Making nutritious choices isn’t always easy. Whether you are in the middle of a busy workday or on a trip, sometimes stopping for a snack becomes necessary, and prioritizing time for a home-cooked meal isn’t always possible. But just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you can’t make good choices on the go. Anyone can make nutritious eating a priority without drastically changing their life; you just need a little creativity.
Variety, moderation, and balance
Here are a few tips that you can utilize:
Make breakfast the night before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the calories and nutrients that you need to power your hectic day. For example:
Make a large batch of oatmeal that you can portion throughout; you can enjoy it cold or pop in the microwave and go! Add different toppings to give some variety in flavor.
You can also get some fiber by making tasty whole wheat muffins which serves as a great breakfast and a quick snack on the go.
Vegetables are not just for lunch or dinner; try making breakfast wrap with eggs, vegetables and hash browns.
Snack smarter: Busy schedules makes it challenging to prepare a full meal, and it is tempting to grab calorie-dense snacks between meals to satiate your hunger. Here are a few examples of snack that you can try:
Home-made trails mix with dry cereal, dried fruits, nuts and seeds
Hard-boiled eggs and vegetables
Apple slices and peanut butter
Unsweetened apple sauce topped with nuts
Whole-wheat tortilla chips with home-made hummus, fruit salsa, or guacamole
Rice cakes with peanut butter
Freeze leftovers for a quick dinner: When you are busy, you don’t always have the time to cook.
You can use leftover vegetables, and chicken and turn them into a complete meal by adding it to a grain such as pasta. Make sure to add lots of vegetables, lean meats or meat alternatives that serves as a great addition of protein.
Home-cooked sauces are very versatile and can be used in different meals easily. If you have marinara sauce, you can easily make lasagna with lots of vegetables on the side. The leftover sauces can also be used as a dip with home-made chips or vegetables.
Be aware when dining out: Despite your best efforts to plan your meals on the go, you may sometimes find the need to eat outside. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your eating habits. When menu-scanning, you can use several strategies:
The idea is to balance your meal by including all food groups such as ½ of your plate with colorful vegetables, ¼ lean proteins, ¼ grains, focusing on whole grains.
Request for butter, cheese, toppings, salad dressings, sauces, and gravies to be served on the side.
Rethink your drink; empty calories from beverages can add up quickly, especially with free refills. Choose options such as water, low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or flavored water.