Clients frequently ask, “How do I make smart eating choices on a busy schedule?” As a busy personal trainer and health coach, I can completely relate to how daunting it seems to eat healthy for every single meal… especially when it’s so much easier and time-friendly to just grab quick – usually addictive, and processed junk food on the go! Although eating healthy does require more planning than the alternative, with these few easy tricks, you’ll find it’s a bit easier than you might imagine.
Plus, a bit of strategic planning ensures you never need to fall into those emergencies and moments of sheer moodiness and pain from dire hunger… those are the moments when I’m MOST TEMPTED to reach for the popcorn, chips, candy bar, or cookies and BOOM there goes my clean eating streak!
I work with doctors, lawyers, high powered businessmen and women every day, and I’ve found these 8 strategies help my clients maintain consistently healthy meals even with the tightest schedules.
1) Make a list- sit down on Friday or Saturday and make a grocery list for the week that you can shop for over the weekend! This list will help you save time, money, and calories by not allowing the junk food to “land” in your cart as you stroll through the aisles. And trust me from experience… never go to the grocery store hungry!
2) Go frozen- Frozen vegetables (preferably organic) become a real timesaver, considering you don’t have to slice and dice them, and you avoid last-minute grocery store stops on the home when you realize your green beans from last week are growing mold. Same goes for frozen grass-fed beef, fish, and organic berries.
3) Choose pre-prepped. If chopping doesn’t fit your tight agenda, choose fresh pre-washed veggies near the salad section of most stores- you can get pre-cut stir fry veggies, organic leafy greens, like spinach, kale, arugula, and even Romaine. This drastically reduces kitchen work and although pre-prepped might be a bit more expensive, but if you’re short on time it’s worth it.
4) Go for the Canned Foods! — wait WHAT?! This seems strange right? Before you go writing off canned foods… know that certain canned and jarred foods (vegetable or chicken stocks, sardines, wild Alaskan salmon, artichokes, black beans, and roasted red peppers) make it easy to toss together quick and easy meals. Always go for the lower-sodium versions and read labels to see ensure gluten, dairy, sugars, and other unwanted ingredients aren’t inadvertently sneaking into your diet. (I also like to strain and rinse most things from a can to reduce any extra sodium that might be hiding in the juice)
5) Set a Fun Prep Day- Once you’ve hit the store, its time to get he food ready for the week! Choose one day during the week (I like Sunday with football, baseball, or golf playing on the TV in the background so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on Sunday Funday) when you are going to spend an extra hour in the kitchen, cooking and preparing as many of those ingredients as possible for the week. Hard boiling the eggs, cooking up some chicken breast, slicing the veggies, making the quinoa and oatmeal, and maybe mixing a dressing or marinade for the week.
6) After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove and spend more time on my feet! Sooooo… on the way home… rather than going through a drive thru or heading to a restaurant… try a health food grocery store like Whole Foods! They have wonderful prepared foods in the cold deli section, and you can get grilled veggies, rotisserie chicken, sweet potato mash, black bean burgers, and more… ALL FRESH and ready to eat!
7) Meal Replacements and Smoothies– I spend Sundays bagging up my favorite smoothie ingredients and throwing them in the freezer for easy go-tos throughout the week! Items to throw into a ziplock that make great smoothies all week include pineapple, banana, spinach, apple, 2 scoops of yogurt, and chia seeds! In addition, I am a FIRM believer in the need for a meal or supplement smoothie throughout the day to help you get the superfoods and probiotics and phytonutrients that we just don’t get from our everyday foods and diets, even if you have the healthiest diet in the world! For me… that smoothie is Shakeology! It’s the only shake I’ve found that has everything I need in a snack or meal without all of the artificial sweeteners and fillers and chemicals! If you’re a big research/reader like me, you can learn more about the superfoods and ingredients found in shakeology, on my website. Check it out here.
8) Crockpot Epicness: On day’s packed with clients and workouts, I get dinner ready before I even leave the house for the day! Put all your favorite clean ingredients into your crockpot, hit LOW cook, and off you go! For awesome crockpot ideas and recipes to make your week and life that much easier, join me for my 7 – Day Detox Crockpot Challenge starting October 17th! (For more information, just fill out the form at the bottom of the post, and I’ll send you the details).
What’s your one strategy you would add to this list to get a healthy meal even with the most hectic schedule? Share your comments below or on my Facebook Fan Page.
Need a little more guidance to eating healthy? Why not join my upcoming 7- Day Detox Crockpot Challenge starting October 17th. Challenge participants have lost upwards of 7 lbs in 10 days, but more importantly they have reduced ALL symptoms of disease by 62% – again in only 10 days. Imagine what you could do with the tools and support I provide… meal plans, meal prep tools, recipes, coaching, and more!
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