It's all about the 3 P’s - Prioritise, Planning and Preparation.
It’s rare to meet someone these days who doesn’t describe their lifestyle as ‘busy.’ It’s almost as rare to meet someone who doesn't want to eat a healthy diet.
Although it can be more difficult to prioritise healthy eating when life gets hectic, it’s definitely not impossible.
It’s worth taking a little time, wherever you can find it, to plan ahead and do some preparation to keep your nutrition game strong when you need it the most.
This Guide to Healthy Eating for Busy People, aims to provide you with some easy ways to ensure your busy lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle.
Plan ahead & be prepared
Let’s be real - spending a couple of hours on meal prep each week is much less time consuming than waiting in drive-thru’s or driving around in search for some vaguely healthy fast food.
More importantly, meal prep ensures you eat the foods you know are best for you, in addition to saving a lot of money in the long run.
Making a plan of the meals you want to eat each week will drastically reduce the time you spend feeling overwhelmed in supermarket isles, and you’ll avoid the pain of trying to figure out what to eat when you’re already hungry and in a hurry.
Simply making extra food at dinner time is an easy way to have a healthy lunch packed and ready to go for the next day.
Schedule time for meals
Although eating is important and necessary, meal times tend to lose their position of priority when we get really busy. We tell ourselves that we can easily grab something quick on our way out, and there’s almost always an opportunity for an unhealthy snack.
However, mindful and intentional eating is something we should strive for, regardless of how busy we are. Scheduling time specifically to sit down and eat our meals and snacks can ensure that we not only eat healthy foods, but also allows our bodies to prepare for digestion.
Schedule at least 20-30 minutes for each meal and 10-15 minutes for each snack - and actually put it in your diary, if healthy eating is a priority.
It might be starting to sound a little repetitive, but the importance of staying on top of
your hydration is something that can’t be dismissed. Getting enough water helps busy
people conquer the day by boosting energy levels and supporting the immune system. It also helps us feel fuller, and prevents us from confusing the symptoms of dehydration with feelings of hunger.
Lack of water can even inhibit the absorption of nutrients from all the healthy food we eat, so staying hydrated really does go hand-in-hand with healthy eating.
Taking a big water bottle with you everywhere you go makes staying hydrated easy, and is an essential part of a busy, healthy lifestyle.
Don’t Fear Frozen Fruit’n’Veg
As saintly as it feels to leisurely stroll through the farmers market to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, the fact is - there isn’t always time.
Fortunately, frozen fruit and veg is just as healthy, and just so much more convenient for busy people. It’s a total myth that fruits and vegetables lose all their nutrients when frozen, so buying frozen produce can save you time and money without sacrificing your nutritional needs.
Spend less time shopping and chopping, and never be without ripe, frozen fruits for your smoothies!
A blender is your best friend
On the subject of smoothies - a blender is a busy bee’s best friend. Not only do blenders make getting a quick, nutritious breakfast so very easy, you’ll also be able to create your own healthy salad dressings, nut butters, and so much more.
If you don’t have a blender yet, it’s one of the best investments to support your busy, healthy lifestyle. When you don’t have time to cook and prepare all those healthy whole foods you’ve bought - liquify them!
Invest in an Instant Pot
Imagine coming home at the end of a long, busy day to find a delicious, hot, and nutritionally balanced meal waiting for you. Well… if you can’t afford a private chef, the next best thing is an Instant Pot. Just throw in your proteins, veggies and grains, and this amazing, programmable pressure cooker will do the rest.
Here are 23 healthy recipes that the Instant Pot can make for you.
Avoid making multiple supermarket trips throughout the week each time you run out of your healthy staples - buy in bulk instead.
It’s usually much cheaper to buy things like beans, lentils, brown rice, oats and barley in bulk, but you can also take your own jars and containers to the store to help to reduce waste and save time unpacking at home.
Bulk buying is the best for busy people, because it ensures you’re stocked up with all your healthy staples, as well as being the more affordable, environmentally friendly, and super convenient way of shopping.
Having healthy snacks on hand can be a real blessing on a busy day. Whether you prefer to munch on fruits, nuts or homemade goodies - making a habit of carrying your snacks with you in a jar, container or ziplock bag can save you from making unhealthy choices when hunger clouds your judgement.
Having too many other priories and too little time means that busy people are more likely to skip breakfast than those who live a more relaxed lifestyle.
What the busy breakfast-skippers don’t realise though, is that easting a healthy breakfast is an opportunity to make a positive start that will flow into the rest of their day - not to mention the extra energy they could have!
Fortunately, a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to take much time, and a little planning and preparation goes a long way.
Making overnight oats means you can wake up at the last minute to a delicious breakfast that’s literally ready to go, while blending up a smoothie is another super quick solution if you have your frozen fruits and protein powder on standby.
You can even save more time and money by making a matcha lime smoothie for breakfast, instead of stopping for a “caffeine-coffee-fix” on the way!
As you can see, maintaining healthy eating habits can be easy for busy people too! As long as you can make it priority to do a little planning and preparation, you’ll be able to fuel your body and mind so you can get the most out of your busiest days.
Just remember the 3 P’s - Prioritise, Planning and Preparation.