Food Hacks for Better Eating With a Busy Lifestyle
Eating well these days can seem like a complicated matter. Between running the kids to school/activities, working, and living the rest of your life things get hectic which probably leaves you feeling exhausted. And sometimes when we’re exhausted eating healthy is one of the first things to go because, seriously, who has time for an elaborate grocery store trip + time to prepare ridiculously well-balanced meals every day? You do, actually! (No, really, we promise.) Here’s how to hack your life so you’re able to run around like a fiend and still be able to eat well.
1. Make a Plan - plans are important in life but especially so when it comes to healthy eating with limited time. Before you go to the grocery store write a list out, then stick to it. Every Sunday, make a meal plan for the entire upcoming week so you know what you’re eating and when. Sharing cooking & shopping chores with someone? Make a chore wheel so everyone knows what they’re doing. Planning ahead alone will save you so much time.
2. Meal Prep - after you’ve made that meal plan for the week, take some time that day to go ahead and prep for those meals any way you can. If possible, cook your meals entirely then refrigerate or freeze till the day you’re planning on eating them. If that’s not a workable plan, then go ahead and chop any veggies you might need, make any sauces or sides you might be using, etc. Making everything all in one fell swoop equals more time to eat during the week so it’s totally worth it.
3. Frozen Fruits/Veggies Aren’t The Enemy - it’s absolutely false that frozen fruits & veggies are less nutritious than their fresh counterparts. Truth be told, they might contain more nutrients! Frozen foods in and of themselves aren’t unhealthy - like everything else it’s what those frozen foods are that determine their health factor. So go ahead and buy up those bags of frozen fruits/veggies because they will be your best friend. Not only are you buying in bulk (always an excellent idea) but they last forever.
4. Hi, Healthy Snacks - much like frozen food, snacking isn’t inherently bad, it’s what exactly you’re snacking on that matters. Because, let’s face it, sometimes you are literally going from activity to activity all day long and you don’t have time to grab a bottle of water, much less lunch. Next thing you know it’s 3PM and you’re starving. Now, if you’re unprepared you’re most likely to head to the nearest vending machine to grab a bag of chips and something caffeinated (which we all know is a bad idea). But, if you always have healthy snacks on hand you’ll defeat hunger and the late afternoon slump. Great ideas include hardboiled eggs, mixed nuts, mini-salads, smoothies, and fruit.
5. Meet Your New Best Friend - So. There is this fabulous invention that you may have heard of called the “microwave”. A lot of people think that heating food in the microwave is unhealthy - that it either strips nutrients from your food or makes your food toxic because of radiation - but this just isn’t true. Heating food in the microwave is perfectly safe and the food cooked there is perfectly healthy. The best part? Using the microwave is incredibly quick and convenient, meaning you can manage to eat well in the blink of an eye. Embrace the microwave - you’ll thank us!
6. Become a Food Techie - what exactly do we mean when we say “food tech”? The technical definition is that it’s the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food. What that boils down to is fabulous inventions such as getting your groceries delivered or ordering meals online at Top Chef Meals. Food + technology! Anything that saves you time and/or money in your quest to eat better is something to adopt and places like Top Chef Meals definitely do that.
7. Do Takeout Differently - everybody loves to eat takeout once in awhile - it’s quick, convenient, and most often reasonably priced. Because let’s face it, some days you just don’t want to cook. Period, full stop. Instead of swinging by a fast food joint or ordering from your local diner or chain, however, try stocking up on pre-made, pre-packaged meals like ours at Top Chef. This way you still don’t have too cook but you know exactly what’s going into your food & how many calories, etc. you’re getting. (Plus, not to brag, but we’re way better than McD’s, just sayin’!) Having a quick meal doesn’t mean having to indulge in a calorific meal. There’s a better way to do it (and we’re here to help!).
8. Hello, Hydration - you know the adage about drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day? It’s not wrong. That’s not to say you absolutely have to hit that mark each and every day but the point is that hydration is incredibly important. Dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness, and fainting, while staying hydrated helps keep you full, strengthens your immune system, and helps to keep up your energy. Water also helps nutrients circulate throughout your body so eating healthy actually makes an impact. Pretty important stuff! Start with cutting down on sugary drinks - soda, juice, sports drinks - and add in the water. We know water can get boring sometimes but you can jazz it up with fruits or cucumbers. Make things even easier on yourself by investing in a reusable bottle of some kind and never leave home without it!
And probably the most important thing of all to do while trying to eat healthy with a busy lifestyle and limited time? Realize that change takes time and it’s okay to add these hacks in one at a time or two at a time and not all at once. Realize that it’s okay if something doesn’t work the first time you do it (or even the second or third) because as long as you keep trying, you’ll figure out which hacks fit your lifestyle best. The want to change and live a more healthy life is what’s needed most and what will keep you going because changing your lifestyle won’t happen overnight. You can do it though - we totally have faith in you!
Plus, Top Chef Meals is here to help out with chef-prepared, pre-packaged meals that you can order anytime, then simply pop into the microwave. It’s instant healthy eating that’s also delicious and features a variety of diet choices from paleo to keto. Our menu also takes into account health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol. We even have healthy meals for kids! What we’re saying is that we have you covered. So, check out our website, shoot us an email, or give us a call anytime.