Do you struggle to keep to a healthy eating plan when things get busy? This is one of the biggest obstacles that many of my Nutritional and Functional Medicine clients face. Here are some helpful tips to simplify healthy eating, so you can have amazing long-term success with your nutrition and performance goals – and most importantly, with your health and wellness.
The Weekend Ritual
- If you have the weekends off, put aside some time to write out a weekly menu. Then shop for the week, so you always know that you’ll have enough fresh food in the fridge.
- Making some prep-meals for the week are also a great way to prepare-ahead. Simple and tasty meals like frittatas, stir-frys, curries or slow-cooked casseroles store well in the fridge or freezer.
The Breakfast Ritual
- Preparing a week in advance too overwhelming for you? You could instead use your time at breakfast to cook up meals for the day. For example, you could scramble 6-12 eggs to have as your protein and fat components of meals. And then add in a variety of vegetables and other carbohydrates at each meal – such as fried tomato and asparagus at breakfast, baby spinach and other salad ingredients at lunch, and then steam up some sweet potato and broccoli at night for dinner. All these meals will take less than 10min to prepare!
- Along the same lines above, you could pre-cook your protein for the week using a BBQ, large grill or oven. Or even just pre-cook a single-source of protein in the morning, that you eat throughout the day.
- Pre-cooked protein can be easily stored in the fridge or freezer.
- Pre-chop vegetables for the next 3-4 days and store in the fridge or freezer for a quick addition to meals.
- You could also consider buying fresh or frozen pre-chopped fruit & vegetables to make things easier.
- If you just don’t have time to prep, pay someone to make your meals for you! Places like Nourish Me Cafe in Devonport have prep-meals stored in their fridge for take-away, or upon request, they can make up a bunch of prep-meals for you to collect at the beginning of the week. My hubby who is Tasmania’s Strongest Man (meaning he eats A LOT!) regularly purchased prep-meals off Nourish Me Cafe, and they have certainly helped to keep him eating healthier.
- Don’t have food prepared or with you? Having a shake is a quick and easy solution.
- You could have a simple protein shake with coconut water, carob powder and a dash of olive oil for your macronutrient needs.
- To make more hearty shakes with fruit and vegetables, you could keep a blender at home and work.
- Or you could pre-blend shakes at home and store in the fridge at work. Using a re-used sauce or jam jar with a screw-top lid is a safe and mess-free way of transporting pre-blended smoothies.
- Pre-chop/grind all dry ingredients and store in the fridge (i.e. mixed nuts, flaxseed, oats) – put all dry ingredients in a shaker with wet ingredients (i.e. water, coconut water, almond milk) when it’s time for a snack/meal.
- Eating out can be a challenge. I’ve actually been doing a very strict elimination diet these past two months, and I have had to eat out at a few cafes and restaurants during that time. I was super anxious that I wouldn’t find anything to meet my strict dietary needs. However, I’ve found that there is always a simple meat and vegetable option, and most places are happy to cook the meat in a healthful fat (when you ask). You can always substitute a suspicious dressing with olive oil. And don’t be afraid to ask for a custom-made meal by asking for different parts of meals on the menu that suit your nutritional needs.
- Choose custom meals – i.e. simple meat & veg options, with healthy fats. If dressing/sauces contain trans/hydrogenated fats, ask for olive oil.
- Choose compliant restaurants. Some local Devonport options include: Nourish Me Cafe, The Green Room, Alchemy Cafe, even McDonalds offers real meat and salads!
- Travelling out of town for work regularly, can also throw your clean-eats goals out the window. But with prior-thought and preparation, it is possible to eat healthy while travelling.
- Always try to choose the best location where healthy cafes and supermarkets are in close proximity.
- Choose a room with a kitchenette so you can do your own cooking.
- Ship some items beforehand, if you’re staying somewhere that isn’t close to shops, or if you won’t have time to go shopping.
- Carry a big cooler everywhere you go with your meal-preps and fresh foods.
- Obtain restaurant menus in advance – many can be found online. This will save getting to a place that has nothing healthy to offer.
- Bring protein supplements such as protein powders, or even beef jerky.
- Bring powdered vegetables to make up for micronutrients, if you know you won’t be eating enough vegetables.
- Bring healthy homemade bars.
- Eat straight from the supermarket – i.e. grab a BBQ chicken, baby spinach, baby tomatoes, bocconcini and olive oil. Me and my hubby and kids have done this quite a few times when we go travelling!
I hope some of these tips can help you stay on track with your healthy eating plan. Eating healthy isn’t just about weight-loss or looking good. It is about nourishing our bodies cell-deep so that you can perform optimally. Each bite of food that you take writes the story of your wellness. Make each bite count!
Functional Medicine Practitioner