Hi, my name is Alex and I love to eat, and like many people, the only thing that gets in the way of my food obsession is my busy schedule. Food and food preparation is also one of the ways I practice self-care – the time I spend in the kitchen is an opportunity to focus my attention on something completely different and then share a nourishing meal with my husband.
When you have a hectic schedule, preparing a healthy and satisfying meal is probably the last thing on your list, but cooking at home is not only budget friendly but will also help you to feel great!
So how do you eat healthy when you’re super busy?
- Preparation is key – I don’t have time to go to the grocery store more than once a week, so I make sure to make a list before I go. Once a week, usually on Sunday, I pick out the 5-7 meals (including breakfast and lunches) I will be making. I make my meal plan around what ingredients I have on hand and what I’m in the mood for. I also consider what my schedule will be like for the following week. If I have a bunch of late nights, I’ll choose meals/recipes that are more hands off (Crockpot or pressure cooker, for example). Once I have my recipes down, I’ll make a list of everything I need so that my time is maximized at the grocery store.
- Bulk prep when possible – Once you have all the ingredients on hand, chop and prep as many as you can. Do you need spice mixtures? Put those together ahead of time. Do you need onions/celery/carrots chopped? Chop them up and put them in a container for specific recipes. The more prep work you can do when you have time, the easier it will be to get a meal on the table when the time comes. If it’s an easy recipe that just needs to be dumped into the Crockpot, I will sometimes prepare it in advance when I have the time and then just reheat on the day I want to eat it.
- Make leftovers! – Double recipes as needed so that you have leftovers on hand. If I make a large batch of chili or soup, I will freeze portions in quart size bags to have on days where I’m in a rush to get a meal and don’t have time to prepare anything. If you do this regularly, you’ll build up a freezer arsenal of healthy meals that can be reheated quickly. No longer will you stare longingly into your fridge, wishing for a meal to appear! Leftovers are also a great breakfast option – it’s really just the first meal of the day and there’s no rule that says it has to be eggs. I just had leftover gluten-free pasta and meatballs for breakfast and it was delicious! Bonus points if you think ahead and drop it in the slow cooker with a bit of liquid to be completely defrosted by the time you’re home and ready to eat.
These are my 3 best tips for eating healthy while on the go, what are your tips for nourishing yourself on your busiest days? Let me know in the comments below!
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