Healthy eating. For me, it’s easier done then said, at least some of the time!
From my own experience, two things impact my ability to make healthy dietary choices.
The first is simply the choices I make, or discipline. Not a big deal for me typically, as I do ok muscling through my ‘to-do’s”.
The second however, is disorganization. This is the one that regrettably, has a big influence on my dietary habits. Are you that athlete that eats really well, but gets into trouble when you forget to pack a lunch? Do you travel frequently and find yourself challenged with healthy menu options on the road?
If so, here are some tips that I’ve found to be helpful.
The idea is to surround yourself with healthy food options so you’re not forced to settle for less. While some of these ideas aren’t rocket science, it’s a never-ending challenge for most of us, unless one is completely mindful and stays in front of it. This is all part of being successfully fit.
1. Plan your weekly meals, and shop accordingly.
Having a plan and keeping the appropriate types of food in the house is key to staying organized. Most of us plan almost every aspect of our lives, so why not plan what you’re going to eat as well? We have two set days a week when we go to the store so we have the luxury of buying fresh produce.
2. Prepare your meals ahead of time.
Monday AM is not the time to think about lunch, dinner or anything other than getting back into the work routine. Instead, pick a day where you can prepare some of your weekly meals and snacks.
Sunday is our day where we juice a week’s worth of drinks and store them in mason jars for later. (Fill them all the way the way to the top, so there’s as little air as possible in the jar – it’ll stay fresher a lot longer that way.)
We also make a large meal in our crockpot and then divide up into lunch portions that we can just grab and go.
Have healthy options out and accessible in your kitchen. A fruit/snack basket placed on the kitchen counter works great because it’s out and visible. Helps keep the little athletes aware of healthy choices too!
I make a lot of smoothies with a ton of stuff in them. So, I keep as many ingredients in a central location and top them off each week. No more messing around digging through the drawers looking for things to add. Also, with a variety of ingredients I can change my smoothies up a bit as I prefer.
We have a drawer in our house dedicated to smoothie ingredients that enables us to make a smoothie in less than three minutes. (I also buy a couple bags of frozen fruit and keep at least 2 half-gallon cartons of unsweetened coconut/almond milk in the fridge).
At work, I also keep a drawer full of snacks and easy meals. This is a great option in the event that you forget your lunch (umm yea that’s me!) or get hungry in between meals. Make it known at work that you prefer salads, etc. in lieu of the typical pizza order called in for working lunches.
When traveling, target hotels that have healthy choices, or are near restaurants that do. Pack healthy snacks in your suitcase (nuts, protein bars, sardines, an apple, etc.). Bring your own water bottle and stay properly hydrated all day. Additionally, I pack my own protein powder and multivitamin so I can make an abbreviated version of my morning smoothie. (I also bring my own teabags for creature comforts.)
Lastly, don’t be afraid to make special requests when ordering at restaurants – example lightly sauté’ with olive oil vs. butter. Skip the sugary/artificial salad dressing and ask for oil and vinegar.
Staying on track and eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Planning and organization have helped me stay on track with my diet over the years, and I hope these ideas do the same for you!