الأربعاء، 12 أكتوبر، 2011

Squeezing Healthy Meal Plans into a Hectic Life

Just like a lot of you guys, I'm super busy. There are things I just don't have time to do. However, no matter how hectic my life gets, I always make time for healthy meal plans. Is it easy? Not always. But good health is something I value; so the extra time I put into planning and preparing wholesome meals is well worth it. No matter how rushed life gets, you too can find time for good nutrition.

Plan Your Menus Ahead of Time

Instead of playing mealtimes by ear, plan your menu a week in advance. Weekly menu planning only takes a few minutes, but it can make working healthy meals into your life a lot easier. You can create a simple menu template on your computer or you can take a blank sheet of paper, divide it into sections and write down your meals and snacks for the week.

Some of you might find it more convenient to use a dry erase board for menu planning. There's no right or wrong way to create a menu. It's all about what works best for you. The only stipulation is that the meals you plan must be nutritious (no processed foods allowed). Once you finish making your menu, stick it on the refrigerator or somewhere else that's visible.

Get Your Grocery Shopping Done in One Swoop

You're more likely to stick with a nutritious meal plan if you don't have to make a mad dash to the grocery store everyday. Use your preplanned menu to make a list of all the foods you need to prepare your meals. Designate one day a week for grocery shopping so you can get it over with.

Take your list with you to the store so you won't forget anything. No more running back and forth to the market because you forgot important ingredients. Using a list also helps you stay on track and reduces the temptation to fill your buggy with cookies, chips and other junk.

Prepare Extra Food and Keep Meals Simple

Prepare more food than you need for one meal so you can have leftovers for the next day. For instance, instead of preparing half of a chicken for dinner, go ahead and pop the whole thing into the oven. When you get ready to eat the leftovers, simply heat them up. Cooking enough for more than one meal reduces your time in the kitchen and makes mealtimes less taxing (take it from the queen of leftovers).

Gourmet meals are nice (and yummy), but they're overrated. Unless you're throwing a fancy dinner party, the meals you prepare don't have to bear any resemblance to a gourmet meal. If you enjoy cooking this way, it's perfectly fine. But if you're short on time, quick dishes like salads topped with boiled eggs or salmon work for any meal.

When you live life at record speed, sticking to a nutritious meal plan can be tough. However, if you want to lose weight and improve your health, squeezing time out of your busy day to plan and prepare wholesome meals is important. Give the tips above a try – they just might work for you.

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