These time-saving tips make it easier to eat healthy
At this point in the new year, daily pressures can start wearing down our resolve when it comes to sticking to any get-healthy resolutions. In particular, eating a nutritious diet, whether for weight loss or general wellness, can be a tough commitment to keep when the days and weeks fly by in a haze of busyness. However, a bit of forethought and a few well-chosen shortcuts can make it easier to eat healthy on regular basis.
Although it requires an investment of time on the front end, one of the best ways to simplify the whole process of creating a nutritious daily diet is to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time each week. In the long run, this strategy can save time and effort — and prevent the junk-food slips that happen all too easily when we’re ravenous but have no idea what to eat.
“Before heading to the grocery store, write out a plan for your meals and snacks in the week ahead. That way, during the busy week, you will not have to stop and think about it or go to the store multiple times to get what you need,” said Caitlin Bus, a licensed and registered dietitian with Renown Health. “You can also prepare your meals on the weekend to make sure you stick with your healthy meal plan instead of eating out or snacking too much when you’re busy or tired.”
In fact, along with planning your weekly menu in advance, finding the time to actually prepare the food is another big step — or potential stumbling block — on the path to consistent healthy eating. As Bus suggests, if you can schedule a block of time to go grocery shopping and perform meal prep each week, cooking healthy at home can be far less stressful. In addition, there are several time-saving shortcuts you can take within the act of planning and preparing your meals as well.
“When searching recipes online, put ‘quick’ or ‘easy’ in front of whatever you’re searching, like ‘easy meatloaf’ or ‘quick, healthy dinners.’ This will bring up results with less ingredients or less steps,” said Sarah Trinajstich, a licensed and registered dietitian with Northern Nevada Medical Center. “Another tip is to make a recipe that will leave you with leftovers, which can be eaten as a healthy lunch or another dinner with little effort.”
Besides choosing dishes that are fairly easy to make and produce enough leftovers for at least one more meal, you can take another shortcut to healthy eating by selecting time-saving products when shopping at the grocery store.
“As a busy working mom, I use precut and prepped veggies to help save time and effort while still offering my family and myself healthy meals,” Trinajstich said. “You can also stock up on frozen vegetables. Go for the options that are not pre-seasoned to cut down on preservatives and salt.”
As far as finding easy ways to get fruit into your daily diet, both Trinajstich and Bus recommend eating fruit — along with veggies — as an easy snack between meals and also serving fruit in place of unhealthy desserts.
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