With kids back in school, personal vacations ending, and work schedules getting busier it is more important than ever to make good nutrition a top priority. If learning how to, or continuing to eat healthy is not on your list of to-do’s, now is the time to add it in.
When good health is not a priority it is easy to let it slip when times get busy. For example, when you have several things going on after work or school it can be easier to order unhealthy takeout food rather than cooking something more nutritious. Or if you do not have healthy snacks on hand at work, it is seems convenient to go to the vending machine between meals.
I have put several practices in place in my life to help avoid such pitfalls.
- Plan ahead. Plan enough meals to get you through the week. These should include items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once you have a weekly menu, grocery shop when you have time.
- Cook food in bulk. This will save you time later when you are not home to cook a meal. If the dish is large, freeze half or part of it for a later meal. Or, if you want to be able to cook something on a specific day, prepare some of it ahead of time. Ideas include cutting up the vegetables, making the sauce, or setting out all of the ingredients.
- Keep snacks at work or on hand. At the beginning of each week I walk down the street to the grocery store and stock up on fruit to keep in my desk drawer. That way, I always have something fresh and I am never forced to choose from foods I do not want.
- Always sit down for dinner. If time allows, I will also step away from work to eat lunch. It is important to disconnect yourself from other things so that you can focus on your food. You will be more in tune with your body’s hunger cues and will likely eat fewer calories.
- Choose wisely. If you have to eat out, or want to eat out, choose items that are healthier. Avoid fried foods or items that are high in fat and calories. A great idea is to check out the restaurant’s website for nutrition information ahead of time. That way you are never surprised when you go to order.
As you can see from this list, none of these ideas are complicated. Good health is about incorporating things that work for you. You may have several other ideas that work better. The key is finding out what works best in your life and then applying it.