I hear this often, “I want to eat healthier, but I am just too tired to cook once I’m home. I end up just grabbing something quick and easy.” Unfortunately, quick and easy can mean take-out or whatever happens to be within reach!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the kitchen. It means doing more planning to have healthy options on hand. While I love trying new recipes, when I get busy, I go back to my favorites.
If you have a busy schedule and find yourself too tired to cook, try this. In planning a healthy meal, think of your plate in thirds. Have 1/3 lean protein (animal or plant proteins), 1/3 dark green veggies (spinach, broccoli, bok choy), 1/3 starchy vegetable or grains (sweet potato, winter squash like butternut squash, brown rice), and then add in 1-2 Tablespoons of healthy fats (avocado, olive oil).
So you can have shredded chicken on a bed of spinach, kale, and chopped cabbage, drizzled with some olive oil and vinegar, with a slice of whole grain toast (gluten-free if you don’t tolerate gluten).
Or you can have baked or broiled salmon with broccoli, sweet potato and a tablespoon of butter.
Or garbanzo beans and rice with steamed kale, drizzled with a little olive oil.
If you missed lunch, you can grab and apple with some almond butter.
Make a green smoothie if you’re in a hurry.
With a little planning, you can throw some beans in your slow cooker, add some veggies and top with some herbs and have a nutritious meal waiting for you when you walk in the door.
Not every meal needs to be perfect, but the one area that I see a lot of women neglecting is getting enough protein. If you are dragging and just never seem to have the energy you want, check how much lean protein you’re eating. Experiment and see how you feel if you add in more protein at every meal.
The other area to be aware of is the amount of sugar you’re ingesting. Sugar is EVERYWHERE — in some ketchup, some canned soups, and even pasta sauces. Make sure to read labels and avoid products that have added sugar in them. Sugar can seriously drain your energy, especially when combined with not enough lean protein in your diet.
What you are eating affects how you feel. And how you feel determines whether you’ll prepare something healthy to eat. It can be a vicious circle, but start with small changes. Decide to make one change this week to eat healthier and let me know what you did and how you felt.