Eating healthy can fit into your busy lifestyle and be easy at the same time. The following strategies with help you create meals in minutes while eating well and boosting energy.
• Stock up on healthy staples at home every week. Items such as whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, canned beans, deli meat, yogurt and low-sodium soup will make meal preparation a snap.
• Make use of downtime during dinner to prepare a quick lunch for the next day. If possible, make extra veggies or chicken to use for sandwiches and salads.
• Stash healthy items at work for a quick meal or snack such as instant oatmeal, baby carrots, yogurt, low-fat frozen burritos, meal replacement bars, string cheese, low-fat popcorn and fruit canned in its own juice.
• Always add “color” to your meal by including a fruit or vegetable.
• Always on the go? Grab meal replacement bar such as Kashi Go Lean or Clif and a piece of fruit to throw in your purse or briefcase.
• Cafeteria or restaurant bound? Look up menus ahead of time and nutrition information if possible. Making an informed decision will help you stick to your healthy eating plan. Healthy menu items include a turkey sandwich (no mayo), bean burrito, green salad with grilled fish, vegetarian burger, broth based soup and salad or grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo or special sauce). Swap fries for fruit or salad to save extra calories and order water or unsweetened iced-tea to drink.
• Instead of hitting the drive-through, utilize your local grocery store’s salad bar.
• Sit-down and eat – away from your desk! Multi-tasking often leads to ignoring your hunger and fullness signals making it easier to overeat.
• Stash healthy frozen meals along with pre-cut vegetables for an easy no-fuss meal. Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice offer a variety of options.
• Make a realistic goal for packing lunches during the week and reward yourself with a non-food gift for meeting your goal. Ask for support from friends and co-workers.
• Start off the day with a balanced breakfast. Extreme hunger at lunch can ruin even the best of intentions!
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Fast Meal Ideas
• Instant oatmeal with milk or soy milk and fruit
• Whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and banana
• Low-fat cottage cheese fruit and a handful of walnuts
• Yogurt with high-fiber cereal and berries mixed in
• Whole wheat tortilla spread with low-fat cream cheese and topped with turkey, spinach, tomatoes and light cheese.
• Whole wheat pita with hummus, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and shredded carrots.
• Pre-cut salad mix topped with cherry tomatoes, carrots, green onions and canned tuna. Toss with low-fat salad dressing and serve with whole wheat crackers.
• Vegetarian chili with green salad on the side.
• Apple and low-fat string cheese.
• Air popped popcorn with baby carrots.
• Low-fat bean dip with red bell peppers, carrots and celery.
• Snack-sized bag filled with almonds, whole grain "O's" cereal and dried fruit.