If you are like me, you need to eat right when you get home from work. That generally means opening the fridge and grabbing the first thing I see that doesn't need preparation. This can lead to poor eating decisions and gorging on extra calories. Limited time and a grumbling stomach are not a good mix when it comes to making health-conscious eating decisions. I knew that if I was going to make better choices, it was time I made a few changes to my regimen. This is how I found a way to avoid the junk food with a hectic schedule. Follow these tips to save time, money, and calories throughout the week.
Plan a Prep Day
Organization and planning is key when it comes to a healthy diet. Choose a day in your schedule when you can set aside some time to prepare for your weekly meals. For me, Sunday is a dedicated food day. Plan out what you will be eating for the week. Cut down your mealtime later by doing your prep work in advance. Cut up your veggies, cook your beans, make your dressings or combine your spices. If you have the prep ready to go, all you have to do next is throw everything together.
Snacking is the biggest obstacle when it comes to staying on track. It's so easy to gorge on a bag of chips or grab a slice of pizza. If you prepare for those hunger pains to strike, you will be ready for them. Fruit is the easiest option. Grab a banana or an orange on your way out the door. Or if you want something with a little more substance, go for a jar of veggies and hummus. If you did all the prepping ahead of time, then you simply have to grab it out of the fridge in your mad morning dash to work.
Make a Little Bit Extra
If you have to rush out first thing in the AM, it can be hard to get lunch prepared. And if you are in meetings all day, you don't have time to run out for a bite. Making a little bit extra of your dinner the night before will take all the prep work out of lunch and keep your stomach satisfied. Leftovers are the biggest time and waistline saver on a busy schedule.
Utilize Your Refrigerator
Ready made meals don't always have to be store bought microwavable dinners – even the sound of that is cringe worthy. You can make a heaping batch of your favorite foods and store it in the freezer. For instance, those microwavable burritos may sound good, but aren't the healthiest when it comes to food. Make your own instead. Soup is another excellent option. Store some extra in the freezer for future meals. All you have to do is heat it up on the stove and dinner is served.
Make Breakfast Beforehand
The hardest meal to squeeze in when you are short on time in the morning is breakfast. While cereal is a quick fix, sometimes you need something a little heartier. Make your breakfast the night before. One of my favorites is an egg-muffin. They are like mini-frittatas that serve as an easy breakfast. Simply pop a couple in the oven to warm. Or, try overnight oats. They require less work and are filling. Soak the oats in some coconut milk with some blueberries and honey in the refrigerator overnight. Come the morning, you will thank me.