In today’s hectic and busy reality it is not always easy to keep healthy nutrition habits – often we end up eating late at night, or giving into all the unhealthy snacks in the office just because we haven’t had lunch and we are starving. The list is very long and we have all been there at one or another point. The truth is that the busier and stressed out we are, the more important it is that we fuel our body with healthy and nourishing food. Today, I want to share my favorite tricks of keeping my healthy nutrition habits even in the most stressful times.
Keeping the big picture in mind
Obviously when you are on the go all the time, it is never easy to incorporate healthy nutrition into your daily life. But I truly believe that it is in our own hands to decide with what we nourish our body. For me what really works is always keeping the big picture in mind. For example, when I am meeting a client for lunch and I feel like eating pasta with some type of creamy sauce, I will ask myself – „Do I only feel like eating this, or am I really craving it?“. Most of the time the answer is – I only feel like it. I know how I will feel if I end up eating the pasta – tired, heavy, bloated. So if I haven’t been craving a meal for a few days, then I simply opt for a healthier choice, such as salad, steamed veggies, veggies soup, etc. No matter where you eat, there is always a healthy option.
When eating out, don’t be shy to ask for an option that you don’t necessarily see on the menu – for example, you can ask for some grilled veggies, or you can ask to have your asparagus without the butter sauce. Also always go for a green and lean option.
Take a few moments on Sunday to plan your week ahead. See when you have lunch appointments, or when you are travelling. For the other days, make a meal plan and schedule an evening where you can meal prep. There are so many healthy, easy and yummy recipes out there that you can bring along to the office. This can also be great opportunity, to get out of the office and enjoy your home prepared lunch in the nearby park on the days that you don’t have any lunch appointments. In the beginning it might seem like a lot of planning and work, but luckily this takes a very quick getting used to.
Home prepared breakfast
I know that a lot of people try to avoid this, but I personally think that it is a great way of making sure that you fuel your body with healthy food – bring your home made breakfast with you to the office. If you don’t have time in the morning to eat breakfast at home, just prepare yourself a jar of overnight oats the evening before (for some recipe ideas, click here) that you can take to the office and enjoy mid morning. This way you won’t be starving by the time it is lunch time, and you would have enjoyed a healthy breakfast.
I know it sounds convenient and like an easy solution, but whatever you do, please stay away from the „ready meals“ at your grocery store, that all you have to do is heat up. Also stay away from the pre-prepared salad dressing. They are simply full of flavor enhancer and added sugar.
Always pack a healthy snack with you. I always take fruits, cut veggies, nuts, dry fruits (no added sugar) and water along. I don’t want to be caught in a situation where I am starving and opting for the first option that comes my way……which usually is not healthy:) You should never skip a meal, and having a snack with you let’s you still have some healthy nutrition even in the busiest of times.
Homemade smoothie is another great option for the mid morning or afternoon cravings. You can prepare it fresh every morning (or the evening before), and simply bring it along. I personally will advice staying away from the ready / in store smoothies as a lot of times they have added sugar….so whenever possible prepare it at home with local and seasonal produce.
Avoid added (table) sugar
Added sugar meanwhile is found in a lot of processed foods, and even if you look at the nutrition label you might not recognize that there is sugar in the product right away. The reason for this is because manufacturers use over 50 different names to hide sugar (you can read more on this here ). Knowing this information will allow you to make a healthier decision next time you are stuck at the airport with only one newspaper kiosk working.
It might seem insignificant, but this is actually a big one – always opt for still water, and not soda. Soda is packed with added sugar – just to give you an example, one can of coke contains about 35 grams of sugar. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended sugar intake for adults is max 25 grams a day. Ordering still water is always the best option.
Make sure you start your day with a glass of water (ideally with some fresh ginger and lemon juice), and make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. A lot of times we don’t realize that although we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty…..so before going for a snack, drink a glass of water first
The most important part to remember when it comes to the food choices you are making, is that the busier you are, the more important it is to focus on healthy options and to nourish your body with real food! Focus on food that helps you feel your best, and gives you the needed energy. Give some of the above listed options a try, to feel your best even on the busiest of days.