In today's hectic and busy life it is not always easy to keep healthy nutrition habits - often we end up eating late at night, or giving in to all the unhealthy snacks in the office just because we haven't had lunch and we are starving. The list is very long and we have all been there at one or another point. The truth is that the more busy and stressed out we are, the more important is that we fuel our body with healthy and nourishing food. On today's blog, I wanted to share my favorite tricks of keeping my healthy nutrition habits even in the most stressful times.
- meal prep - I have never really been a fan of meal prep, until a year or so ago. But I have come to realize that meal prep has enormous advantages and saves so much time! The idea here is to prepare the basis ingredients for the week ahead. For example, on Sunday afternoon (or whenever it fits your schedule), you can prepare larger amount of quinoa, kidney beans, and chickpeas for the week ahead. You can also prepare and freeze bananas and berries for your smoothies. Another thing that you can do for the super busy week ahead is to pre-cut your veggies and store them in zipped bags in your fridge. All these will allow you to quickly prepare a snack or heat up a meal.
- grocery shopping - instead of having to run to the store every second day, do one major grocery shopping a week where you get all the veggies, fruits, and the rest of the products and ingredients that you like, and you will need.
- snacks - make sure that you always have healthy snacks at home, in the office and with you. This will help you stay away from any unhealthy snacks, and also even if you are running late for your lunch starving, you will have something healthy to snack on.
- hydrate - I know that when we are busy, we tend to forget to drink......but make sure that you stay hydrated. When I say hydrated, I mean still water! Always have a bottle of still water at your desk, small water bottle with you. If necessary, you can even set up a reminder to drink every 15min or so. If you are getting tired of drinking only water all day long, you can add some berries, or juice from half a lemon, or some fresh peppermint.....this will give nice and refreshing taste to your water.
- sugar - stay away from products with added sugar. Sometimes it might be difficult to recognize whether there is added sugar or not......that's because meanwhile the industry uses over 50 different names to hide sugar from the consumers (you can read more on this here www.slowolution.com)
- eating out - when eating out, don't be shy to ask for an option that you don't necessarily see on the menu - for example, you can ask for some grilled veggies, or you can ask to have your asparagus without the butter sauce. Also always go for a green and lean option.
- alcohol - there are weeks where it seems like there is a different cocktail party every evening, so in order to keep your alcohol intake in check, try to have a glass of still water in between drinks. Also if you are drinking wine for example, stick to that......don't start mixing different types of alcohol. However, if you do want to enjoy a cocktail, make sure that you limit it to just one.
- after work cocktail parties - usually there are always some unhealthy snacks and options at cocktail parties. So make sure that you have a healthy bite before you attend one of these parties. You can either bring something from home, or get it on your way to the party. But having had a bite before, helps you stay away from all these salty snacks.
- home prepared meals - I know that a lot of people try to avoid this, but I personally think that it is a great way of making sure that you fuel your body with healthy food - bring your home made breakfast or lunch with you to the office. If you don't have time in the morning to eat breakfast at home, just prepare yourself a jar of overnight oats the evening before (next week will post my personally favorite recipes) that you can take to the office and enjoy it mid morning. This way you won't be starving by the time it is lunch time, and you would have enjoyed a healthy breakfast. Or if you know that you don't have any plans for lunch, bring your home made salad / meal.
- "ready meals" - I know it sounds convenient and like an easy solution, but whatever you do, please stay away from the "ready meals" at your grocery store, that all you have to do is heat up. Also stay away from the pre-prepared salad dressing. They are simply full of flavour enhancer and added sugar.
I know that it takes some planning, and some commitment on your part, but trust me when I say that at the end of the day it is worth it. Fueling your body with healthy food and staying hydrated, will give you the extra energy that you might need in busy times, and you won't have to worry about stomach ache or bloated tummy. I challenge you to take the first step and try some of the above listed ideas out, and see if you are noticing any difference in your overall wellbeing.