Let’s be honest. It can be challenging to juggle work and family. The demands are endless: distant commutes, long work hours, elder care, child care, volunteer activities, church attendance; and, time to rest and relax. The list goes on and on. It becomes even more challenging during the holiday season when you add parties, gift buying, school vacations, and family visits to the list.
There is good news. While life may be challenging, that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice eating healthy, nutritious, and flavorful meals. In fact, it’s even more important to eat well to give your body the energy to handle life’s daily stresses.
When faced with the prospect of shopping, preparing, and cooking, many people seek alternatives. They resort to eating ready-made meals, stopping by the nearest fast food drive-thru, or eating out. Unfortunately, these meals tend to be high in fat, salt, and sugar. They are also low in nutrition and high on expense.
Five ways to eat healthy even when you are busy
The first meal of your day sets the tone. Choose foods rich in fiber. Fiber rich foods can make you feel fuller longer, therefore reducing the tendency to snack. Foods like whole oats oatmeal, whole grain cereal, fruits, and vegetables.
Don’t forget to include protein. Eggs are a great choice, but don’t forget that poultry and seafood left over from the previous night’s dinner are quick, easy choices.
Foods with high sugar content and low fiber (doughnuts and pastries) should be avoided. They won’t fuel you for long, are nutrient free, and may lead to sugar cravings.
Plan. Plan. Plan.
Eating healthy requires planning! Flying by the seat of your pants will just lead to pulling up to the closest drive thru the next time you’re hungry! Weekends are good days to prepare and plan meals and snacks. Having healthy options readily available increases your chances of being successful.
Can’t bear the thought of grocery shopping? Consider shopping for groceries online and having them delivered. This saves a lot of time shopping. Of course, any shopping has to take into consideration healthy foods. Choose whole grains, fresh produce, lean fresh meats, and seafood.
Drink water frequently during the day. Don’t overdo the coffee intake. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and remember that fruit juices are often high in sugars and low in fiber. Don’t like the ‘taste’ of water? Trying adding lemon, lime, or mint to enhance the flavor.
Eating in a restaurant isn’t an excuse to abandon healthy eating. Don’t be afraid to ask specifically for what you want. As a guide — meats should be grilled, potatoes boiled or mashed and vegetables steamed. Broth based soups are good starters. Choose fruits for dessert. Avoid added fat, sauces, dressing, and gravy.
Ditch the alcohol.
Many use alcohol to wind down after work. It’s also frequently served at holiday parties. The bottom line is that alcohol is just empty calories. If your goal is to lose weight, it can stall the process. The over consumption of alcohol can also have a negative impact on health in general.
Make the decision that your good health is not optional. Then, act on it. These tips for a healthier lifestyle are easy to implement. They just require that you make them an integral part of your routine. You can do it!