How to eat healthy when life gets busy

School is finally in session and running around doing errands with the kids will be your new way of life for a while.  Early mornings and late nights this season will eventually overwhelm the structure of a decent meal and we will struggle to show signs of sensible eating habits.  Here are some tips for you to stay on top of your health game when busy times take over:

Eat breakfast

Besides filling up on nutrients such as dairy, whole grains, and fruit that you would not normally eat at other meal times, breakfast offers brain food for students and a head-start on the pattern you set for yourself for the rest of the day.  There are many studies that show that by having breakfast will help you maintain a healthy weight because you are less likely to do binge-eating before lunch.  Fiber and protein are good satisfying breakfast food that will last a while and include whole grains like cereal, eggs, and fresh fruit.  On the go?  Pack fresh fruit and cook hard-boiled eggs the night before so you aren’t tempted to grab sugary snacks that make you raging hungry just a couple of hours later.

Snack healthy

Ban snacks in your house around that trigger you to eat the entire bag or box, like chips or sweets.  Pack light popcorn, pretzels, dried fruit, and trail mix in your purse or briefcase and your child’s bag.  Eating a light snack every couple of hours can be a great alternative to heavy meals that take away your energy instead of fueling it.

Plan ahead
If you know little Billy has karate or Susie has debate, plan your meals ahead of time.  Soup is not only nutritious but filling and quick as well.  You can hide in plenty of veggies and protein like beans and chicken.  Make a salad and toast some French bread and voila- healthy dinner made right before your eyes!  If you don’t have time to sit down, pack dinner wraps consisting of ingredients such as lean cold cuts, spinach leaves, and tomatoes to name a few.   Wrap them in whole-wheat pitas or tortillas and you have a healthy meal on the go.  Dress them up to your liking- a little mayo or light dressing goes a long way here.  Slow cooking is also great because it can bring life back to your leftovers plus it can make one meal into several.  Put meat potatoes, carrots, and onions in, add some broth and let the slow cooker do the cooking for you earlier in the day or on the weekends.

Drink water

This is important because dehydration can make your child tired; so if you have a busy night in front of you, stay replenished.  Water can also help prevent you from getting sick.  Choosing water over sugary drinks will save you calories and in the long run can be an advocate for weight management.  Water bottles are so easy to pack anywhere and can be frozen the night before to ensure a cold refreshment throughout some of the day.  Can’t stand the mundaneness?  Add some lemon or lime juice to add that little something to get you excited about water again.

Moderate exercise

Okay, so how is this even possible?  “Have you seen my schedule lately?” you ask.. Of course I’m not asking you to run three miles every day and squeeze in a thousand lunges, crunches, and push-ups while you’re at it but ever try parking just a little further away from the building you have to be in?  Or taking the stairs instead of the elevator?  These little tricks can help you stay in shape while you are maintaining your busy life. Pack tennis shoes in your trunk and walk the track while your son or daughter is at football or soccer practice or sneak in a quick walk during lunch at work. Taking these little moments for yourself will energize your spirits in hectic times, plus help you burn those extra calories you’ve been meaning to get around to.

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