“But, I don’t have time to eat well!”
“I’m too exhausted to prepare food when I get home from a long day at work!”
Sound familiar? These days our lives seem to have jumped into hyper speed!
We have gone from hand writing letters to texting. We work extremely long and often stressful days then come home to housework, homework and then for many, we are off and running again to take our kids off to extra-curricular activities.
We have replaced family time with technology and family dinners with fast food. Meals are often eaten on the go with little time to appreciate what we are putting into our bodies or to enjoy the company we share.
When we feel stressed out and lack time and energy we are less likely to prepare nutritious food for ourselves and our family. Ironically, those who live hectic lifestyles are in even greater need of a nutrient dense diet. Stress actually increases the body’s cellular activity leading to a greater usage of nutrients! Nutrients that are commonly depleted by stress include vitamins A, B, C and E, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
When we take the time to eat well we support our body with nutrients that enable us to face our responsibilities with more energy, vitality and strength! When we create healthy limits for computer, TV or phone time we open up space in our day for time with our family to enjoy food together and talk about our days. When we eat mindfully we are less likely to overeat and more likely to make healthy food choices.
1. Identify your time wasters. We all have them. It may be checking email, watching TV or spending time perusing facebook, twitter or pinterest. Pay attention to how much time you spend on each of these activities on a daily basis. Restrict these non-essential time-consumers to ½ – 1 hour a day to instantly open up more space in your schedule.
2. Prioritize. You may have 30 things to get done, but do they all have to be done on the same day? Pick the top five, number them in terms of importance and then accomplish them as efficiently as possible. Remember to put healthy food and family meals at the top of your priority list!
3. Say “no” when you need to! We have such a hard time with this little word and yet it is so important when creating healthy boundaries! Schedule food preparation and meal times into your day and practice saying “no” to demands that would interrupt that time.
For healthier eating during busy times incorporate some of these ideas into your routine:
1. Make meals ahead of time. On the weekend, take a few hours to prepare meals that freeze well and can be heated on the stove or in the oven for easy meal preparation during the week. Make this a family affair! Have your spouse or children help in freezer meal preparation.
2. Have a healthy snack shelf in your fridge. Prepare for quick and healthy snacking by washing and cutting up an array of fruits and vegetables and storing them in transparent glass containers in the fridge.
3. Eat the three “S”s often! Enjoy smoothies, home-made soups and salads on a regular basis! These foods are high in nutrients but take relatively little time to prepare. Invest in a good blender and make family size batches that can be served up and sipped on together or on the go. Make a large batch of healthy home-made soup that can be served for lunches, snacks or part of a balanced family dinner. Purchase large containers of pre-washed organic greens for quick and easy salad preparation. Top salads with colourful fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and a home-made oil and vinegar dressing!
One of my favourite easy to prepare foods is guacamole! It is simple and nutritious and I LOVE taking the time to watch my two year old devour such a healthy snack! Check out my Easy Guacamole recipe!