A busy lifestyle can sometimes get in the way of eating healthy. Short on time, you may find yourself heading for the drive-thru or ordering take out. But with a little planning, healthy eating on the run is possible.
Cooking at Home
Meals prepared at home tend to be healthier and cost less. Consider taking some time on the weekend to cook a few meals for the coming week.
- Soups, stews and casseroles can be made in large quantities and frozen for future meals.
- Washing, cutting and prepping fruits and veggies ahead of time makes it easy to throw together a salad or smoothie during the week.
- TIP: When you’re really short on time, many supermarkets now sell fruits and vegetables pre-cut and pre-portioned.
- Try cooking a pot of rice or pasta that can be warmed up later to cut meal time prep on busy work nights.
- TIP: A family dinner on the weekend can become leftovers for Monday’s lunches.
Enjoy a Healthy Snack
Snacking throughout the day can help you to stay focused and can add a variety of healthy nutrients to your diet. Having a “survival kit” of healthy snacks available can help curb your mid-afternoon cravings. Manage portions by purchasing single serving sizes or buying in bulk and packaging your own.
Stock your Pantry and Freezer
Stocking your pantry and freezer with healthy options can make meal prep and snack time easier.
As much as you try to prepare ahead of time, sometimes fast food is your only option. That is why it helps to have a plan for dining out. Many restaurants, including fast food chains, post the nutritional values of their menu options online. Look for a few healthier choices ahead of time so you’re prepared on those days you’re feeling rushed.
Want more healthy eating ideas? Find recipes and tips on our Pinterest
Nutrition: Confusion to Clarification
Although there’s a lot of information available on nutrition, it’s not always clear whose recommendations you should follow. This section offers some food for thought when creating a plan for you and your family to eat healthier.
Breakfast is an important meal as you break the fast from not eating while you slept. It is a time to reenergize your body with the nutrients it desperately needs to function properly throughout the day.
TIP: Breakfast eaters tend to be leaner than breakfast skippers. A healthy breakfast gets your metabolism in gear.
Fruits & Vegetables
It’s not news to say that you should eat more fruits and vegetables. However, consider the composition of food on your plate. Make it half fruits and vegetables, ¼ starch and ¼ protein.
Calories count. Carbohydrates are not bad. Fat is not bad.
People will sometimes assign negative labels to foods and avoid them. In reality it comes down to portion size, moderation and variety.
Focus on Positive Nutrition
Instead of dwelling on foods to avoid, focus on foods to include in your eating plan.
TIP: It is not about dieting but about lifestyle changes.
Return to the Kitchen
When possible, spend some time on the weekend planning your meals for the week. Stock up on groceries and cook ahead when you can. Last-minute decisions regarding meals tend to be less healthy.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Balance your healthy eating with movement.
TIP: Being more physically active helps with your weight, mood, heart, bones and more.
Our Active Lifestyle page will get you started on the road to setting achievable goals and adding them into your daily routine