If you don’t eat healthy, nobody will do it for you! I’ve learned from my time marathon training, that no matter how much you work out- if your diet sucks, you will never lose weight or perform at your best.
At times, I have focused on running and cross training, food was an afterthought- leading to famished impulse eating (sort of like when you’re at the checkout line at the store and a candybar ends up in your cart) or the silly idea that if you work out you can eat whatever you want (sigh, not true, though I wish it was!).
Honestly, one of the main reasons we don’t eat better is that it’s a drag. It’s a hassle. It’s not as tasty. Well, hopefully I can make healthy eating a bit more fun and a bit more functional for you, since these tips have helped me tremendously!
When you’re busy, cooking is a time suck and dinner can seem like the last thing on your mind, but finding fresh foods that make your mouth water and satisfy your hunger is key. On Sunday, I typically cook a nice meal for lunch or dinner (whatever I have time for), and make something really yummy in a large enough batch, that I will have leftovers to last through the week.
Last week, I cooked up enough chicken to be used in my lunch salad that day, but also was used in later meals during the week. Plating your meal, and eating at the table will make you savor your food- instead of shoveling it in without awareness, which can lead to overeating. At least one day a week, commit to really enjoying your food and take time to slow down and bust out the fancy dishes. Cooking is fun when you’re not in a rush- so Sunday is my day.
So, as stated, I like to have a nice meal on Sunday. I use the leftovers to conjure up meals for the rest of the week and put them in reusable Pyrex containers (I avoid plastic when possible, especially for heated dishes) or mason jars. I will spend 2 hours prepping my to-go breakfasts and lunches. Greek yogurt is much cheaper when bought plain in larger containers- you can add flavor with fresh berries, granola or my personal favorite, maple syrup!
I also like to batch my snacks- setting aside 5 containers of cut veggies and fruit to serve as my snacks throughout the week. As stated with my Sunday “special” meal, if I cook chicken plain and put it to the side, I can add variety to my meals through the week to avoid boredom. That chicken (or veggies) can be added to a salad, used on a sandwich or wrap, or set aside with some quinoa. Easy peezy and it’s done in 2 hours for the entire week.
You cannot live on salad alone, chances are you have a sweet tooth! Plan for your palate and pack healthier options that still satisfy a sugar fix but that won’t give you a crash like candy.
What we easily forget is that when we’re trying to eat healthy, sometimes, a small indulgence is more of a problem than we think it is. Our bodies are wired to consume fat, sugar, and calories- so be aware that if you have a taste of it, your body is going to want more!
If you’re really trying to eat healthy and you’re busy- know that you’re going to have some serious cravings, and that’s okay! Packing something wonderful like fresh strawberries with a small side of semi-sweet chocolate or a flavored yogurt will help you indulge in a special way (so it has impact and isn’t just mindless noshing), without falling off the deep-end or conversely, depriving yourself to the point of misery!