You are so busy. We are all so, so busy. Sometimes eating literally feels like life or death as you head from school to work, from work to second work, from work to kids’ activities… and all the things in between! I get it, trust me. With teaching full time, counseling part time, being a landlord, volunteering at my church, trying to work out, and attempting a social life, I am ALWAYS on the go. A few thoughts on how to make healthy options throughout the week a little easier…
• 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐩: I can’t emphasize this enough. For me it is Sundays, because that is when I am home and free(ish), but it could be anywhere in your week that you can carve out a couple of hours. I know this is challenging sometimes, but good things are always challenging, and I promise it will be worth it as your week goes on.
• 𝐔𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐜𝐮𝐭𝐬: Guess what – frozen vegetables, pre-cut vegetables, pre-washed vegetables – still vegetables! Canned beans are ready to eat. Salad kits come pre-mixed with all the veggies. Fruit comes cut up. Carry out sections like at Wegmans usually have steamed vegetables ready to go. Utilize what works for your family.
• 𝐁𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐂𝐨𝐨𝐤: When you food prep or batch cook, think big picture – instead of making potatoes for a meal, make the whole bag. Roast two heads of broccoli instead of one. Instead of making two tacos for dinner, make a dozen and stick them in the fridge or freezer. If you don’t mind eating oatmeal for breakfast, make them all in the fridge at once or bake it and cut it into pieces. A few extra minutes up front saves a massive amount of time during the week and make sure you don’t make other poor choices.
• 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬: Get ones that you like in the sizes you need, especially for lunches and snacks. They don’t need to be expensive or fancy. For example, I have 1/4 cup plastic ones from the dollar store. When I buy a bag of almonds, I immediately fill a bunch of them and ta-da, pre-protioned, grab-and-go snacks.
• 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬: Fruit comes in it’s own handy, transportable package. Utilize it! You can bake oatmeal or granola bars at home with very few ingredients and low cost. You can pre-portion nut butter or hummus into small containers to take with vegetables or whole grain crackers.
• 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐒𝐰𝐚𝐩𝐬: Whole grain pasta instead of white. Brown rice instead of white. Beans instead of beef. Sweet potatoes instead of white (sometimes). You can also find replacement items for less-than-healthy choices. Right now, next to the berries and vegetables, my freezer has Trader Joe’s burritos, cauliflower gnocchi, Aldi’s cauliflower rice, and hash brown potatoes. There are healthy versions of your favorite easy foods – do your research, read labels, and ask questions!
• 𝐅𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐝: Avoid processed meats and cheeses, and deep fried things. Salads are on most menus – just watch the dressing portions. Wheat rolls or shells are usually available. Subway really is a good option! That’s my go-to in a pinch. I have also been known to order a vegetarian burrito on wheat with guacamole from Mighty Taco… 😉🌮 You can usually find healthy options at Mexican or Asian places if you focus on vegetables, brown rice, and beans!
Is any of this helpful? Are there certain bullet points you would like to know more about? Please comment and ask away! 💚