Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thank God It's Wednedsay: How to eat healthy when you are too busy. The benefits of food prepping.

This edition of Thank God It's Wednesday is all about food and ways to eat healthy when on the go.

I hear a lot of people complain that they are out all day so they have to stop at fast food places when they are hungry, or that they are too busy to even eat healthy.

1) Plan ahead. I guess planning is my favorite word because I am a lister. I love to write things down and plan ahead. It's important to be proactive. It keeps you focused, efficient and diligent. Taking 5 minutes to plan ahead can save you hours of wasted time. Plan what you will pack as healthy meals or snacks, plan what kind of food you will order if you have to catch yourself eating out, plan which restaurant will be the smartest ( healthiest) selection on your routes when you are out and about.

A note about getting started if planning many meals: collect containers that easily fit in your fridge, that are easily stackable and easy to carry around. Shop at your local Dollar Store.
Do your shopping with a list, write a simple menu of things that you are most likely to eat. If you generally eat junk food, it's time to plan smart and incorporate more healthy alternatives.
If you are on a budget, shop around what's on sales or special deals. Buy in bulk if you can afford it, use or trade coupons with family and friends. Keep it simple, you don't have to prep beef stroganoff think healthy, simple and practical. The biggest and most valuable investment is planning!

2) Prioritize your activities and you will have time to prep your food. You know you will have a busy day or a busy week, don't sit watch TV,  or get on social media until you have invested a few minutes or an hour into prepping some food.
You might not have the energy to prep for the whole week, but even if you are prepping some things just for snack time, or a couple of meals ahead, it's  time saved up and preventing yourself from eating the wrong food. This goes with planning ahead but it's worth being reminded that we have to set our priorities straight even if it's for simple and smart things. Believe me distractions easily snick up on us and we easily get so caught up.
If someone is calling you to chat when you know you could be using your time to prep some food or get more organized, tell them you will call back when you are done, or talk while you are working instead of just slouching in the couch listening to them...keep it moving and get it done!

3) Always pack a lunch bag no matter where you are going and how long you will be out. It doesn't matter if you will be out  45 minutes or 6 hours, pack some food.
 Keep an apple in your purse.
Keep a mini cooler in your car and add some ice packs to your lunch bags and pack some yogurts for example.  I pack lunch bags everywhere I go. When I used to go to the beauty shop on Saturdays ( before having natural hair)  I was the lady known for her bottle of water and her lunch bag. One time I forgot my bag at the beauty shop everybody knew it was mine, no guessing games :-)
My children have picked the habit and do not go through the front door without a bottle in their hands and a small bag with healthy snacks. They clean and pack their own fruits and veggies. Why? Because it's annoying to be caught up somewhere with no water and nothing to calm your appetite.

This picture below shows simple things I pack in my lunch bag. It also shows where I prefer to stop for food instead of a fast food restaurant. we only stop at fast food restaurants to use the bathroom. This was a busy day, we sat down for a quick meal at Whole Food, and having no time to exercise I improvised outdoors at a park while the children played.

4) Don't go hours without eating, eat small meals during the day. A prepped smoothie here, a banana there, a few sunflower seeds one time, a cup full of grapes or berries another...feed yourself just stay but far away from processed food.


Prepping healthy snacks and lunch bag. All rights reserved.

5) Even if you know you will be eating out, choose wisely, snack on your healthy snacks before eating out. There are times when I will munch on an apple right before entering a store or on my way to a restaurant. It helps your appetite and calm your nerves while waiting in a long line or waiting on a slow server.

6) Enlist the help of your family. With prepping for example, have your children help with cleaning fruits and veggies and sorting them into containers or Ziploc bags. You don't have to do everything alone. Have your spouse join you and divide tasks, work as a team. It's a great way to be productive, connect and have fun conversations. It always amaze me the things we end up talking about when we are all busy working together in the kitchen. It's like the excitement of prepping Thanksgiving dinner with family but doing it on a smaller scale and with healthier food.

7) Get creative and stop making excuses. If you really want to eat healthy think outside the box. You will find ways to save time. Prep food instead of doing something less urgent, put everything on one side of the fridge the night before so it's just easier to grab and put in the bunch bag the next day. If you can't bake some chicken from scratch go get a rotisserie chicken, cut it and make portions for meals. I mean I can stretch some rotisserie chicken. I would make pulled BBQ chicken in a crockpot, get some of the same chicken to go with some broccoli, get more of the meat to make fajitas....Another thing you can do is fix a pot of spaghetti while you are watching TV or doing a quick workout video and portion it for future meals. Get some broccoli and green beans cook and portion in small containers just so that they are ready to be use.
On days you don't feel like cooking cut some onions and tomatoes, freeze them or store them in the fridge to use whenever. There are a lot of little things we can do ahead of time that don't take much energy but pay off big dividend especially on days when we are rushing!

The benefits of food prepping. All rights reserved.

Well, that all my tips for today! How do you eat healthy when you are too busy?
Please check our others Thank God It's Wednesday's or visit the site for more interesting articles. Visit the Facebook page, go through the albums there because I share  tons of photos that can better illustrate some of these tips! Like our page and please spread the word about the page, the Thank God It's Wednesday features, and let us know if there is any specific subject you would like us to address in our next TGIW's edition.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July's Challenge: " New You by the New Year" challenge

Starting this month: New You by the New Year and I am not just talking fitness goals.
 More details on the challenge will be posted next Monday but here's YOUR ASSIGMENT FOR THIS FIRST WEEK.! ( Yes you have homework to do).

To get started: take before picture, weight yourself and take your measurements then do some planning.

 This first week your assignment is to PLAN: plan plan plan plan
-Plan what you want to accomplish in every areas of your life for the rest of this year.
-Plan your weeks,  month
-Plan your daily actions items that would help you reach your goals. ( Things like prayer time, walking, reading time, food prepping, playing with the children or time with spouse, budgeting, balancing checkbook, setting clothes asides for workouts...whatever will help you be more efficient)
-Divide your plans in two sets of 90 days to keep you focused on your goals. You will review your progress in 90 days.
-Establish your core values. If you don't know what you truly value you will be going through the motion and you will easily sabotage yourself along the way or allow unnecessary things to distract you.
-Write WHY you want to accomplish your chosen goals. Having a written WHY makes it easier to really believe and focus on making things happen. WHY are the goals you chose so important to you?

You will need:
-Time alone to think
-Time to discuss with your family members living with you so that you can decide what you want to accomplish collectively, share your personal goals so that they can hold you accountable etc..
-3 journals, ( planning, gratitude and positivity journal, daily fitness and food log journal, vision/motivation journal)
  -Magazines,  art supplies like markers glue and scissors if you want to really have fun. You will use a journal and create a dream book clipping images of places to visit, fun things to do solo or with your loved ones, fitness motivation, healthy food to eat .You can do the same with a vision board. The journal is more fun because it can also be carried in your purse and you can browse through anywhere anytime ...


You still have to eat clean and exercise this week and pick a couple of books you will be reading this month. Yes, reading at least a book or two is part of the deal like we did the months before! More details to come soon but for now...PLAN PLAN PLAN!!!! Write your vision and make it plain and plan the costs so to speak, before you start building the foundations for a brand new you!
Fitness Challenges:

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Day 1 of my 2013 New You by the New Year. With a comparison of my picture from last July 1st.