Let’s face it – we know we should eat healthier. There are so many studies, websites, and nutritionists providing evidence of how food impacts overall health, including digestion, heart, immunity, and weight.
While we know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables and avoid processed and unhealthy foods, we struggle to do this on a daily basis. The problem is, packaged and processed food is really convenient. It is ready to eat, so we don’t have to worry about chopping ingredients, finding the right recipe, or eating something that tastes bland because it lacks all the sugar, salt and fat in processed foods.
When you are busy working long days, taking care of your family, and not getting enough sleep, taking time to prepare the right foods might seem like a luxury. And never mind getting to the store every few days to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables! But there is a way to eat healthier that won't impact your busy schedule.
Here’s where some simple hacks will help with your diet when you have no time:
Prepare ready-to-eat veggies and fruits and keep them in the fridge.
When you’re looking for a quick snack, chances are you won’t spend the time to grate and chop carrots or cut a red pepper or cucumber, which means that instead you’ll reach for crackers. To avoid this diet trap, When you purchase your fruits and veggies, chop them up and place in containers in the fridge right away. This way, the work is done for you and you’re likely to reach for the healthier options when the urge to snack arises.
Make it a smoothie.
It’s not complicated or time-consuming to get your greens in every day when you process them into a smoothie. Along with romaine, kale and spinach, you can add your favorite seasonal fruits – berries, apple, or banana – and a little water and lemon juice or almond milk and blend. Delicious and you get your daily servings of greens.
Use a Meal Kit Delivery service.
Meal Kit Delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron will deliver fresh pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to your door every week for 3 to 5 meals. The vegetables are grown locally and the meals which you prepare are healthy and are different every week. A colored recipe card is included with step by step instructions and meals on average take about 30 minutes to prepare and cook.
Substitute peanut butter for almond butter.
Peanut butter is a good snack, but almond butter is the healthier option because of its superfood and protein-packed properties. Go for almond butter on toast or with your prepped veggies for a healthy snack.
Replace afternoon coffee with Green tea.
In the afternoon our energy can wane, so one way to combat this is to avoid reaching for coffee and instead drink green tea. It’s filled with antioxidants and is easier on your stomach.
Take your lunch to work.
The best way to avoid the unhealthy diet traps is to make your lunch the night before and bring it with you to work. Restaurants often load food with sugar, fat and salt to make it tasty, so you don’t have control over what you eat, even with a salad. When you bring your lunch, you not only control the portions, but also what’s in it. If you don't have time during the week, make a dish to last you all week, or make an extra batch over the weekend and freeze it.