School’s back in full swing, the holiday season is looming, and the leisure of summer is long gone. This time of year can be one of the busiest as we all adjust to new schedules.
Isn’t it true that one of the most common comments we hear in our day-to-day is “I’m just so busy right now“? Whether it’s to a fellow bootcamper after missing a class, a close friend or an acquaintance we run into in the grocery store, we all say it.
A full work schedule, kids, social lives….it all takes time. So where does healthy eating fit in when it feels like there aren’t enough minutes in the day to sit down, let alone eat a healthy meal?
You already know that signing up for bootcamp and scheduling those classes is the best way to fit your workouts in. So we’d like to give you some tools to help you manage a healthy diet with your busy schedule:
1. Meal Plan: When you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, taking 20 minutes to plan your dinners for the week will be the best investment of your time. If it’s 6pm and you don’t know what you’re having for dinner yet, chances are you’ll choose a meal based on convenience. Not always the healthiest choice, right? Meal planning takes all the stress out of “what’s for dinner tonight?” and avoids the guilt you’d feel after inhaling a big bowl of cheesy pasta just because it was quick to make. To get you started, you can download Trainer Molly Molofsky’s meal planning template and guide here.
2. Cook Once, Eat Twice: As much as a big dinner salad is a healthy choice, it’s hard to pack for leftovers the next day. Instead, choose dinner options that will make good leftovers. Soups, chili’s, roast chicken, ect. are all good choices. If you’re cooking for a family, you can double recipes or amounts and use leftovers for lunches. If you’re cooking for one or two, you can pack the leftovers for lunch or eat the same meal two days in a row.
3. Forget Recipes: Instead of spending an hour in the kitchen cooking an elaborate meal, stock your fridge and pantry with easy to assemble proteins, vegetables and sides. Then, create meals from what’s already ready to-go. For example a lunch of sliced turkey, avocado lettuce wraps or a dinner assembled from chopped tofu or tempeh with sauteed vegetables.
4. Meal Prep Days: Taking 2-3 hours during the weekend (or another evening when you have more time) to batch cook a couple recipes and/or sides is one of the only ways to manage a busy schedule without buying all your food out. Here’s some ideas for a meal prep day:
- 1-2 proteins (roast chicken breast, sauteed ground meat, hard boil eggs, baked tofu)
- 1 whole grain like rice or quinoa
- Batch of baked sweet potatoes
- Wash and prep greens
- Chop vegetables and fruit for snacks and pack into single servings
5. Crock Pot: Dust off that crockpot that’s gathering dust in the bottom shelf. It’s a secret weapon when it comes to preparing healthy meals on a tight schedule. Coming home to a ready-to-go warm dinner? Yes, please!
6. Go-To Snacks: Sometimes we all have days where just getting food on the plate or even remembering to eat can be a challenge. Make it a rule to keep your home stocked with healthy snacks so that if all else fails, at least you have something to grab quickly. Fresh fruit and a handful of nuts or veggies and hummus are quick options. Check out Thrive Market to stock up on healthy packaged snacks like veggie chips, jerky and trail mix.
7. H.I.I.T: When it comes to nutrition and fitness, doing something is better than doing nothing. If you miss your workouts because your schedule gets busy, remember that even a 10 minute workout still counts.
Bottom line: Just like scheduling those BCSF workouts into your week, schedule time to grocery shop, prep and set yourself up for success – you won’t regret it.
What are your favorite ways to stay on track during busy times? What are your go-to meals for busy nights?