How can I eat healthy when I'm crazy busy?
You are stuck in a meeting but your bladder beckons you to the bathroom. You hardly have time for basic physiological needs. After all, you are superhuman, and your superpower is to handle a shipload of stuff in a day, without even stopping to breathe. Who needs oxygen? And what about food? Come on. If you can manage without air and water, certainly food is something you can take care of later. Maybe when you are done for the day, or when you can be a simple mortal for a couple of hours.
I have been guilty of subsisting on caffeine and sugar on some days. That is, until I got home ready to devour a horse, a farm and a vineyard (in their highly refined, fermented form perhaps..)
And what about all of that well-intended, albeit slightly misguided advice you’ve heard about eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day? That’s just not sustainable in the long run. While we do want to aim for three square meals per day, you don’t have to be constantly grazing. The truth is, we actually want to give our digestive system a break occasionally.
How to eat healthy tips for the busy bee
Good sleep helps you eat healthy
The first and most important tip is not about food, but sleep. Why? Lack of sleep disrupts the balance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which are directly responsible for controlling your appetite. So if you don’t get enough shuteye, you will be “hangrier” and more vulnerable to food temptations throughout the day. Plus, even one night of bad sleep can make you as insulin-resistant as a Type 2 diabetic. Main takeaway? Sleep is even more important than a healthy diet.
Rise and shine with a good breakfast
I understand you might not actually feel really hungry first thing in the morning. In fact, you might just have a cup of coffee and a cracker and be done with it. But a balanced, satisfying breakfast will rev up your metabolism and help to stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels from the get-go. Remember the oxygen mask analogy? Nourish yourself first, so you can take care of others. An empty lantern provides no light.
Keep 'emergency stash'
Keep healthy snacks handy - some great options are raw nuts, nut butters, traditional full-fat Greek yogurt, carrots dipped in tahini, celery stalks with guacamole, beef jerky, olives, ricotta, and sashimi. I always keep a can of tuna or sardines in the office for emergency cases.
Enjoy your food
Eat mindfully, whatever it is you choose to eat. Make sure you take the time to sit somewhere comfortable, relax and enjoy your food. Digestion works optimally when we are relaxed - not when we gobble up our lunch while responding to emails. Unless you are a cardiothoracic surgeon, I can safely assume that no one is going to die if you take a 15 minute lunch break.
Stay hydrated. You’ve probably heard that sometimes we might confuse thirst for hunger. I know it’s hard to remember to drink water, but it helps if you have a water bottle/canteen on your desk. Challenge yourself to drink 10 oz/ 2 litres of water each day.
Be kind to yourself
Finally, lose the all or nothing mindset. It is ok to occasionally slip as long as you get back on track. It is about progress, not perfection.
If you feel you need more support around building healthy habits and learning more healthy eating tips, the RESTART® class is a great way to do that. Learning about nutrition and going through a diet overhaul along with other busy ladies facing the same challenges as you will provide you with accountability and motivation at the same time. Plus, it will be fun!
To find out more about RESTART®, click here.