Healthy Eating Strategies to “Beat the Clock”
Are you constantly feeling like you’re up against the clock when it comes to getting a meal on the table? Healthy eating strategies must be planned, as healthy meals do not magically appear on the dinner table. You most likely have been in the situation where you had no food to pull a meal together. The lack of food staples for meal preparation then became an excuse to dine out or order in. Poor planning when it comes to grocery shopping can lead to the same scenario. If you constantly rely on food prepared by others, chances are pretty good that you are eating too many calories. And most likely too much sodium, total fat, and saturated fat as well! Do this too often, and your overall health will eventually decline while your waistline goes the opposite direction.
Time management is key for healthy eating strategies
One key aspect to eating a healthy diet is time management. And, it’s imperative to apply your time management skills to your food activities. Considering the huge impact one’s diet has on health, it seems wise to budget a certain amount of time for meal planning. This planning can make a huge difference in getting healthy meals on the table for you and your loved ones. While eating is basically instinctive, healthy eating needs some thoughtful planning.
Suggestions for pulling off healthier eating
Dinner planning is also key for healthy eating strategies
As dinner is typically the most problematic meal, take about 20 minutes on the weekend to map out your dinner eating strategies for the entire work week. This advance planning allows you to think through your evening commitments and plan appropriately. For instance, you can keep dinner very simple if you need to run to a school function or evening meeting. For the tough evenings, you can plan on cooking ahead or purchasing already cooked entrees such as a roasted chicken. Or, with some advance planning, you can use a slow cooker or instant pot.
Have a well stocked kitchen
Having a well stocked kitchen can allow you to eat a healthy meal without any effort. There is nothing wrong with cereal, milk, and fruit for dinner or a sandwich and fruit. Such labor-free meals can easily have the same nutrients as a hot meal. Granted, a hot meal is more comforting, but nutritionally speaking it really makes little difference to your health!
Prep your produce well in advance of eating
While most people say they like fruits and vegetables, very few people eat the 5 servings a day recommended by the National Cancer Institute. I have concluded, in part, this is due to the fact that fruits and vegetables can take some time to prepare and even eat. A little planning and preparation for the week’s menus can cut down on the struggle to find the time during the week to get these foods into your diet.
The above photo is from an organized mother of an infant and toddler. She works full-time and still manages to feed her family an extraordinarily healthy diet. With her well thought out eating strategies for the week, she is ready to start cooking with either a slow cooker or on the spot when arriving home. All she needs to do is pull her ingredients out of the refrigerator to pull this off.
Her family will be dining on Rose Family Baked Stew (fondly known as Halloween stew) and another family favorite of penne pasta with chickpeas, tomatoes and low-fat feta cheese. She will also be serving several slow cooker recipes including sweet potatoes with red beans and rosemary chicken with white beans.
It just takes practice
Once we learn to manage our food related activities as well as we mange our work and recreational activities, we are on the way to reaping the enduring health benefits of good nutrition. Time management, planning, a stocked kitchen, and simple advance preparation will put you on the road to a healthy diet!
What tips can you share?
Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at www.mydietmatters.com is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.