Eating Healthfully when you’re a busy person: It’s not that hard!

When I counsel people in nutrition, many of my clients lament that they are too busy to eat nutritious meals. While I sympathize with them, I assure them that it can be done!  My husband and I both work full-time and pursue a number of other interests, but we make a point of preparing simple, healthful meals that are delicious and I can assure you “It’s not that hard!”

Here are some GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHFUL MEAL PREPARATION:

  1. Use your freezer: stock up on frozen protein, veggies and fruit; freeze extra servings of meals and snacks you prepare (even smoothies!).
  2. Learn to prepare simple, healthful meals made of “real food” at home, minimizing dining out if possible. You’ll not only eat more healthfully, you’ll save money.
  3. Examine the number of ingredients when purchasing packaged foods and beverages. The fewer ingredients the better and be sure you can identify those ingredients without googling them.
  4. Set  up a grocery delivery account. It saves time, reduces temptation and is very affordable.
  5. Watch the liquid calories! Juice, soda, alcohol calories all add up to empty calories.
  6. Focus on high nutrient density, but low-calorie/high volume density foods 80 percent of the time. Allow some room to enjoy dessert, alcohol and/or fast food (or whatever non-nutritive calories you enjoy) the other 20 percent of the time.
  7. Listen to your body – eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re 2/3 full.
  8. Most of all:  be proactive rather than reactive with your meals and snacks! Planning ahead doesn’t take much extra time and it makes all of the difference!

SAMPLE, HEALTHFUL EASY MEALS:

Here are examples of easy, healthful meals you can make in a jiffy!

Breakfast or Brunch:  scramble 2 or 3 whole eggs with kale or spinach and mushrooms. Slice avocado to garnish and add a side of fruit and a glass of milk.

Lunch:  entrée salad with chicken, black beans, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, field greens or romaine lettuce; cup of tomato or butternut squash soup

Dinner:  grilled, broiled or poached salmon with dill; green beans, broccoli or brussels sprouts; baked sweet potato with butter or olive oil.

Breakfast:  Greek yogurt (plain, full fat); blueberries; an ounce (palm full of nuts –  walnuts, almonds or pistachios;  slice of whole grain toast spread with peanut butter or almond butter or save as mid-morning snack.

Lunch: Tuna sandwich with  can of water packed albacore tuna mixed with Tbsp of mayo, baby spinach leaves, sliced beets, whole grain or sourdough bread.

Dinner:  Grass fed skirt or flank steak (marinated in tamari or soy sauce) broiled or grilled, cauliflower rice, drizzled with olive oil or melted butter; large salad with romaine and red leaf lettuce, roman tomatoes, broccoli slaw, mung bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts; avocado with seasoned rice vinegar and olive or avocado oil.

Dessert can be healthful. Here are some ideas: frozen cherries, berries or frozen banana slices in 2% or whole milk – let the milk sit out for an hour some it’s close to room temperature and then just add frozen berries or banana slices and stir. “Dessert potato”:  bake a small sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spices. Frozen smoothie:  freeze half of your next smoothie and enjoy later as a frozen dessert.

Be Well,

Carolyn

 

 

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