Healthy eating time savers!

Whether you are caring for others as a profession, caring for ailing or aging loved ones, you’re a parent, or just a busy professional, it seems there are plenty of days where healthy eating seems to take too much time.

When you are on the go, it’s much easier to grab food from the nearest restaurant or even worse, the fast food joint.

Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store and picked up a ready made meal from the freezer section for those nights when you get home late and just want something to eat and you want it fast? Guilty!

Here is what keeps me eating healthier when it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day. Try them out and let me know your time savers.

First, I never leave home without emergency food. I bought a soft-sided cooler that I love to carry. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an avid cyclist and I found a small cooler with a cool bicycle on the side. It has been my experience that if you buy something you find fun, you will be more apt to use it.

I pack things that would hold me until I can get home, fresh fruit, nuts, peanut butter, and extra water. If I know I will be out for an extended time, I pack salad or sandwich, or maybe even leftovers. I make sure to keep it simple, have it accessible and get it ready the night before so that I can grab it and go.

Some of you are saying, “Well what if I don’t even have time for that?” I say, “How badly do you want to be healthy?” Make smarter choices, don’t wait until you are famished to decide what you will eat. Look at the menu for the healthiest option you can find. It is much easier for me to make the time to get my food ready the night before than it is to decide what food is healthy on a restaurant menu. You decide what works for you.

Another time saving tip for eating healthier, cook once, eat twice or maybe three times. I’m a big fan of leftovers. There are certain foods that taste better the second or third day.

Save time by cooking soups and meals that freeze well. When I make a pan of lasagna, I make a 9×13 size pan. After it has had enough time to set up, I cut it into individual serving sizes, wrap tightly, and freeze. I can have lasagna any time I have a craving for Italian.

If you like pizza but don’t have time to make your own dough, check with your favorite Italian pizzeria. Many of them will sell you the dough for your freezer. Thaw, add your own healthy toppings and you will never go back to frozen ready made pizza again.

The slow cooker is your best friend when you are short on time. Throw your ingredients in when you rise in the morning, have a wonderful dinner when you get home in the evening.

How about a pressure cooker? This is a great kitchen appliance for those of you who may forget about the slow cooker but want to eat something healthy in the evening when you are tired and short on time.

Salads, a great go to, can be made up to five days in advance and kept fresh if you pack them correctly.

My favorite breakfast short cut–steel cut oats that have been soaked overnight. Rinse before cooking. They take almost no time to prepare, add some fruit, chopped nuts, ground flax, and a tablespoon of your favorite natural sweetener(for me it’s maple syrup) and you will have a nutritious start to your morning. This meal is filling enough to keep you going until lunch without feeling like you need a snack.

These are just a few of the many ways you can eat healthy when you are busy, tired, and there seems to be no time. You will enjoy the side effects of eating more nutritious food, feeling better and having more energy.

What are your favorite healthy eating time savers? Share your questions and comments below.

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