Steph’s note: This is the second in a three-part series about your time and your health brought to you by my guest blogger Justin of Limitless365. (Click here to read Part 1.) Justin brings his expertise as a one-on-one health coach to you here, and his philosophy on life, training and nutrition really jive with mine. Make sure to check out his site after you’re done reading the article! Take it away, Justin!
Too busy to cook? How to unlock more time!
Too often, people are simply told to eat healthy but they’re not told how to make it happen. Eating healthy involves more than just the act of putting food in your mouth. The “healthy” part of eating requires you do at least two essential things.
In this post, you’ll discover two powerful and fundamental principles that you should consider when making time for healthy eating.
Without them, it’s virtually impossible for you to eat health.
What’s On Your Menu?
Phil Jackson, the winningest coach in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) history, was once quoted saying, “We came here with a plan: We’re NOT going to let this game get by us.”
Jackson won eleven NBA championship titles, six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Like Phil Jackson, we’re all attempting to win a championship when it comes to our health. That’s why we can’t let important aspects of our health, like good nutrition, get by us. We have to come with a plan; otherwise, anything goes. And, instead of winning the game of health, you set yourself up for defeat.
That said, when it comes to eating healthy a plan or menu is crucial.
A weekly or monthly menu frees you from the burden and hassle of having to think about “what to eat” and “how much to eat” every time you get hungry. Furthermore, having a pre-planned menu allows you to shop and gather everything you need so that you’re ready to do some healthy cooking or eating when it’s time.
Here’s what to do:
- Each week, sit down and write out a menu with at least your core three meals for the day. Also, it’s very helpful to consider two or three healthy snacks (or post-workout snacks for athletes).
- Creating a menu isn’t as hard as it might appear because most people are very comfortable eating the same “breakfast” or snacks each day. When it comes to lunch and dinner, you can mix things up as you see fit. Also, leftovers can sometimes make for excellent snacks.
- You can even schedule in a day to dine out and / or enjoy your favorite dessert, etc. Making a date for such “fun foods” allows you to more easily enjoy healthier foods for the other six of the week.
- (Steph’s note: You can also find monthly pre-paid Paleo meal plans here!)
Your weekly menu will take into consideration:
- Main meals—breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Snacks—two or three
- Dining out, fun foods, desserts, etc.
Are You Prepared?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Preparing for your tasks, goals and health is crucial to their success. You cannot succeed with healthy eating until you’ve prepared.
Part of the preparation is creating your menu (plan). Your menu then allows you to prepare for healthy eating / cooking by stocking your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer with the essentials.
Review your menu. Then purchase and stock those items in your home. And be sure not to go grocery shopping while hungry; otherwise, your cart will be sprinkled with bad choices.
Also, avoid storing your once-a-week “fun foods” or desserts in your home. If you, allow yourself to indulge in these foods once each week, then only purchase those on that day—and just enough for that day. Stocking calorie-rich, nutrient-poor foods almost ensures that you’ll grab them instead of a healthy choice, especially on those days you are feeling down or tired.
After shopping, there are a few other important essentials to make sure you’re prepared to eat healthily, such as:
- Setting aside or scheduling time each day—or a few times each week—to prepare your meals
- Preparing more than one meal at a time. Instead, cook large portions that can be refrigerated or frozen for use later in the day and/or week.
- Preparing breakfast, lunch and other meals the night before, when possible
It’s important to be patient with yourself until you succeed at planning and preparing healthy meals. It’s a great idea to focus on consistently improving only one meal each week. Breakfast is often an excellent meal to start with. Therefore, if completing an entire menu or preparing for every meal seems too much, then start with only one meal per day. This will keep you from becoming overwhelmed or quitting. Again, be patient.