Busy women need to make eating healthy a priority, so I've compiled a list of healthy eating tips for busy women, like you! But why is healthy eating so important? Eating healthy is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family. By eating healthy you will boost your immune system, maintain energy levels, and feel great! But how can you cook healthy without spending endless hours in the kitchen? Believe me, if I can can do it, as busy as I am (I'm a small business owner and mother of 3), you can do it, too! Here are some helpful healthy eating tips, showing you how busy women can enjoy healthier meals without spending all their spare time in the kitchen.
1 Start the Day the Right Way with Steel Cut Oats
Start the day with a balanced breakfast. Oatmeal is a heart-healthy breakfast that stabilizes your glucose level and helps you to feel full longer. Add a spoonful of pumpkin or peanut butter for some added protein. This is one of the best healthy options for breakfast and easy for busy women to make, landing it at the top of my list of healthy eating tips.
2 Use Whole Foods as Ingredients
One of best ways to eat healthy is to cook whole foods. Buy local foods when available to support local crop growers. These foods have a greater nutritional value and they taste great. Nothing feels better than eating a fresh healthy meal. And there is a mega pay off when you start to see your abdominal muscles as a result of your healthy eating!
3 Try Some Healthy Crock-pot Recipes
Crock pot recipes are wonderful because they taste great without spending all day in the kitchen. Stock up on recipes that include fresh vegetables and fresh spices to better your health and your waistline. And look like a domestic diva when you serve your healthy meal that will look like you spent all day making in the kitchen!
4 Pack a Brown Bag Lunch
When on the go, or at work, do not purchase lunch out. Bring a brown bag lunch. Some options are Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, apples with peanut butter, veggie or turkey burgers, mixed green salads, carrots with hummus, and hard-boiled eggs. To jazz up your brown bag lunch pack a healthy smoothie to complete your meal!
5 Make a Few Meals in Advance
Because of my busy schedule, I find making a few meals on Sunday for the week to be more convenient and this takes stress off my week. You can make your grilled chicken that can easily be sliced and tossed on a salad or on the side of your veggies for dinner. So prepare in advance so you will eat healthier throughout the week. And ladies, this will take a load of stress off your busy week!
6 Navigate the outside of the Grocery Store
The perimeters of the store are where food tends to be the healthiest. I try to steer clear of the inside of the store because this is the trouble zone. Many times you may wind up with cookies in your cart because you stepped into the trouble zone. So steer clear of this area and focus on vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. You will be glad you made these shopping choices when as a result you will not have to do squats to loosen up your skinny jeans!
7 Make Eating Healthy Fun
Let’s face it: eating healthy is as fun as we make it. If we eat plain salad consisting of spinach and tomatoes it will be boring, but if we add some almond slivers, peppers and a light dressing it is delicious! Make eating healthy fun so you will achieve your weight loss and lifestyle goals you deserve without depriving yourself!
8 Include Fruits or Vegetables at Every Meal
You know you're supposed to be eating at least nine servings of produce each day, but that's sometimes easier said than done. By adding at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal, you can achieve this goal. Try having a fruit for breakfast, a fruit and a vegetable at lunch and a couple of veggies at dinner. Add fruits and vegetables to crackers or cheese at snack time and you'll find yourself meeting the quota in no time.
9 Eat Carbs
They aren't the devil food many would have you believe. In fact, carbs are your body's main source of energy so forgoing them altogether is a recipe for disaster. The trick is to choose healthy carbs like those found in brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, whole wheat bread and whole grain cereal. Skip the refined carbs such as those in baked goods and white pasta.
10 Skip Soda
Sure, it tastes great and it's all bubbly and sweet. But little do you know that there's nearly an entire day's worth of sugar hiding in one can. Hit the fountain at the gas station and you could be doing your health some real harm. Sugar contains calories so gulping tons of soda every day can lead to weight gain. Additionally, too much of the sweet stuff is linked to the development of insulin resistance, which can result in diabetes. Choose unsweetened tea or water instead.
11 Plan a Menu
Nothing makes me reach for fast food more often than not having a dinner plan. At the beginning of each week, sit down and plan out what you'll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day. Then make a grocery list that includes everything you need to prepare the food on your menu. Having all the ingredients on hand as well as a mapped out plan can do wonders for making good eating decisions.
12 Never Skip Meals
Have you ever been so ravenous that you just hoover up anything in sight? We've all been there. One of the most common reasons why this happens is because busy women tend to skip meals in order to get it all done. The only thing this does is make you so hungry that you're less likely to make healthy choices. Aim to eat every three to four hours to keep your metabolism stoked and hunger regulated so you're equipped to choose healthy meals.
13 Get Enough Protein
No, a protein deficiency isn't something you need to worry about. However, many women don't get the recommended amount each day. Protein is responsible for so many of your body's functions that it really pays to be sure you get enough. Protein promotes healthy muscles, keeps your skin, hair and nails strong and plays a role in hormone production, just to name a few. Choose lean protein sources, such as sirloin, chicken breasts, fish, nuts, eggs or low-fat dairy foods and make sure to include protein at every meal.
If you utilize the healthy eating tips I provided you can transform your body and better your health. Follow my healthy plan so you can rock your bikini slim and in style! How will you change your life now that you have read these tips?
This article written in collaboration with editor Eliza Martinez