Does being busy get in the way of eating well?
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A little effort goes a long way to improve your nutrition

eating well for busy people

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:

Snack attacks – managing cravings for sweet and savory foods

What to eat when you get home from work or school

Car snack stash box

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?

Contact us for help! 

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.

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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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