Who isn’t in a time crunch these days? Between hectic work schedules (yes, plural, as in multiple jobs), fitting in exercise, keeping up with laundry and walking the dog, life can get a little crazy. Shout out to all the super moms out there, and to all the hard working students who go to their job after class, then it’s back home to study into the late hours of the night, or maybe you are a caregiver taking care of an ill family member. We’re not making excuses here. This is honestly real life for many of us. Even though we’re all trying to do the best that we can, unfortunately, busy schedules can shape what we eat and this can ultimately place a toll on our health. This is definitely true when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating.
Let’s talk about a solution.
No matter what you have going on in life, we all have those days where the thought of cooking is so overwhelming, you would rather just pick something up or have food delivered and call it a day. You are trying to eat healthy though, so instead of grabbing fast food or another kind of calorie loaded meal, you need something simple that can be ready in 10 minutes (and something that’s a little more exciting than a bowl of cereal). What could that possibly be you ask? Pesto pita pizzas are here to save the day! Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s quick to prepare and clean up, because let’s face it, who has time to wash a ton of dishes? One cutting board, one knife for slicing, one spoon for spreading, plates for eating and you’re done. Just like that! Lunch or dinner is served and you are back to business, fully fueled and proud of yourself for making a healthy choice.
Now let’s talk about ways that you can fit healthy eating into your busy schedule.
Now, I know that’s only one meal idea but it’s a step in the right direction. What are some other ways you can take stress out of the equation – your schedule is stressful enough, right? It’s time to get organized and plan ahead. Start out with menu planning. Grab a pencil and paper. If this is new to you, start out with only a few days at first. Plan Monday through Wednesday. As you get the hang of it, start adding more days to your menu. Plan for quicker recipes on your busiest days and recipes that take a little bit longer on days when you have more time. When you find recipes that you really enjoy and if they are easy to prepare, like the 10 Minute Pesto Pita Pizza (hint hint), start rotating them more frequently into your menu. It helps if you pick recipes that have a short list of ingredients and common items that can be used in several recipes throughout the week. Then start thinking about how often you need to go to the grocery store in order to stick to your menu. Is it once a week or once a month? Make your grocery list and have items ready at home. Set yourself up for success. You can have the best intentions of sticking to your menu plan for the week but if you don’t have items at home, you might feel like it’s a bump in the road and become discouraged. Check out our list of 10 Dietitian Approved Pantry Staples to get a jump start on your menu and grocery list. Make sure you also have plenty of Tupperware, snack size and sandwich sized bags at home. Leftovers might just be your best friend when life gets hectic. If you get bored with eating the same thing, think about re-purposing leftovers. Throw leftover veggies in a casserole or soup, extra grilled chicken becomes an easy protein for a quick salad and you can use extra fruit in a breakfast smoothie. As you make menu planning part of your lifestyle, remember to incorporate the different food groups for an overall balanced meal plan. Don’t worry, we have you covered with that too. Click here to navigate through balanced eating and food group basics.