Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eating Healthy WHEN YOU'RE BUSY!

"Excuses are the nails that built the house of failure"

Too many people make excuses for why their diet isn't as healthy as it could be.
When it comes to being busy and trying to stay healthy one of the most difficult parts is eating well.  Mainly b/c it's just SO EASY to grab something quick, sometimes you haven't eaten all day, you're starving, not in the mood to be picky and just need something FAST!  My tips for you this week are all about...


TIP#1: Pack your lunch

It's difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when the majority of the meals you eat during the week are purchased which is the case for extremely busy people.  Who has time to make their own food?! or even pack a lunch?! 

Answer: Everyone.  We always have time for things that are important to us.  My roommate makes her lunch for the next day every night, it takes her approximately 90 seconds to 2 minutes.  If she decides to cook up some chicken and brown rice or something that takes more time but usually happens while she's doing other things (watching TV, laundry, painting her nails etc) really its just not that much extra work!
The benefits:
Saves $$, you control what goes into the meal which = healthier choices, eliminates temptation 

Let me paint a picture for you....ever go to get lunch w/ the intention of getting a healthy salad, wrap or sandwich and get derailed along the way somehow? Like when you get there you're faced with rice krispy treats, cookies and brownies at the register? the italian ice guy on the corner, you might get a waft of delicious pizza or chinese food, pass a Chipotle and start drooling at the thought of an enormous burrito all on your way to get your healthy lunch?  PROBLEM SOLVED! if you packed your lunch you wouldn't have had to deal w/ any of that :)
TIP #2: Make the meal you purchase (if you must) a nutritious one

1. a healthy sandwich or salad on whole wheat or whole grain bread  
-ditch the cheese 
-ditch the fatty dressings
-If they ask "would you like to make that a combo" and your options are chips, cookies, soda and etc.  say no!  Some places do offer fruit like an apple or veggies like a bag of baby carrots as an option-if that's the case, go for it!
-Olive oil is a healthy source of fat-good old oil and vinegar is a great choice to top sandwiches and salads.  
-get some protein in your life: chicken, turkey, tuna, hard boiled eggs, beans and etc. all make good additions to sandwiches, wraps and salads
-and if you just can't stay away from Mexican-opt for the burrito bowl (so you lose the tortilla) OR burrito salad (you lose the tortilla and the rice-your carbs come from the veggies!)
-BE CAREFUL of cafeteria style eateries with salad bars, hot food bars and etc.  You don't know how that food was prepared, but if you must...stick to grilled options not fried and avoid creamy/thick looking sauces and dressings.

TIP #3: Sunday planning/cooking

One of the main arguments of busy people is no time to cook.  I'll piggyback on my last post that talked about planning your week and your workouts on Sunday.  Why not plan your meals as well? Take it a step further and prepare a few meals that can last you throughout the week.  For you this could mean putting together whole meals and storing them in the fridge or the freezer to be re-heated, or marinating some meats or veggies so it will be easier to put your meals together later in the week. While it may not yield the freshest meals since they will have spent some time in the fridge, it will save you the "time you don't have" during the week.

TIP #4: Better snacks

Too many people tell me they snack on granola bars, 100 calorie packs, yogurt, and other foods high in sugar-y carbs and lacking protein.

-Greek yogurt, it's higher in protein and lower in carbs/sugars
-cottage cheese and fruit
-(my favorite!) apple and almond butter
-protein shake or bar (get a shaker and keep it at your desk, bring your protein powder and shake it up when you need a snack!)
-keep some almonds, walnuts or etc at your desk
-hard boiled eggs (ditch the yolk if you don't like it)

STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK...exercise tips and strategies for busy people!