I get it. You’re busy, you’re tired, you don’t have time for meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prepping. You think your only option is that fast food drive through or the quick convenience restaurants.
I completely disagree.
We are ALL busy, tired, and don’t have free time to do all that planning and preparation. You have no less hours in your days that anyone else. You have chosen how to prioritize your time and to what and whom you give your time and effort. I’m not trying to make you feel any certain way but I can already hear your reasons that it’s not your choice and there is nothing you can do to change it.
Perhaps that is true for some people. I’ve been a caretaker for a family member going through a multiple year crisis and I found myself not taking care of myself at first. After devoting all my energy to care-taking, I realized I needed to take care of me too and I found a way to fit it in. (Anyone else ever walked the parking garage stairs and levels at a hospital? Yep, me too).
The thing is – we pay for our choices one way or the other. We pay in dollars and health when we routinely eat most choices available for a quick lunch (and we save time and effort). We pay in time and effort spent every evening or in a block of time on the weekends to meal plan, shop, and cook dinner (and we save our health and dollars). You get to decide which is more important for you in this moment.
The good news is that YOU have the power to shift your schedule and priorities. Maybe not completely; but I challenge you to find ONE SMALL THING over which you have control and can make a change.
Trust me – you’ll feel better if you do. 🙂
So, to help you realize that you DO have some control to choose something simple – like a healthier lunch or snacks – I bring you my “I’m-starving-and-have-nothing-to-eat-for-lunch” list for the grocery store. These are grab-and-go meals and snacks that you can choose instead of a fast food meal. (Spoiler alert – that fast food salad likely has more calories and less nutrition than the bacon cheeseburger).
- Tuna (or salmon packet or packaged grilled chicken strips) mixed into prepared green salad (from produce section) with dressing of your choice
- 1 whole wheat roll with sliced meat and cheese (all from the deli so you get only what you need!) plus a mustard packet and box of high-fiber crackers
- Bonus – now you’ve got crackers to stash at your desk for snack-time!
- Sushi roll with edamame (if store has this option)
- Diced fruit and nuts on cottage cheese (major yum!)
- Going back to the office?
- Frozen dinner and steamer bag of vegetables (no sauces please)
- Can of low-sodium soup plus green salad (from produce section) with dressing
- Cheese stick with those crackers you stashed in your desk
- Chopped fruit from produce section with a handful of nuts
- Yogurt with Grape Nuts (really, don’t spend money on “granola” or “trail mix” as Grape Nuts give you the crunch without added sugar or ridiculous price!)
- Apple with peanut butter (single packs are now sold! Try the natural no-sugar-added kind)
Oh, and do yourself one more favor and just grab a simple, cold, refreshing bottle of water (or fill up your bottle!) on your way out of the store.
Tell me your other ideas and tricks for eating healthy when crunched for time?