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Healthy Eating Plan For Busy People

Healthy Eating Plan For Busy People

Most of us have been there before – after coming home from a full day of dealing with rush hour traffic, people problems, and office politics, we wonder “What’s for dinner?” With hardly anything in the kitchen, we settle for ordering pizza (again) or decide to fill up on pantry snacks. Our busy lives often prevent us from reaching our nutritional, health, and fitness goals. As a result, we end up packing on unwanted pounds and eating convenient, not-so-nutritious foods instead of the necessary, wholesome foods that our bodies crave.

It may be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits while leading a busy life, but it is not impossible. The five simple tips below will ensure you have a healthy eating plan to fit into your hectic schedule.

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1. Plan your meals out

You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. Just grab a sheet of paper and outline the meals you will have Monday – Sunday. This makes food shopping and preparation so much easier. Placing Post-it notes on your refrigerator where you will see the plan every day works just as well. If you plan to have spaghetti on Wednesday, for example, you will remember to buy pasta sauce or perhaps have time to make your own on Tuesday night. Planning your meals out for the week instantly makes your shopping easier. Instead of mentally throwing a list together while you rush into the store, you already know what it is you need to get, and you can shop for the entire week at one time.

2. Cook once; eat it twice (or thrice!)

You can cook one main ingredient recipe on Monday, and then use that same recipe for different meals throughout the week. Chicken, for example, can be eaten for dinner one night. What’s left over can be diced and used to make an easy Chicken Salad Sandwich for lunch the next day. Cooking one time for multiple meals ensures that you will never not have something ready to eat and also cuts down on kitchen cleaning time.

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3. Keep calm and freeze on

If you think your freezer is just for storing half eaten cartons of ice cream, you should think again. You can prep a bunch of one-dish meals like casseroles, chilis, and stews, and then freeze them without even having to cook them ahead of time. When you’re ready to eat, just pop your meal into the oven or place it on the stove and you have a hot, fresh, home-cooked meal in no time. For the morning, try these Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches. For lunch, try these Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas. For dinner, the possibilities are almost endless.

4. Shake it up in the mornings

No, I’m not talking about those ready made drinks that come in chocolate or vanilla or strawberry flavors. Healthy breakfast shakes and smoothies are a snap to make before you have to rush out the door in the morning. They will leave you feeling energized and full for a few good hours. There are so many delicious ways to mix up your shakes and smoothies that you’ll never get bored. You can use protein powder, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and even Greek yogurt. Try this Coffee Java Protein Shake, this Avocado-Banana Smoothie, or this Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie.

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5. Pack your lunch the night before.

No need to have a co-worker pick up McDonald’s for you anymore. If you eat lunch at your work place, pack your meal for the next day. You can also pack your own healthy snacks, such as trail mix, nuts, dried fruits, etc., and take it with you in an insulated bag. Check out this list of 23 Make-Ahead Lunches to Get You Through the Work Week.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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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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