So, how can you have healthy food when your life is full of work, school, activities, and social occasions? You may find that it can be a challenge to change your lifestyle, but it will be a challenge you never regret.
The first thing you need to do is take a hard look at what’s going on in your life that’s making you so busy in the first place. Being overscheduled can affect more than just your diet. It can deprive you of sleep and increase your stress levels in an unhealthy way.
So make sure you’re not doing too much in the first place. Wherever you can, eliminate unneeded obligations. For example, you may want to limit your children to one after school activity instead of trying to do several.
You may also want to block off one night a week when you have no scheduled activities so that you can relax and have quality time. If you’re attending a lot of social gatherings, you may want to narrow it down to one or two that are most important to you each week or month.
Once you’ve pared down your schedule, you can begin to work on making nutrition a bigger priority in your household. It’s not as difficult as you may think – and the rewards of eating healthy will surprise you.
There are several things you can do to keep up with being busy and hectic without compromising on good nutrition. A few simple tips can help you to get the most out of your time and your budget.
- Plan ahead. When you plan ahead you can make sure to have ingredients on hand for making healthy meals. You may want to make a meal calendar that rotates on a weekly or monthly basis to stay organized.
- Keep quick, convenient foods on hand. When you’re on the go a lot, you need to have food that can be prepared quickly and eaten on the go. Stocking up on healthy foods such as yogurt, nuts, trail mix, granola bars, and plenty of fruits and veggies can help you be prepared to snack in between larger meals.
- Take advantage of crock-pot cooking. If you’re busy, there’s nothing easier than throwing a few ingredients into a crock-pot and letting it do the cooking for you. You’ll come home to a fully cooked meal ready to eat.
- Stock up on sale items. When you’re trying to stay on a budget, it’s important to take advantage of sales. When your favorite healthy foods go on sale, stock up. It helps to have a freezer so that you can store meats, fruits, and veggies for later use.
- Learn a few quick recipes. Having several recipes on hand that are easy to cook and quick can help you to stick to your plan of avoiding fast food. If you have a “go to” set of meals that you can always fall back on, you’ll be in good shape.
- Prepare meals ahead of time. Some people like to cook once a week for the rest of the week. You can make all of your meals on a weekend day or a day that’s just less hectic for you. Then throughout the week all you have to do is heat up your food.
- Have soup and sandwiches. This is a really quick dinner if you’re pressed for time. You can either make homemade soup or try prepared soup and add a quick sandwich. You’ll get a wholesome meal that doesn’t take much time or energy.
- Portion foods right after shopping. When you get home from the grocery store, wash and cut all of your produce. You can even store it in individually portioned bags or containers so you can grab it quickly on a busy night.
- Brown bag it. Many people do well with eating at home for breakfast and dinner, but falter when it comes to lunch. Make sure to pack a lunch so that you won’t feel pressure to grab a quick bite at a fast food restaurant. Packing lunch the night before can keep you from having to rush around in the morning.
By planning ahead and making the decision ahead of time that you’re not going to eat fast food, you can have healthy meals and adapt them to your busy lifestyle. You can even do so on a budget that meets your financial needs.