I’m too busy! I’m always on the run. I never leave my desk during the day. Sound familiar? These are the most common excuses I hear for why people don’t eat a healthy, balanced diet. Too many people resort to fast food and junk because they don’t think they have any other options. But with a little planning and preparation time, it is possible to eat well and maintain a busy lifestyle. If you will spend one to two hours one day a week preparing for the week ahead, it really is quite easy.
At the grocery store stock up on healthy snack options such as yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts. Spend a little time putting these snack foods into individual servings. Grill several chicken breasts or other lean meats to use in salads and sandwiches for the week. Cut up your vegetables so they are ready to go for salads. If all of the prep work is done, it takes no time in the morning to throw together a salad or wrap for lunch. Invest in some disposable food containers, plastic spoons and forks, and disposable cups. If you tend to eat breakfast on the run, or skip breakfast altogether, you can make some oatmeal, put it in a disposable cup, and take it with you.
I carry an insulated cooler in my car all the time. If I am going to be out all day working, running errands, or with my kids, I pack it in the morning with all of the food I need for the day. I also keep a protein bar everywhere – my purse, my gym bag, my car, just in case I find myself out longer than I expected and get hungry.
If you do find yourself without any options other than fast food, at least try to make the best choices. Here’s a hint – skip the fries and order a side salad with low-fat dressing instead! You can find nutrition information on many fast food chains on the ShapeFit website. Check it out and educate yourself so that you can make the right choices.
It will take a little effort to prepare some healthy foods for your busy weekdays, but you will be amazed at how easy it really is, and at how much better you will feel! Here is a recipe for my favorite To-Go lunch:
Grilled Chicken and Black Bean Salsa Wraps
Sprinkle 1 chicken breast with chili powder and grill until done. Slice and serve in a whole wheat tortilla with Black Bean Salsa:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tomato, chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 T. nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 tsp. Lime juice
- ½ tsp. Ground cumin
- 1 tsp. Chile powder
- Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.