.


I also love to buy frozen, uncooked, pre-chopped veggies and fruits. The fruits are prefect to throw in the blender for smoothies or smoothie bowl. Pre-chopped veggies are great for a quick dinner, stir-fry, or whatever your heart desires. Yes, frozen is just as nutritious as fresh!


Look for Lean Fish & Meats


When you are busy and have forgotten to bring your packed lunch, grabbing a quick burger or hot dog might seem like the best option. However, there are plenty of healthier meat choices out there. Most hot deli counters allow you to buy roasted chicken, which is both tasty and nutritious. Most supermarkets also sell cooked chicken breast slices. Lean meats are just as quick to eat as burgers and hot dogs, but provide your body with higher quality protein and no nasty added ingredients.


Get A Thermos Flask


One bad habit I have noticed amongst busy people is that they regularly buy branded coffees. This doesn’t seem like such a bad habit on the surface, but when you consider that six of the drinks on the current Starbucks menu exceed the 300 calorie mark, it’s a habit that can easily add over 1,000 empty calories to your week.


So, instead of hitting the coffee shops every day, get yourself a thermos flask and fill it with coffee or tea. Both these options will give you easy access to your favorite hot drink without adding hundreds or thousands of calories to your week.


Use Smoothies


Smoothies are an excellent way to fit multiple fruits and vegetables into one convenient drink and the best part is they take just a few minutes to prepare. To make a smoothie, you first need to pick the fruits and vegetables you plan to use. Then chop them up into chunks, place them in your blender, add a few other optional ingredients if you like (crushed ice, fruit juice, milk, etc.), blend until the mixture becomes smooth and then pour the smoothie into a flask. If you are really stuck for ideas then check out Smoothie Web for some great smoothie recipes.


Use Your Freezer In The Right Way


Your freezer is a very valuable tool if you want to eat healthy and save time. If you know you are going to be having a particularly busy week then cook up a large batch of healthy food at the start of the week, divide it into individual servings and freeze these servings. Then on the days where you don’t have time to cook simply get these frozen servings out of the freezer the night before and warm them up when you are ready to eat. Doing this will allow you to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals without having to cook every night.


Choose the Lesser Of Two Evils


Sometimes, despite your best efforts, events will conspire against you and you won’t be able to eat healthy. You’ll accidentally leave your healthy lunch at home, the local shop near your work will have no fruits or vegetables left and your only choice is to head to a fast food restaurant. In these situations, simply choose the lesser of the two evils. Take a look at the amount of salt, the calories, and the amount of trans fats in each option on the menu and then choose the least damaging. It might be ideal, but it’s making the most of the situation.


Even when life is smooth sailing, preparing and eating nutritiously balanced meals can be tough... when you are busy and stressed it can feel impossible. I hope my tips have shown you that eating healthy, even when you are super busy, is possible and manageable (if you approach it in the right way).

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