A little effort goes a long way to improve your nutrition
Does being busy get in the way of your nutrition?
Do you find it hard to find time to eat?
Are other things always jump ahead in priority of your meals?
Is finding time to cook at home a challenge?
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard. Really, it doesn’t. It does require a little effort though.
As much as I’d love to tell you that you can eat a healthy, balanced diet without putting a little work in, I can’t. Unless that is, you can hire a personal chef but for most of us that option is out of the picture.
Time and time again, I see clients that are “too busy” to stop and eat or clients that prioritize work over nourishing themselves. These clients are trying to maximize their (work) output without prioritizing their input (or nutrition).
In a world that often promises “quick fixes” for our health and nutrition concerns, I can’t promise the same. The reality is that you need to put some thought into your eating. You need to take some time for planning, shopping, and cooking. And I’m not talking a lot of time here, but some time.
You need to prioritize meal breaks, so you don’t run on empty and so that you don’t arrive at the end of the day famished. A famished brain doesn’t make great food choices. A famished body is tired.
Here are some key things to consider to help you get going to fuel your body well (without investing a huge amount of time):
1. Include 3 things in your breakfast, lunch and supper.
Grains/starches such as bread, pasta, potato, rice, quinoa or other grains. These offer the fibre, B-vitamins and carbohydrate your brain and muscles need for energy.
Veggies/fruit such as raw veggies, cooked or grilled veggies, vegetable soup, salad, fresh fruit, frozen berries, canned unsweetened fruit, and dried fruit. This category offers fibre and health-promoting vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
A source of protein such as meat, poultry, seafood, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, black beans, refried beans and more), cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Protein and iron are key for maintaining good energy levels. As well, protein helps you to feel full after the meal, keeping you from getting hungry quickly.
2. Eat every 3-5 hours
If your next meal will be longer than 3-5 hours, grab a snack to keep your energy levels high and avoid getting too hungry and overeating or making poor choices. If you need some ideas to get started on healthy snacks check out these previous articles on our blog:
51 Healthy snack attacks: Sign up for our weekly SoundBites newsletter and receive a bonus copy of our 51 Healthy Snack Attacks Resource
3. Learn how to meal plan the easy way
Maybe you have been thinking about meal planning but are a little intimidated about the whole process. Perhaps, you just don’t know where to start and the thought of meal planning just seems overwhelming. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to feel this way but meal planning doesn’t need to be hard and it doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor.
I previously wrote this article for some helpful hints: 4 Things Every Meal Planning Newbie Should Know.
Need more support?
As Registered Dietitians that specialize in meal planning, weight concerns, emotional eating, eating disorders, digestive health, heart health, diabetes, pediatric nutrition and sports nutrition we can see you in our local Calgary nutritionist office or as an Online Dietitian by phone or video conferencing for virtual nutrition counseling. Find out more about our Dietitian Nutrition Counseling Programs here.
As university-trained Registered Dietitians, you can count on us for credible advice and practical meal planning so you don’t have to stress about food anymore. You can achieve a healthy and joyous relationship with food and your body. Let’s talk about what this can look like for you. CONTACT US.