Eating healthy can sometimes be difficult, especially when you only have a few minutes to eat before you have to run out the door again. Busy schedules may leave you pulling up to the fast food window for the third time in a week. While stopping for fast food may be easy, you're not doing anything for your health. Eating a balanced diet doesn't have to mean spending hours at the stove cooking a gourmet meal. There are lots of ways to stay healthy, even when you don't have a lot of time on your hands.
Prepare meals in advance
According to Reader's Digest, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know what they're having for dinner by 4 p.m. It's no wonder why people gravitate instantly toward fast frozen meals. Pick a day during the weekend to plan out the week's meals. Oftentimes, the hardest part is just deciding what to have. Go through each night of the week and write down a list of what you're going to make. Write those ingredients on your grocery list so that your kitchen will be fully stocked. If you want, you could even make some of your meals ahead of time! Put each meal in a separate Tupperware container, making it easy to grab and heat up whenever you need it.
Make the kitchen an enjoyable place to be
If your kitchen is a mess, the counter is cluttered and the fridge is empty, you're likely not going to have the motivation to get in there and cook a healthy meal. Instead, you'll probably opt for a quick frozen meal or some fast food. Try stocking up on fresh produce, pouring yourself a glass of wine, opening up the windows to let in some natural light and cleaning up any messes that may be making the space look less than desirable.
If you do go out to eat, have a plan
Many restaurants these days are health conscious and make it easy for their customers to choose a healthy menu item. Look for items on the menu with lots of protein as well as veggies and salad. These are going to give you the energy you need to keep up with that busy schedule. Stay away from tons of carbs, like sandwiches with thick bread that are paired with a boatload of French fries. You could also opt for water instead of sugary soda to cut your calorie count even further.
Make more food than you need
Don't fret if you made too much food – it's perfect for leftovers! This way, you can eat it for lunch the next day and you won't have to take the time out to make something new.
Try a protein meal
One of the quickest meals you could possibly whip up is a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy is a delicious and refreshing shake, is available in both chocolate and vanilla, and is the perfect way to fill you up fast without all of those extra calories. It contains plenty of protein, dietary fiber and low sugar!
Share the cooking responsibility
If you have to get the oven pre-heated or the chicken thawed, but you're stuck in traffic and won't be home for another half hour, simply delegate the responsibility to someone who is home. Have that person get it started for you and make cooking up a healthy dinner much easier.