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Do you feel like you just don’t have time to eat healthy? Let’s face it eating healthy isn’t always easy and it takes time. I think all of us at one point or another feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything. There’s the pressure of work, family, activities and so much more. But what if there were healthy eating hacks that you could use regularly to help you get things done more quickly?
I know when I’m busy the thing that always gets shoved to the side is grocery shopping and cooking. Then I find myself at the end of a tough day, without enough energy or time to cook. And usually the next thing I know, I end up grabbing something not so healthy at the restaurant down the street or ordering online.
My solution is to use these healthy food hacks to save time on food preparation. Allowing me to focus on more important responsibilities and stay on track with healthy eating.
There are lots of strategies you can use when time is tight, but you still want to prepare healthy meals. Here are my top healthy eating hacks to help you save time, stay on track and live a healthy life each and every day.
Healthy Eating Hack #1 – Buy frozen vegetables and fruits for the freezer.
I prefer to buy fresh produce when it’s possible because I just prefer the way fresh vegetables and fruits taste. But recently I found myself keeping frozen vegetables and fruits on-hand. This healthy eating hack is great. Now when you come home from a long day of work, there is some type of vegetable to cook up for dinner. Another advantage of frozen vegetables and fruits is that they make great smoothie mix-ins for a quick breakfast on the go. And the most important fact — they will last longer than fresh!!
It’s also important to note that from a health standpoint, frozen vegetables are just as good for you as fresh. Just be sure you are buying the vegetables that don’t have added sauces. These products often transform vegetables into an unhealthy calorie bomb. And also they are simply more processed.
For me, it’s better to come home to some vegetables in the freezer as opposed to an empty refrigerator or rotting vegetables.
Healthy Eating Hack #2 – Use social media to find quick and easy recipes.
The possibilities are endless. If you find that meal time is boring just spend a few minutes on Pinterest or Instagram and find your next new, quick and easy meal. These sites contain lots of photos so you can easily scan your search results to find meals that look good.
Another idea is to find some recipe and food pages on Facebook that are posting recipes that appeal to you. Once you follow the page, their posts will appear in your news feed. When they post new content you will have access to their recipes and ideas. Also, nowadays its a great way to add creativity to your food, so not only is it a timesaver but it may also keep you from getting bored with healthy food.
Healthy Eating Hack #3 – Create a prep day to set yourself up for the week.
Some foods work better than others to prepare ahead of time. But cooking beans and grains such as bulgur, quinoa or farro work great. After stocking the refrigerator with these cooked items, you can use them throughout the week as the base of a grain bowl or salad. Add a quick sauce or dressing and some chopped up veggies and dinner is ready to go in about 20 minutes.
You may even be able to cut up fruit and vegetables on a free day. Then you will have foods to grab at a moment’s notice.
Healthy Eating Hack #4 – Use an online grocery service.
I understand that for many of you this may be an added expense that you can’t justify. For me, living in New York City I actually found it to be less expensive. Of course, I had to pay a delivery fee, but the cost of the groceries was definitely less than what I would pay at my neighborhood grocery store. Plus, if you are ordering in or eating out several times a week, then that is definitely more costly than using an online grocery service.
I found it to be super easy. You are able to select the time window convenient for you to receive the delivery. Then, all you have to do be at home for the delivery. Something to think about if you are having difficulty even making time to do your daily or weekly grocery shopping. There are plenty of online grocery services out there, but my personal favorite is Amazon Fresh.
Healthy Eating Hack #5 – Prepare a hearty stew or soup on a weekend day.
Soups are great because they are an easy reheat or great take-to-work lunch option. Plus, they freeze really well for use in the future. Look for soups that are quick and easy to prepare or consider using one of my favorite pieces of cooking equipment – the slow cooker. You just throw all the ingredients in and let it cook throughout the day. Once it’s ready you can divide it up and freeze it to pull out on days when time is short.
Healthy Eating Hack #6 – Find easy on the go breakfast foods.
Breakfast has always been a tough one for me to make time to prepare. I am that person that will stay in bed until the absolute last minute to get out the door on time. Sometimes that means skipping the preparation of a healthy breakfast. Then a few hours later, I find myself at work surrounded by carbohydrate bombs like a blueberry muffin or other pastry and I grab that because I have no other options.
A couple of my go-to breakfasts that I can prep or prepare the night before include smoothies and quick oatmeal jars. For the smoothies, the ingredients can be assembled the night before and then in the morning just add your liquid and blend. Sometimes I will also even blend all my ingredients for my base together and freeze them in individual portions. Then just pull them out in the morning, add the liquid and protein.
Overnight oats became quite the thing a while back. I found that using quick oats, I can even throw it together in the morning and then an hour later it was ready to eat. If eggs are more your thing, there are lots of ways to prepare eggs ahead of time and take them on the go. One of my all-time favorites are these Egg, Quinoa and Broccoli Bites. They don’t take a crazy amount of time to prepare and they are easy to pack up and take on the go. To me they are tasty cold or hot.
Healthy Eating Hack #7 – Set some time aside to plan.
I know, we are supposed to be saving time, and now I’m saying you need to set aside some time. But if you are really serious about eating healthy then it does take some time to plan and be prepared. Surely you can find 10- 15 minutes here and there to plan. And of course if it is really important to you then you will make the time. At first it may take you a bit longer to plan, but eventually you figure it out. Once you know where to look and how to find ideas, you can quickly plan your week.
Of course, you have to figure out which timesaving methods and strategies work best for you. I hope you if you have one that I haven’t thought of you will share it with me.
Healthy Eating Hack #8 – Consider using Easy Cookin’, a meal planning service to save time.
The best time saving advice is to let someone else do all the work. Get recipes, a grocery list and meal prep tips sent to you weekly when you purchase this online, digital meal planning product. The meal prep tips help you get ahead each week. This way, you don’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen during the work week.
Not only is this product a great healthy eating hack, but it also will introduce you to more plant-based eating. You can purchase for as low as $7.50 per week for five healthy, plant-based meals.
Let’s not let time be our excuse for not be our best healthy self.