You don't have time to eat.
You don't have time to prep.
Get rid of the excuses not to eat healthy.
Get your mouth out of the garbage can and Pomodoro that task!
I work with very busy clients. They have full schedules, more than one mouth to feed and need to eat in a way that energizes them, keeps their blood sugar stable, and doesn't resemble something that comes in a box with a toy.
Here are the excuses I have heard:
I want to sleep in.
I don't know how to cook.
I just eat what my husband fixes me.
I hate grocery shopping.
I don't know what's healthy. Too much conflicting information?!?!?!?
We found solutions to all of them. Keep in mind that these were specific to the individual and isn't a catchall solution for everyone.
- I want to sleep in. Breakfast is a must. What you eat for breakfast can affect your decision-making later in the day. I have had a few clients who liked breakfast, they just never found the time to eat it. Two clients were willing to make healthy smoothies. I encourage a lot of superfoods – hemp hearts, chia seeds, cacao powder, high-quality protein powder, berries, almond, coconut or cashew milk, spinach, kale, avocado and nuts or nut butters. This is WAY too much stuff to get out every morning. Instead, I convinced them to do what I do, which is put all the dry ingredients for each smoothie into separate baggies on Sunday. One client even does it assembly line style with her two teenage boys. I make about 10-15 bags at a time. I put a couple of tablespoons of Bob's Red Mill Muesli in mine too because I eat mine in a bowl with yogurt or kefir. Then, all you have to do is dump the baggie in the blender, throw in your liquids and fruits and you've cut a lot of time. A smoothie can be made the night before too. Trigger yourself to make it right after dinner, before you plop down on the couch. We both know you won't end up doing it later. Other options to prep on Sundays? Make 7-10 hard-boiled eggs (eggs DO NOT cause high cholesterol. There was never one single study that proved it. We were all duped.), breakfast burritos (rice tortilla, quinoa, eggs, greens, beans) wrapped in foil and stored in the freezer. Place in the fridge the night before to thaw and give it a quick heat in the morning or eat it cold.
- I don't know how to cook. My first recommendation is the Stone Soup Cookbook. Five ingredient, healthy meals that are a great place to start and generally take less than 10 minutes.
- I just eat what my husband fixes me. I get it. Your spouse doesn't like vegetables. That doesn't mean that you can't prep some veggies on Sunday and throw on top of whatever is served. My husband makes grits a few mornings a week. I throw sauteed onions, spinach or whatever else I have made on Sunday on top. Voila. Vegetables added and he didn't have to do anything.
- I hate grocery shopping. Gynecologist or grocery is pretty much a toss-up for me in the fun category. However, I make 90% of my meals and most of them are from scratch. How do I handle my anti-love for the supermarket?
- Amazon Subscribe and Save – I've turned several clients on to this beauty. I get all of my paper goods and a LOT of my dry goods here. I save at least 15% off the already low Amazon price, it comes to my door on a schedule I choose and I can easily change it if needed. My next order consists of cayenne pepper, single-serve bags of almonds for Hangry snacks, Wild sockeye canned salmon, miracle shirataki noodles, Julia's organic grits, Kleenex, hemp hearts, toilet paper, Jyoti canned dal, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, tahini, sardines, pre-cooked individual servings of quinoa (great for mobile work and lunch-packing), coffee and supplements. Whew! It also saves me from buying unnecessary stuff that I always found ended up in my cart. I love it so much, I'm shocked when people don't use it once they find out about it!
- Community Supported Agriculture – I use Papa Spuds, local to Raleigh-Durham. I consider them one of the best because I have full control over what comes in my box, delivered to my door every Wednesday. I can choose from a variety of fruits and veggies but can also get chicken, beef, fish, pork, eggs, cheese, milk, mushrooms, coffee, chocolate, honey, and condiments. There are even pasta, breads and pizza crust options.
- What's left? Frozen and refrigerated foods like yogurt, kefir, and my beloved rice flour tortilla shells. I use Earth Fare for that and meet people there in the eating area for 1:1s. This is a combo move that is productive because I'm already there and can just grab and go.
- I have three clients I talked into using either a full grocery delivery service or a grocery pick-up. Many grocers have this now. Place your order on line and pick it up or have it delivered during designated times. The price is minimal compared to how much time you spend in the grocery.
- I don't know what's healthy. Too much conflicting information?!?!?!? I hear you. There is conflicting information. Why? Sometimes it's because it's just bad information to begin with (like the eggs debacle), other times it's that new research has come out, the research is biased to begin with or that all of the information is correct. What's one person's potion is another person's poison. You can't listen to a soundbite and say that whatever it is must be good for you. Coffee is good for some disease prevention but not others. It also depends on a specific gene you have and how you metabolize coffee. My Hashimoto's diet may not work for you. What is ONE thing that will always be in agreement? Less or no sugar and vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables.
Set aside time 1-2 days a week. I choose Sundays and Wednesdays for myself. Turn on a timer and do as much food prepping, cooking, steaming and baking as you can. In a couple of timed events I can get a lot of my food made for the week.
Cook once. Eat 2-3-4 times.
Are you willing to try any of these methods to improve your nutrition?