We get it. Life can be crazed and hectic and leave little time to take proper care of yourself sometimes – like when it comes to eating healthy. Being on the go so much makes it all the more tempting to just grab up some processed food and down more caffeine as you make your way to your next obligation, but we're here to tell you that it IS possible to still eat healthy while on the go! You simply need to incorporate a few small hacks into your lifestyle and in no time you'll be eating well and feeling SO much better than you did before. Check out these healthy hacks for busy lifestyles, take what you need, and go live well!
1. Microwaves can be your best friend. Not only can you be eating a healthy, delicious Top Chef meal in mere minutes with the use of your microwave, but you can also make mug quiches, mug desserts, and so much more!
2. Eat breakfast. Seriously. It's the oldest advice in the book but there's a reason for that – it's because it's good advice. Eating breakfast is important for sustaining energy levels and aiding in blood sugar management. Avoid eating a breakfast that is high in carbohydrates and sugar. This just sets us up for a blood sugar rollercoaster. And remember that microwaves are quite adept at making breakfasts!
3. Embrace crockpots. Slow-cookers to the rescue! This multi-tasking tool cooks anything from soups to meats to oatmeal—and all you have to do is throw the ingredients in and let it do its magic. It’s basically a busy person’s dream come true.
4. Fill up on iron. Not eating enough iron can cause fatigue and even depression. Keep energy high by chowing down on oatmeal, lentils, and lean meats.
5. Keep caffeine to a minimum. Yes, this one makes us a little sad too, but excess coffee overloads your liver, dehydrates you, and increases the risk of blood sugar irregularities (afternoon energy dips sound familiar?). Try to keep coffee to 2 cups a day. Which leads us to...
6. Staying hydrated! This step is as easy as carrying a stainless steel or glass water bottle with you. Count how many times you fill it up. At least eight glasses of water a day will keep your energy levels high, your hunger down, your digestion smooth and your concentration sharp. When we are dehydrated, our bodies often mistake this feeling for hunger. Make sure to not drink water before meals as this can hinder digestion. Drink 20 minutes before and 60 or minutes after. Also, try and drink room temperature water because cold water increases gastrointestinal contraction and slows digestion down.
7. Weekend prep. Salads are always an easy enough lunch to make but they DO get a bit boring after awhile. Add variety to your weekly meal plan and save time by pre-making your meals for the rest of the week. You can pre-cook protein and grains, get all your veggies chopped, and try out soups and stews. Just make a large batch at the beginning of the week, freeze leftovers in single-serving Tupperware, and thaw as needed. Easy peasy!
8. Make pre-packaged smoothie bags. Smoothies rock and they're a great way to fill up on tons of nutrients with minimal effort. To make things even easier, add berries, spinach, protein powder, and other non-liquid fixings to a Ziploc so when you’re ready to puree, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the blender. Now you have no excuses to miss breakfast!
9. Be sneaky. We put veggies in our smoothies, right? So why not everything else? How do sweet potato brownies or cauliflower scrambled eggs sound? Whether baking dessert, looking to beef up morning muffins, or giving a healthy makeover to mac and cheese, sneaking nutrients into otherwise ordinary eats is a delicious (and smart) way to multitask.
10. Supplement. No matter how good your diet may be, no one has a perfect nutritional profile. A good quality multivitamin is a must-have, along with probiotic supplementation, a B-complex vitamin (for stress, metabolism and healthy immune system) and a good quality EFA (essential fatty acid/omega 3) supplement.