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How to Eat Better … Even at Your Busiest

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There's no denying that eating healthy is an important part of staying well. A balanced diet helps incorporate a wide range of vitamins and minerals, and keeps our bodies full of everything it needs to ward off sicknesses, and run as efficiently as possible. That's a lesson we learn as soon as we're old enough to start feeding ourselves, right?

But just because we've been hearing this mantra for years, doesn't mean we follow it. Especially when busy days and hungry bellies are called into the mix. The quicker we have to be somewhere, and the hungrier we become, the harder it is to eat "right." Fast food is convenient (and fast, obviously), and sometimes, it's just what you're craving. Something easy and filling – a meal while on the run.

Continue this habit over time, and it's an expensive way to pump the body full of empty calories. Which is why it's better to plan ahead for eating healthy. Making time to include nutrients before you're able to make a poor eating choice.

Prep Day

One of the easiest ways to create healthy meals on the go, is to plan them out. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean every meal and down to every ingredient, but simply taking the time to cut up veggies, pre-cook meats and greens, and so on. Then, packaging these items for easy eating or quick lunches. Small jars and containers work great. If you come home for lunch, you can grab and mix as needed. And if you pack your lunch to go, you can stack each ingredient neatly. Quick and efficient.

On your prep day, decide what you want to eat throughout the week, then shop, cook, and chop accordingly. (This is also a process that becomes faster once you have a routine in place.)

Take Time to Snack

Generally, the worst meal decisions are made when we're the hungriest. Rather than letting our bodies get to this point of "hanger," take time to snack and coat your stomach throughout the day. It's actually much healthier to eat smaller meals more frequently, than to stuff yourself three times per day. Healthy snacks like fruits, granola, nuts, grains, etc. can keep you energized and from making bad meal choices come lunch. (And yes, healthy snacks can be tasty too!)

Avoid Sugar

No, not just because it's bad for you, but because you actually crave it. When you no longer consume sugar, however, your body no longer wants it. Believe it or not, you'll actually start craving healthier snacks! Your body wants what it eats – it's up to you to train it toward healthier options.

Drink More Liquids

Healthy ones, if possible. Water, 100% juices, teas or coffee in moderation – all of these help even out nutrition, as well as fill up the stomach. Drinking more can help tide you over to the next meal, all while promoting overall nutrition.

Bring "Enough" Food

Taking a few extra minutes to prepare what you'll need for the day can ensure you won't go hungry. If you might work late, pack an extra snack. If you have an early morning, plan breakfast accordingly. This is a step that can keep you from stuff your face as soon as you have access to "real" food.

Meal planning, especially when busy, is an easy task that can help improve your nutrition. And therefore, your overall health. Remember to take a few minutes to plan ahead, and you can be on your way to better learned habits – ones that taste just as good as they help you feel. 

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