Are you busy?
I feel like whenever I ask anyone the question, “how are you doing?” the answer is almost always, “busy!” Our society is one that is constantly on the go. Our calendars get packed with work meetings, PTA meetings, soccer practices, social events, business networking events, gym workouts, school, and that is just a short list.
Does this sound like your calendar?
I bet. No matter what season of life you are in, from the full-time student to the full-time working professional to the full-time parent, we are all busy. The one thing that I hear over and over from clients or from the person I met while standing in the coffee shop line, is that time is their biggest obstacle to eating healthy. I recently conducted a survey of my blog readers and almost every response said that they needed help with figuring out how to eat healthfully when they have so little time to plan and prepare.
Busyness is a reality. It is probably your reality. The big question is how to live in this reality AND still take care of yourself.
You can do it.
To guide you, I polled a few of the busiest people I know asking how they prioritized eating well with little time on their hands, specifically around the lunch meal time. I’ve summed their ideas up into a top 3:
1. Make extra food at dinner to pack for tomorrow’s lunch.
This is idea comes from my brother-in-law, who is in the middle of completing his fellowship as a Pediatric Cardiologist. Most days he can squeeze in about 5 - 10 minutes to eat lunch because of the schedule at the hospital. When I hear how his days go, I truly don’t know how doctors survive. Thank goodness they do though!
The only way he can ensure he will eat lunch is if he packs leftovers from last night’s dinner. One of his favorite go to meals is grilled chicken and Brussels sprouts. On Sunday, he grills several pieces of chicken and sticks them in the fridge. Throughout the week he will top it on salad greens or leftover Brussels sprouts him and my sister made the night before for dinner. One simple meal prepping step on Sunday guarantees he eats a healthy lunch during the week, giving him energy to help repair the hearts of all these wonderful little kids.
Below is a quick roasted Brussel sprouts recipe that will save in the fridge for 3 - 4 days
2. Pack quick snacks at the beginning of each week to keep with you that can easily translate to a meal if you have no time to sit down to eat.
This idea comes from many of the traveling consultants I used to coach in my last job at a large corporation. These guys are traveling around the United States 2 - 3 days each week, and scheduling tons of meeting clients within that time frame. This leaves them little time to sit down for a proper lunch. The way they make sure to fuel themselves healthfully for those meetings is to pack on-the-go snacks that can also make a quick lunch.
Choose any 2 snacks from below to make a quick on-the-go (aka “I don’t have time to sit down and eat a meal) lunch:
3. Make a list of your favorite go to quick service restaurants, the 2 menu items you like at each, and always pick from this list.
A snack bag of any kind of your favorite nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans All-natural, nitrate/nitrite free beef jerky - Epic is a great brand with all types of jerky including beef, bison, salmon, chicken, and turkey. Piece of fruit like an apple, a banana, or a pear with a packet of Justin’s nut butter Think Thin Bar Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt or SO Delicious Coconut Yogurt
This is my husband’s trick for days he needs to get out of the office for a breath of fresh air, but only has 30 minutes to do so and eat lunch. Here’s a list you can start with of healthy menu items at some of the top quick service restaurants:
Protein Bistro Box made up of a hard‐boiled cage free egg, sliced tart apples, grapes, and white Cheddar cheese served with multigrain muesli bread and honeyed peanut butter
Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa - especially good if you are trying to eat more of a plant-based diet
6” Oven Roasted Chicken Sub with apple slices
Pick one. Just one. Try it. See the changes eating a healthful mid-day meal makes in your energy, your mood, and your ability to get things done.
How do you make healthy eating decisions when you have little time to plan or prepare?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts SAVE RECIPE
1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Cut ends off and cut sprouts in half
3. Mix sprouts in bowl with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper
4. Pour on a sheet pan and roast for 30 to 40 minutes