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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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