One of the first things we hear from people embarking on a health journey is that they don’t have time. The truth is that in today’s hustle and bustle, no one has time. You need to make time for the things that are important, and nutrition is one of them!
Try not to let the excuse of “being busy” defer you from a disease-free and vibrant life!
Don’t overcomplicate it, with a little planning and dedicated time put aside, you will see how easy it is! Maybe replace one less episode on Netflix with food prep. 🙂
Here are 3 easy tips to prepare yourself for a healthy setup:
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
I know one can get caught up on the aesthetics of a meal with all the elaborate and eye-catching meals on social media. My suggestion, keep it for the weekend! During the week we want time to be on our side in order to make it sustainable. That is how the habit will be built. Don’t end up putting too much pressure on yourself to make meals look good instead of making good food.
A simple meal doesn’t mean it has to be a boring meal, let’s not lose focus of what the main factor is here, nourishing your body. Your body doesn’t care if there is a gold sprinkle of ancient lavender on top of the soup.
Keep it simple, learn 3-4 easy recipes that won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours, with ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. A quick tip to ensure you get a variety of vegetables, just rotate your vegetables around each week. So, for example, if you cooked a vegetable curry with zucchini, broccoli and pumpkin, the next time try to use kale, yellow bell pepper and sweet potato. BOOM you have used 6 different vegetables in one week already and this is only 1 meal!
2. MEAL PLANNING
Not only does meal planning lighten the load on your wallet and your time, but it helps with easing out the stress around deciding what to cook.
This ties in with tip one, learn 4-5 easy recipes which make grocery shopping for the week much easier, and you will have grasped the cooking technique after the first time of making it, so round 2 will be more simplified.
Meal planning is a tool to make the whole cooking experience and nourishing your body seem not so daunting. Don’t you find once you actually plan it doesn’t seem as bad as you thought?
3. START WITH ONE MEAL
At times it’s not always possible to have every meal home-cooked. We have social gatherings, business lunches, traveling, etc. So what can we do that won’t derail us completely off the health train.
If you’re constantly on the go and don’t find time to have a proper meal, pack small snacks to have throughout the day when you’re free. This could look like:
- Sliced apple/celery sticks with peanut butter
- Hummus with vegetable sticks like carrot, cucumber or celery
- Fruits! Something that we have seemed to forget that mother nature literally pre-packed for us into a nutritious little bundle. Make sure its whole fruits and not fruit juices, etc.
- Nutrient packed smoothie that you have made the day before
- Roasted chickpeas or edamame. Instead of grabbing a bag of crisps, you can make a batch of this at the beginning of the week or a few times a week in smaller batches, and it takes only 10 min to make! Packed with protein and fiber to keep you satisfied
- Plant-based yogurt with berries and seeds
- Quick wraps that you can make the night before like a wrap with hummus, lettuce, sundried tomato, olives, cucumber, with a sprinkle of sumac or zaatar over for the extra antioxidant kick!
Now if you’re eating out, restaurants these days are more accommodating to your preferences (like when we had to go to a steakhouse a few times for business lunches and had to ask for something vegan). So ask for brown bread or sourdough instead of white bread, if you can switch the fries for a salad. Try and scan the menu for the least oil-induced meal like deep frying, dressing and sauces high in sugars and oil. Look out for words like steamed, sauteed, baked, roasted, air fried, this is what we want.
Double up the veg! Ask for another portion of vegetables on the side to get in that fiber. Not only will this be a great accompaniment to a protein source that you have picked (like lentils, chickpeas, bean burger), but it will balance your blood sugar levels, therefore preventing huge spikes and crashes after a meal and satisfying your hunger hormones.
At the end of the day, there are many small things one can do ahead with a little pre-planning and time put aside to make it a priority, which will have massive impacts on our health.
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