Grab and Go! How to Eat Healthy on the Run!
When I begin my career as a personal trainer in 2011, one of the first things I noticed is that almost all my clients had the same excuse for not choosing to eat healthy…”Eating healthy takes too much time.” Well, it is 2018 and the excuses have not changed.
Trust me, I get it! Having been an educator for seventeen years, bringing home papers to grade, staying after school for meeting, creating lesson plans…I know what it is like to be “strapped for time.” However, I have learned over the years that healthy eating really DOES NOT take any more time than unhealthy eating. That said...It does require some thoughtful planning and execution, but it is easier than you might imagine.
I frequently remind my clients that eating healthy can be simple and the benefits are more than worth the time and extra planning. Just some of the benefits include: weight loss, reduced bloat, decreased inflammation, increased energy, clearer mental focus, and best of all, feeling great. Who doesn't want to feel great!!!
Thinking one step ahead...
Poor planning can lead to poor eating. Trying to decide what to eat without having healthy options in your pantry or refrigerator is very difficult. Unfortunately, when this happens, you may resort to eating heavily processed junk food that is prepackaged and detrimental to your health.
I find that when I take the time for a little strategic planning, it makes life easier and keeps our meals healthy. Notice I said "our." Eating healthy has a trickle down effect. If you have a family try to adapt their diet to yours, if you can. Even small changes can make a big difference in your overall family's health.
Below are six quick tricks I have learned over the years to keep it simple as you eat healthy.
1. Remove unhealthy food from your house - Take it from someone who could devour a pan of brownies in a twenty-four hour period, do not keep unhealthy foods in your home. If you are going to stick to healthy eating, then do not even tempt yourself by bringing unhealthy items home.
2. Make a list - Take one day a week to sit down and plan what meals you might like to make for the next week. Sometimes, I plan a couple of extra in case I change my mind. Be sure to include healthy snack options as well. Making a list and sticking to it not only saves time in the long run, but also saves money. A prepared meal plan and grocery list keeps unhealthy food items from landing in your shopping cart and making it into your pantry. Stick to the list!
3. Prepare in advance - Take time each night (a good time is immediately after cleaning up the dinner dishes) to prep breakfast and lunch for the next day. Being rushed in the morning seems to be the norm for almost everyone. So, prepare everything you can for breakfast and lunch the night before.
4. Prepare “Grab and Go” healthy snacks - When I come home from the grocery store, I take the time to make sure that I have healthy snacks ready to “grab and go”. Cut up the celery, cheese, fruit, etc. Or, better yet, if you’re really strapped for time buy items that are pre-chopped. Make sure the nuts, seeds, and nut butters are easily accessible and ready to eat.
5. Prepare double batch meals - Double the recipe of a meal, then store it in the refrigerator for later in the week, or freeze it for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook.
6. Keep it simple with one-pot meals - I love to cook meals where I can throw all the ingredients into a pot or pan and make a savory meal that satisfies my taste buds. One-pot meals are excellent when you are short on time.