There is no escaping hectic schedules that come with high expectations to meet the needs of family, work and friends. But, where do your nutritional needs fit in? It’s hard enough to find the time to enjoy a meal, even harder to take time to plan ahead according to what your body, mind and spirit needs to function at its best.
An easy escape is to choose processed ingredients and pick up foods from the convenience of what I call “fat food” restaurants. Convenient? Yep. Healthy? Nope. Not only we end up sacrificing an opportunity to nourish our bodies, but also fall victims of food byproducts that are purposely enhanced with artificial flavors and preservatives that take away much needed nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Then we wonder why our energy is low and we catch every cold and infection that roams around our premises.
Like anything else we do in life, planning is key to be successful. If you are committed, here are some tips on how to prepare during the spring and enjoy better health and even shape by the summer time.
Start at your pantry- Be strong, you don’t need to have bags on bags of chips and cookies in there. If you get hungry, you will eat them. Shop for foods that are whole grain, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Nuts, wholegrain breads, crackers, oranges, apples, cheese and such. Do your research at the market, there are healthier options for the foods you crave. Instead of Nachos, get Pita chips and watch the portion control.
Plan your meals-Block time to prep your meals, do it as you listen to music or get caught up with the DVR. Precut, preseason, prepack…you get it! Get every step that is tedious or time consuming out of the way at once. Then come the busy week all you have to do is pull a pre made casserole out of the fridge and pop it in the oven. One of my young adult sons, takes about 2 hours on Sunday and pre-packs all of his snacks and lunches for the week. He despises having to go out of the office to get lunch due to traffic, he also wants to keep his health in optimal shape.
Get moving-Exercise it’s as important as what we eat. If you don’t enjoy driving to the gym, find ways to add more movement to your routine. Take the stairs, park further, go for a walk after dinner. Want something more fun, bicycle rides, swimming, Yoga and Pilates are all choices that can keep you engaged. If you are more of a couch lover, find a simple workout on line and do it while watching a movie or your favorite TV show, by the time you get done watching what the Real Housewives are up to, you had put in a work out and don’t even realize it.
Prepare-Don’t let yourself get caught up off guard, hungry, stressed or emotional. If not, that donut or double burger is going to win. Keep healthy snacks and bottled water at hand. I like to keep pre packed almonds in my purse. They give me chance to chew on something while I can get to a healthier choice that does not come from a drive thru.
Be intentional and take baby steps, in many instances eating routines are linked to our moods and circumstances. Pay attention and identify your lowest points of the day and create a plan to strenghten your eating habits.
Good Health to You!