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Always on the Go: How to Eat Healthy Even When You're Super Busy

Always on the Go: How to Eat Healthy Even When You're Super Busy

You know the kinds of days where you're so busy that you look down at your watch, see it's 3 p.m. and realize you never ate lunch? Life can get crazy without warning. Whether it’s work obligations, family commitments or a combination of that and more, you don’t have to sacrifice healthy eating just because you’re busy. And that’s not to say that it’s easy to balance a wild day while making time for a nutritious meal. But even on your busiest days, there are simple tips and tricks that can help you to eat healthy and not fall victim to fast food.

In fact, eating a healthy meal on a busy day can fuel you up with more energy, boost your mood and keep you thriving until it's time to head home and get to sleep. So even on your busiest days, here’s how to eat healthy without skipping a beat.

  1. Don’t forget about breakfast.

Eating a healthy and filling breakfast will set you up for success. Studies have shown that eating breakfast can assist with attention capacity, vigilance and focus, reaction time, memory and recognition.

Eggs, oatmeal, nut butters, avocado toast with whole wheat or whole grain bread and protein shakes (make sure you have a blender) are all filling options. Look to avoid breakfast foods like bagels, pancakes and carb-packed cereals, which will leave you feeling hungry just a few hours after consumption. Fruit is a great breakfast option, but to keep you feeling full for longer, pair it with a protein bar or fiber-filled granola bar.

To make breakfast easier on a busy day, you can prepare meals in advance that you can eat on-the-go. Fruit- and nut-filled muffins, baked egg and vegetable cups (also made in a muffin pan) and protein-filled breakfast burritos are all options that you can make in bulk on a Sunday and eat all week long. Small kitchen appliances will come in handy to assist in speeding along your prep work. Find some breakfast recipes you enjoy–do your research on a day when you’re not as busy–and keep them on hand for when you’re ready to whip up a few days’ worth of breakfast in advance.

  1. Keep healthy snacks on hand.

When it’s getting late in the day and you hear your stomach growling, one of the worst things you can do is panic and run out to grab a quick and unhealthy meal. Though, there’s nothing wrong with a splurge meal every now and then. But when you want to eat healthy, yet feel you just don’t have the time, there’s a solution. Keep healthy snacks accessible in your home, office and even in your backpack so that when your stomach is growling, you have an easy-to-eat and healthy snack ready for you. Nuts, dried fruits, protein bars, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and low-sodium jerky are just a few healthy options that you can easily store and take on the go. Remember, though, that with easy snacks comes the possibility of overeating. Be sure to portion out your snacks so that you’re not just mindlessly gobbling them down whenever you feel a hunger pain coming on. Consider using a small canister to create single-serving portions of your favorite snacks. You’ll thank yourself later for not overeating.

Take your meeting on the go.
  1. Take your meeting on the go.

When your day is jam-packed with meetings, ask a colleague if they’d like to go for a walk instead of sitting in a conference room. Chances are, if the weather is nice enough, your co-worker will want to get outside and have your meeting while strolling around the great outdoors. While you’re out there, make a pit stop for a quick and healthy lunch! Your favorite salad chain is calling your name! While a walking meeting likely isn’t something you’ll be able to do on a regular basis, a busy day is a great opportunity to take your meeting on the go.

  1. Block off 30 minutes for lunch on your calendar.

If you didn’t bring lunch or a snack with you to work, block off 30 minutes of time on your calendar to ensure you have enough time to run out, grab a nutritious lunch and get back to your desk. Even on the busiest of days, it’s more than acceptable to take time for yourself to grab something to eat. Additionally, taking a break for lunch can actually help your productivity in the afternoon. A 2018 study from Essity Professional Hygiene found employees who took a daily lunch break were more likely to say, “I am as effective and efficient as I would like to be” and “I am satisfied with my current job” than those who don’t. Additionally, they were more likely to say, “I feel valued as an employee” and “I have a strong desire to be an active member in my company,” as explained by CNBC.

Taking a lunch break can actually help your productivity–we all need some time to recharge–and it can give you a boost in creativity, too. So even if you’re swamped, don’t be afraid to take a break for lunch. You’ll feel satisfied and re-energized afterward.

Keep your water bottle filled.
  1. Keep your water bottle filled.

Whether you’re busy at the office or busy on the go, always keep a water bottle on hand. It’s easy to find time to sip on water, and your body demands a sizable amount of liquids each day. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends men drink 15.5 cups of fluids per day while women are advised to consume 11.5 cups of fluids per day. In addition to hydrating you, water serves as an appetite suppressant and it can make you feel fuller. If you're on the go and having to put off lunch, a few sips of water can go a long way.

Even when you’re feeling the urge to get in your car and visit the drive-through window at your favorite fast-food restaurant, there are ways to eat healthily and navigate through a busy day at the same time. Keep these tips in mind the next time you feel a particularly busy day (or week) is in your future.

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This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by David Martin.

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