How To Eat Healthy When You're Busy AF
Ever wonder why Mark Zuckerberg or the late Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day? One less decision to make.
According to researchers at Cornell University, we make 226 decisions each day on food alone. We wonder what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how often to eat - every single day.
Plus, when do we most often throw our healthy eating habits out the window? When we’re busy, right? And when that cookie, cupcake, slice of pizza or burger sounds easy, cheap and well... easy (it bears repeating), it's hard to prioritize a more nourishing option.
When it comes to healthy eating, there’s one strategy that works time and again – planning ahead. If we take out this (sometimes) complicated decision-making process by taking the guesswork out of our meals, it leaves us with more energy, and the ability to enjoy our meals instead of stress over them.
It's a big reason why I resort to my super simple 5-step batch prep routine.
The amazing thing about batch prepping is that by setting aside 1-2 hours one day per week to prepare ingredients in large batches, you’re able to set yourself up for healthy meals all week long — even on busy days when you don’t have the time or energy to make something new.
BENEFITS OF BATCH PREP:
It saves you time from cooking throughout the week — be efficient by cooking 1-2 hours one day of the week instead of cooking each meal, every day.
It saves you energy from asking "what am I going to make for dinner?", "should I do take out?", "What do I want to eat?", etc.
It saves you money by being resourceful with ingredients.
It helps reduce dirty dishes throughout the week.
It helps you reduce food waste and promotes leftovers.
It introduces you to more variety through creative, versatile combinations.
5-STEP BATCH PREP:
My batch prep ingredients change weekly and based on the seasons, but there are 5 fundamental things I prep every week:
Start with a meal that you find yourself most pressed for time. For a lot of us, this is dinner or breakfast.
Fix up pantry ingredients
Make up big batches of quinoa, oatmeal, lentils, black beans, brown rice, etc. per package instructions to have on-hand to add to your meals. These ingredients make a nourishing, satisfying spread that are full of fiber and protein.
Chop your favorite veggies
Spirilize them into noodles, cut them into crisp sticks for snacking, toss them into a giant salad, or roast them to add to salads, soups, and entrées throughout the week.
Prepare your proteins
Prepare animal or plant-based proteins to have on-hand to add to meals throughout the week. Animal proteins might include roasted chicken, baked salmon, egg/tuna salad, slow cooker pulled pork, or baked haddock. Plant-based could include things like bean salad, baked tofu, sprouted grains or raw/soaked nuts.
Don't forget healthy fats
Healthy fats are important components of every meal, and they always tie together meals beautifully. Think sliced avocado, raw seeds and nuts, fresh olives, raw almond butter, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, etc.
HOW TO BATCH PREP:
I usually spend 1-2 hours in the kitchen every Sunday, which saves me several hours later in the week. The goal is not to have all meals set and done, but to have enough healthy ingredients prepped that you can assemble most of your meals quickly. And leave room for that unexpected dinner date, lunch with a girlfriend, or afternoon matcha latte break. After all, that’s where life's magic is, right?!
So crack open your favorite recipe book, crank some tunes, and have some fun with this!
What are your favorite make-ahead meals or ingredients? Share them with me in the comments below!
PS - if you’re looking for a boost of support and inspiration, check out the Fresh Start Program where you can get 5-weeks of recipes and tools that infuse wellness into your day-to-day life.