The Busy Mom’s Guide to Eating Smart
It’s no secret that mom life is busy. It can often feel hectic, chaotic and sometimes just plain overwhelming. Whether you work in an office, work from home, or you’re a stay home mom, life gets crazy and it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to eat right with a busy schedule and an endless to-do list. The first thought is usually convenience: fast food, delivery/frozen pizza, or even just eating what the kids eat— things like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and peanut butter & jelly. But if you’re trying to stay fit, your body needs more than that. We’re here to tell you that you can eat smart, even with a crazy busy schedule; it requires a little bit of thought and preparation, but it can be done! Read on for our Busy Mom’s Guide to Eating Smart.
Whether you’re shuffling kids around to/from school, sports, and all of their activities, or you work from home while trying to care for 3 kids, it can be hard to eat healthy. Most moms have mastered the art of juggling 17+ things at once, but it doesn’t make the process of eating smart any easier— life happens, things come up unexpectedly, and we have to learn to just roll with it. With these tips, you can set yourself up for success and eating smart will become a routine for you and your family.
Eating On the Go
Two words: pack snacks. Whether you’re on the go or in the office, it’s important to keep yourself fueled so you have proper energy and nutrition to keep you going throughout the day. Not only that, but if you wait too long to eat it’s easy to just grab something, anything, because you’re starving. A bag of chips, some cookies, or a burger and fries sound good when you’re starving, but they aren’t the healthiest options. Having things on hand will help you stay on track and keep your energy up. Here are some easy snack ideas that you can keep in your bag and take with you on-the-go:
Fruit- apple, banana, orange, peach, etc.
Nuts have protein and are easy to transport. You can make your own trail mix with almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, granola, raisins, etc.
Black bean chips
Snap Pea Crisps
Dried Fruit (unsweetened)
If you have access to a refrigerator at work, there are more snack options for you than the chips in the vending machine. Some easy ideas include:
Veggies: carrots, celery sticks, green/red peppers, cucumbers, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower
Fruit: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes,
Hard boiled eggs
Add a little flair to your snack by including healthy dip options, like:
Having snacks on hand will keep you feeling full and energized through the day, which is an important part in eating right.
Plan Your Meals
One of the keys to eating smart is planning your meals and grocery list for the week. There are so many benefits to planning meals:
It saves money. You can plan out your grocery list so you know exactly what you are buying— no more picking up indulgences or spend money on things you don’t need.
It saves time. Instead of going in and wandering the aisles, you’ll know exactly what you need. You’ll be prepared. You won’t scramble for dinner plans since you already know what you’ll be having for the week.
Set up a place where you write out the week’s menu so everyone can see it and know what to expect for the week.
Most people who eat smart keep their diet simple. Take the classic, “Chicken, rice & a vegetable” combination for dinner; it’s fast, easy, and you can season it many different ways so it never gets boring. Creating a complicated meal can sometimes make cooking feel like a daunting task. Stick to things that are easy, healthy and quick. Think about getting an instant pot to shorten the process— it can be a lifesaver when you don’t have a ton of time to get dinner together. Or, do the exact opposite and throw something in the slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it. There are plenty of ways to get dinner done without overthinking it. Keep in mind, you can have simple meals that taste great using spices that really bring a simple dish to the next level. Just because you’re eating simple doesn’t mean it has to be bland and boring.
Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk will minimize your time in the kitchen; you’re already cooking the meal, so just make a larger portion and save yourself some time later. You can use the leftovers for lunches or even dinner later in the week, so that’s one less day in the kitchen. The same goes for breakfast— think egg and sausage muffins that you can toss in the refrigerator. Make a big batch that you can grab and heat up for a quick, on-the go breakfast if you don’t have time for oatmeal. You can also portion out your meals in tupperware for the work week, so you already have lunch taken care of. Freeze any leftovers that store well in the freezer— just be sure to portion them out into single serving sizes so you can pull out exactly how much you need in the future.
Get into a Routine
Having a daily meal routine will keep you feeling more sane on those crazy, busy days. You may not be able to follow a strict schedule, but a loose routine will help give structure and control to the day. It may mean getting up and making a smoothie for breakfast every morning before heading out to work, or making oatmeal for the family before their day starts. Doing the same thing every day makes it less like you’re scrambling around, and more like second nature.
When life gets crazy it can feel impossible to get a handle on eating healthy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep these tips in mind and it will make eating smart feel a little bit easier, no matter what is going on in life.
For more tips on eating smart, be sure to check out our post on 10 Whole 30 Week Night Crock Pot Dinners.
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Photo credits: Kristen Love
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Kristen Love resides in the Chicago area with her husband & two kiddos– an energetic toddler who will do anything to make his sweet, baby sister giggle (which doesn’t take much). She is the author behind The Love Notes Blog, a YouTube beauty vlogger, an extreme DIY’er, obsessive chick flick watcher, lover of all things pretty & her spirit animal is Li’l Sebastian. Connect with her! Blog: www.thelovenotesblog.com | Instagram: @thelovenotes | Facebook: The Love Notes Blog | Twitter: @lovenotesblog | Snapchat: @thelovenotes | YouTube: www.youtube.com/kristenlove13