Sometimes life gets busy and it’s hard to make the time to eat healthy. I believe that we have to make efforts in our life to do the things that are important to us and that help make us feel our best. However sometimes that’s not easy. On the days or weeks when the days get away from you, here are some ways that we increase our chance of eating healthier, time saving meals.
Buy pre-chopped veggies or prep your veggies in advance
- Pre-chopped veggies are not always the best option since there is often limited variety but it’s great in a pinch when you need to make a quick stir-fry, roasted vegetable medley, riced cauliflower salad or zucchini pasta (just a few examples).
- If you have some time, try to chop up a bunch of veggies and store them in the fridge in containers. This is helpful when meal planning or just to have veggies ready for a good salad or to add veggies to another dinner idea, like chili or soup. It’s especially helpful when you know what quantities or types of veggies you’ll need and package them accordingly. A tip to keeping your veggies fresh is to dampen a paper towel and cover the veggies with it before putting the lid on the container.
Have organic food delivered to your home
- When fresh organic produce is delivered to your home, you don’t have to think about getting groceries at the store, and you can still have good food to eat while knowing that the produce is fresh and organic. Typically these services will give you local produce and provide more variety into your diet. Every so often they will deliver an item you don’t eat regularly and it turns into a great time to try a new recipe that can break up the regular meal routine you may find yourself in (usually they provide recipe ideas too).
- For us, delivery comes near the end of the week when our fridge is already getting bare so it can be helpful not to have to run out to get fresh produce again for your weekend activities, not to mention the thought of the grocery store traffic on the weekends! If there is something in the delivery that I haven’t had time to make, I can often add it to a smoothie. Sometimes the taste is a hit – other times it’s a miss! But at least I know we have eaten good nutrients.
Get a group
- It’s helpful to have other people around you who will support your plans to eat well. If you work at an office, or group environment, you can arrange a lunch schedule with a rotating schedule so that you’re only cooking on your turn. The bonus is that you will have healthy lunches everyday and the opportunity to try new foods. This takes a lot of stress off of you to prepare nutrient packed foods for yourself daily and it can also create momentum at work to keep living healthy.
- If you’re home with a cold or with a new baby, ask family and friends for help. People often want to offer support but may not know how to help. Send a grocery list or ask for a simple but healthy meal. Batches of soup are a great offering and can be frozen in smaller containers so you can have portions on hand when you need them.
- Get your partner on board. It’s hard to eat healthy when your partner is indulging in your favourite junk food. Research new recipe ideas and cook them together if time allows. Create a recipe box of the keepers and laugh at the ones that didn’t turn out so well. Make each recipe your own by adding spices and ingredients you both like. This can make meal time more enjoyable. For some recipe ideas, check out my pinterest page.
Find better ways to ‘cheat’
Let’s face it. We all have cravings for sweet or salty foods that could sabotage our healthy eating. These times will come and go, as it is only natural to want to satisfy these urges. Fortunately, there are so many great, easy recipes that can fulfill the munchies. For sweet cravings, try freezing a few bananas and berries, blend them in the food processor to make a fresh fruit sorbet and grate some cinnamon on top. You could add some milk, dairy or non-dairy depending on your needs – to make an ice-cream. For salty fixes, try roasting some chickpeas with your favorite seasoning blend, or making kale chips that have been tossed lightly with olive oil and sea salt. If you are eating pasta, try a variety of options such as lentil pasta, or quinoa pasta to allow a variety of ingredients into your weekly diet. These are great ideas and there are so many others to choose from!
Increase nutrients per bite or per meal
If you’re having cereal because it’s quick or you love it, add some berries or nuts and seeds or hemp seeds for increased nutrients. If you’re ordering pizza, eat a salad first so you get those nutrients before your pizza. If that means you eat 1 slice instead of 4 slices, that’s even better! If you’re making rice, add some quinoa or green peas to increase some of the nutrients in that otherwise plain dish.
Combining great healthy nutrients into a liquid option can be a fast and easy way to pack your meals with many varieties of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies and soups are a great way to do this. Add some carrots and celery to your lentil soup. Add a few handfuls of spinach to a morning smoothie. This will help to get more nutrients into your day without too much effort of cooking additional meals or sides. You can also hide the flavour of some of those veggies in the liquid. For example, if you’re making pasta sauce, blend it with a bunch of vegetables.