How To Eat Healthy When You Are Busy
...Introducing The "Magic Kitchen"
By Jackie Wicks, PEERtrainer Founder
The single biggest problem that we all face in our quest to eat healthy is how to make it easy in an impossibly busy world.
That is the problem in a nutshell, and this article outlines part of the solution.....
I was exchanging emails with a PEERtrainer member recently about her successes (she lost 20 pounds!) and how she did it and I mentioned how psyched I was for her because losing 20 pounds changes your entire life. She replied and says "thanks Jackie" and then she said, how do you find the time to do all you do?
I chuckled to myself because she asked a great question.
How do any of us find the time to do the little things it takes day in, day out to lose weight but more importantly than lose weight, get the health and the vigor that we all crave? Life is so much easier to handle when you have more energy and feel great and feel like you could do anything.
How do I find the time? I think to myself. It’s hard. I have 2 young children, 4 and 6 and a ½. I have a husband. I run a company. I am split in between all three roles and the responsibilities that come with them from the second I wake up at 6:30 am until the second I crawl into bed (around 10:00 pm) and during that time I am mom or wife or business owner 100% of the time.
There’s always something. The “green shirt” that my son must have for his classroom project that every other student has and I have to run out and buy. The new book that came in that builds on an exercise approach that I must read. You get the idea.
So many of you are exactly the same with an overwhelming amount of responsibility and no time to yourself. But you do know what to do and you seek to live a different and healthier life.
So often we hear people tell us that "you have to make your health a priority!" That sounds great in theory but how about in real life? When my daughter is pulling at me going mommy, mommy, mommy, that becomes the priority. Anything I’m going to do for me becomes second.
Joshua and I were chatting about this recently and he mentioned how many times people wouldn’t even think of missing “Grey’s anatomy”. They’ve made it a priority. That is something they will make a priority and devote an hour to it before anything else.
That rang true as I thought about how I would NEVER miss the show Lie to Me. It is my favorite show, and I will make time for it. I have also made healthy eating a priority, and I have found an easy way to do it.
The PEERtrainer Magic Kitchen...The Gift That Keeps On Giving
The only way I don’t get overwhelmed is if I try to make one new change, one new effort towards my health, one thing at a time. If I try to plan too much make too many commitments, I get overwhelmed just by “thinking” so hard about it.
Usually every week at the beginning of the week I think about one thing I want to do this week. It could be as simple as finding one good soup or vegetable recipe. It’s actually hard to find just one good one sometimes and one good one can last me for months. When I focus on one thing, I usually meet my goal and I feel so good about it, I usually have the energy to do something else.
• I create a refrigerator of food with “Gifts that keep on giving”.
I have such limited time to cook but I want good healthy food so that way I do it is to spend the ½ hour to make something that will be in on a shelf in my refrigerator at eye level for days. I don’t want to have to think too much to be healthy. I just want it “suggested to me” when I open the refrigerator.
I’ll make a big pot of PEERtrainer energy soup so my vegetables are right ther for me to grab and eat within moments. Proteins are always so easy for me to get. but having great tasting vegetables has always taken me a bit more time. If it’s not soup, I have Tupperware containers of quick access great tasting vegetables, again at eye level, so I can grab something healthy. Green smoothies are also quick ways to get in the vegetables.
Other “gifts that keep on giving”:
• I hard boil eggs so they’re also there for me to just grab and go
• I make or buy hummus so it’s always there for me to grab and dip with cucumbers or carrots
• I buy pre-washed lettuce so it’s always there for me to grab
• I buy frozen vegetables so if I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping, at least I have something available
• I always try to have a jar of almond butter in case I haven’t gone shopping.
• I have a plan that really works in my life. I follow the 80% 20% rule. 80% of the time I eat those “gifts that keep on giving” and 20% of the time, I just grab something. This makes it where I don’t have to ever feel guilty or pressed to make sure I’m eating well. I just saw something on the Readers Digest website called, Simple Till Six: An Eating Plan for Busy People The writer followed a “diet that was nearly "vegan until six." Until dinner, he ate “almost no animal products and no simple carbs (no white-flour products, junk food, or sugar-heavy snacks).
At dinner, he ate as he “always had, sometimes a sizable meal including animal products, bread, dessert, wine -- you name it -- or sometimes a salad and a bowl of soup.” He “took several long walks each week until his “bad knees couldn't handle more.”
He acknowledges that it might be counterintuitive to a nutritionst or doctor but the results speak for themselves: “ I had little trouble eating this way, I began feeling and sleeping better, and I didn't think much about it for a month or two. It just made sense. A month later, I'd lost 15 pounds. A month after that, both my cholesterol and my blood sugar were down, well into the normal range (my cholesterol went from 240 to 180). My apnea was gone, and I was sleeping through the night.”
You have to find something that works for you so that you’re not overwhelmed with guilt or stuck in the pattern of beating yourself up when you make a “mistake”. There are no mistakes. If you’re making “ a mistake”, the original plan is not right. You are not too busy. You are not a failure. Your plan has not been refined yet.
One thing I find almost impossible in a busy schedule is to make an exercise class at a specific time or make it to the gym. Instead of adding that as another stress in my life, I consider all day long as an opportunity to workout. There is no rule that says you must do 30 minutes a day at any given time for you to get health and cardiovascular benefits. All movement is great for you. Dr. Andrew Weil says he’s seen patient after patient lose weight just by going for walks so when you’re busy, don’t beat yourself up because a meeting ran late and you can’t get to the gym.
• One of my best tricks is to put on comfortable athletic shoes at the start of the day. I almost never look “nice” or put together unless it’s for a work meeting. At any given moment, I will be in workout gear so that I feel like moving. Nothing will make me more lazy than having a pair of uncomfortable shoes on my feet.
• Make your children time part of your workout. I can’t tell you how many times I see moms workout and then sit on a bench while their children run around. I’m not judging. I’ve done it too! But your children can be your best personal trainers you will ever invest in. They will run you around if you let them. I’ve spent many hours cranking up the music and having my children jump and dance on the bed while I dance with them.
• I’ve read from so many members how they work all day and then their spouse feels “left” if they want to go workout. It’s hard when that’s the only time during the day they have to spend with their significant other. Best thing I’ve seen people do, that are extremely busy, is they change their routine together.
Dinners out become a walk and then a picnic. Or Saturdays spent watching a game become a chance to learn a new sport together. If this is something that you KNOW your husband or wife doesn’t’ want to do, try doing it on your own a few times. Casually say, I’m going out for a walk, I’ll be back in 20 minutes. By the fourth time, their wife wants to join them. Sometimes all it takes is a little a little leadership.
Because we all want to be healthy. We all know what to do. We all want to feel better about ourselves. Just a little nudge, every single day builds on each other.
If you are looking for a little nudge, I have made a video that will help you get back on track in the next 5 minutes, and will help you make better choices today: