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For Busy People: How To Make Balanced Meals

For Busy People: How To Make Balanced Meals

Success—most, if not all, of us want to achieve it. The desire to achieve success is something we have been taught since childhood, but because of that drive, we sometimes forget to do the simple things, like sleep and eat properly. In order to better prepare balanced meals and prepare yourself for a busy day, it is important to follow these helpful tips.

1. Plan Ahead

When busy and searching for food, it’s important to avoid the many bad choices available, like burritos, chips, and sugary drinks (i.e. fraps, soda, energy drinks). Being busy doesn’t mean that your health should suffer, that’s why proper planning will not only save you more time throughout the day but also money. After all, you’re busy and your time is valuable—don’t waste it searching for the “quick fix” fast-food restaurant (usually, they’re not that fast anyway). The night before your busy day, take about an hour to pack a simple snack or meal. Healthy choices would be fruit, lettuce wraps with deli meat, and some veggie sticks (i.e. carrot or celery) for easy snacking.

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2. Use Meal Replacements

Sometimes, you’re so busy that you don’t even have time to chew food! No one ever said your food couldn’t be liquid (as long as it’s not liquor). Protein shakes and other meal replacement beverages are great alternatives to actual food. Not only do they provide a great source of fiber and protein, but it’s also very convenient to just carry a cup or sports bottle with you. For balance, attempt to have breakfast, lunch (possibly a meal replacement drink), and dinner, with a healthy snack in between each.

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3. Cook Meals in Bulk

When you are juggling multiple things like a family, career, and hobbies, choosing to make your meals in bulk will be one of the best decisions you’ll make! One of the easiest meals you can make is a big batch of baked chicken (if you’re too busy to look after it, you can put it in slow cooker and let it do all the work for you). Another easy recipe is shredded barbecue chicken—all you’ll need is chicken breast, your fave BBQ sauce, some vinegar, a slow cooker, salt and pepper, and bam! Of course, you can simply turn the slow cooker on low (8 to 10 hours to cook) and go on with your day! You can steam veggies in bulk as well. Here’s another great tip: invest in some good-quality storage containers in order eat these dishes a few days in a row.

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4. Remember: Veggies are Everything

Vegetables are some of the best foods for people on the go—they are healthy and they are usually easy to carry around. Carrots, celery, and snap peas are all great veggies to keep handy when you’re working overtime or trying to meet a deadline. Place them in a sandwich baggie and pack them away. Bring along a dip like hummus for some extra flavour. Veggies keep you alert and ready for the day, so having them throughout the day helps keep you energized and ready for anything.

5. Make time for yourself!

Sometimes, you are so busy that you don’t even take time for yourself, but taking a break every now and again is a good thing. Taking the time to truly enjoy the pleasures of life will not only help you mentally, but it will also give you more time to pursue your passions. The best balanced meal is a meal of balance—sitting around family and friends, enjoying good food and each other’s company. After all, you should never get too busy with making a living that you forget to live!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Michael Murphy

Real Estate

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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