Eating Well on the Run
Constantly being busy is becoming a badge of honor for many of us these days. Whether its work, kids, friends, or family, we always seem to have something to do, someone to see, and somewhere else to be. While this can be fun, it unfortunately makes things like eating well and exercising regularly difficult. With a little bit of effort and a few minutes of planning, however, eating well can become as much a part of your day as checking your iPhone.
Prioritize for Success
We might not always realize it, but maintaining a healthy diet and physical active lifestyle is one of the most important things we can do. What do jobs, cars, games, shows, and movies have in common? They all end eventually. Your body, however, is with you from the first minute of day one until the last, and as such we need to make taking care of it a top priority. The difference in the amount of time it takes to make a healthy breakfast in the morning compared to skipping breakfast or eating fast food is mere minutes. Are you really too busy to find five extra minutes in the morning to make oatmeal? We didn’t think so.
When you shop for groceries, shop with a purpose. Think ahead. When is the next time you’ll be at the store? What will you be doing until then? Do you have to travel this week? Will you have access to a fridge or microwave over lunch? Do your kids have events you need to be at in the evenings? Questions like these can help you plan your diet efficiently and effectively. The biggest key to eating well all week is convenience. If you always have a good selection of quick, easy, and healthy food to choose from, eating well will become second nature. The trip to the grocery store dictates how you will eat that week - shop smart and make it impossible for you to make a mistake later.
Even when you eat out, you aren’t obligated to an unhealthy meal. Salads and sandwiches are often your best bet, as long as you know what to ask for. With salads, avoid heavy dressings and ask the waiter for oil and vinegar, a light vinaigrette, or to hold the dressing all together. Also, getting dressings on the side lets you control your portions. With sandwiches, ask for wheat bread instead of white, and for no mayonnaise or other fatty dressings. Mustard, for example, is often a good zero-calorie substitute if you need some extra flavor, and guacamole or avocado is a healthy (although caloric) alternative to mayo. Not every meal needs french fries or onion rings as a side. Rice, steamed veggies, or a light soup can be just as filling while also being good for you.
Make a "Starting Lineup"
Just like every team needs to know their go-to players, you need to make your “starting lineup” of healthy choices. Find five healthy recipes that you can whip up in under ten minutes and have those ingredients on hand at all times. Whether it’s a simple snack like trail mix and greek yogurt or a full meal like grilled tilapia with veggies and rice, always have a few options at the ready. Make sure they are something you enjoy eating and are comfortable making. Try to have one meal that the whole family likes, and another one thats easy to transport and doesn’t need any heat or cold to maintain (i.e. fruit and nuts) in case you’re forced to grab and go. Having this list ready and the ingredients on-hand will make your decisions much easier when the time comes.