Of all days, you overslept! You have been trying to eat healthier but you have an important meeting and you are running late.
So you decide to swing by your local coffee shop and grab a muffin and your favorite latte. Busy people often grab whatever they can for meals, but ready-made meals can be really high in fat, salt, and sugar. If you’re busy, what do you end up doing for your meals? Do you skip meals, or go to restaurants more often?
It can seem like there’s never enough time. When your days are packed, it can be challenging to eat healthy and nutritious meals. How can you fit in the shopping, meal prep and cooking?
Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. Think of the benefits. When you eat healthier food, your brain and body function better. You may find that you are much more productive at work, you have more energy, and you feel better.
Always have breakfast. You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s true. Many times people will say that they just aren’t hungry or they don’t have time, but skipping breakfast can lead to a number of issues including foggy brain, weight problems, and even blood sugar problems.
What are some good options for breakfast? Think PFF – lean protein, fiber, healthy fats. Foods rich in fiber, like oatmeal, fruits or vegetables, can help you feel full much longer. Feeling full can help you reduce the urge to snack.
Protein from eggs is also a great way to nutrify the body in the morning. My husband leaves really early for his job and I always have boiled eggs on hand so he can take a couple with him.
Avoid all foods that are high in sugar content. While the box of donuts may smell delicious, that spike in white sugar will have you crashing a few hours later.
Plan ahead. Would you go into an important meeting without planning? Of course not. You are good at what you do and you plan ahead to make sure everything gets done, right? Eating healthy requires the same planning. Everyone’s schedule is different, but carve out some time when you can decide what you want to eat the next week, make your grocery list, go shopping and then block out another couple hours to do some meal prep for the week.
For me, I use weekends to do my planning, shopping, and prep. Don’t forget to include some healthy snacks you can take with you. Raw nuts and seeds, like almonds and sunflower seeds, together with a piece of fruit (like an apple) make a perfect snack. If you tolerate dairy, natural cheese sticks are also a good option.
When I was still working at my former job, I took advantage of baked chicken at the grocery store. Frozen veggies plus baked chicken makes an easy, nutritious meal. Plus some stores even have just the chicken taken off the bone and you can use this for all sorts of dishes, like on top of corn tortillas with some cheese and avocado, or add to greens for a quick salad.
If possible, you can even shop for groceries online and have them delivered to your home or workplace. This can save you time shopping. Just make sure you specify the exact type of food you want so you get healthy options. Choose whole grains, fresh produce, and lean fresh meats.
Stay hydrated. A healthy body requires fluid. Make sure that you have plenty of fresh, filtered water with you if your place of work doesn’t have a water cooler. Drink water frequently during the day. If you drink caffeinated beverages, that can dehydrate you so add in another cup or two of water. Avoid soda and fruit juices as they are both high in sugars and low in fiber.
Choose wisely at restaurants. When at restaurants choose the healthy options. Many menus now have the calorie total for each meal and this can be a good guide. If there are no calorie guides then stick to this rule of thumb: meats should be grilled, potatoes boiled or mashed and vegetables steamed. Soups are good for entrees and for deserts choose fruits.
Be careful with alcohol. A glass of wine after work can help you unwind. It’s also popular to go out for drinks with friends and colleagues, but use caution. While an occasional glass of wine won’t do any harm (and some studies even show that there are health benefits), remember that alcohol is just empty calories, and many have a high sugar content. Over consumption of alcohol can impact your health in a number of ways.
Even though you have a very hectic and busy work schedule, it doesn’t mean that your health has to suffer. With just a bit of planning, you can eat healthier and feel better which can help you tackle all the work projects you have on your desk!