With today’s hectic schedules, it seems like there is just no time for anything besides the day-to-day hustle. This can make taking time to make healthy choices seem like a luxury.
What’s your typical day like? For many people, it’s up in the morning and off to work with no time for breakfast, or up in the morning, drive through the closest fast food joint and haul butt to work. And that’s just breakfast. The rest of the day will likely include snacking at your desk and lunch at some place that, while close to work, may or may not have healthy options. Then there’s dinner. If you’re too tired from a long day at work to cook, you don’t always make the best decisions. This can mean ending your day with pizza or Chinese takeout instead of a healthy, veggie-laden meal.
Convenience is important, but is this type of lifestyle really doing you any good? If you take just a few minutes to plan ahead you can erase a lot of unwanted pounds, health problems and stress from your life.
Planning ahead can mean preparing your meals in advance, or even just scheduling them: putting on paper when and where (of course a healthy option) you are going to eat. If you have some extra time on Saturday or Sunday to cook up your favorite chicken and veggie plate, then take that time to make some for your Monday and Tuesday lunches, too. I find that soups, salads and wraps are the easiest ways to consume a good balance of all that your body needs in a single meal, and they can all be pre-made and ready for you at a later time. Here’s an example:
Recipe: Delicious Green Soup with Chicken
This soup is full of good carbs, protein and, of course, those delicious and nutritious dark green leafy vegetables, which can sometimes seem difficult to incorporate into the diet, but are perhaps some of the most important things for health, weight loss, detoxification and energy.
- 3 vegetable or chicken stock cubes
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2 butternut squash, cubed
- 1 potato, cubed
- 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 1 large bunch of green Swiss chard, chopped
- 1 bunch of collard greens, kale or spinach, chopped
- 8 oz. of grilled chicken breast, cubed
- Fresh basil (optional), chopped
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour six cups of water into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Add in stock cubes and boil until dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, squash, potato and sweet potato to the water and boil until the potatoes are soft. Add in the chard, greens and chicken and cook until the greens are slightly tender. Remove from heat, cool and transfer small batches into a blender to puree (or use a hand blender). Season with the basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and enjoy!
This is just one example of a healthy meal you can make in bulk and bring for lunch a few days each week. Now you have no excuse to keep wasting money and blowing your diet at that greasy spoon near your work just because it’s convenient!