I have a little bit of what you might call a busy schedule. I’m guessing most of you do too.

While I work from home, I’m still “at work” during the day. The rest of my life happens in the evenings, and I have very few of them.

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Most of my evenings consist of various meetings. I’m on the Board this year for Junior League, which I love. My position essential means a lot of meetings. I also somehow ended up president of the district dietetic association, which I’m not quite as thrilled about yet. That adds another handful of meetings. Add in a few social happenings, and there goes the rest of my evenings and weekends.

One of the most frequent excuses I hear from clients is that they don’t have time to be healthy. The word excuse is a harsh one to use, because it’s completely valid. But it’s also not good enough- you just have to find a way to make it work. I’m almost never home during dinner time, yet I still eat a majority of home cooked meals and still fit in physical activity.

Here’s some ways to make it work for you:

Form a Routine

It’s easy to get things done if you have a schedule or routine. Pick a day for grocery shopping and always do it that day. Set a time for exercise and always do it then. Decide when you’ll prep your meals and stick with it. If it writing down or putting it on a calendar helps, do it.

crockpot oatmeal (500x334)

Pre-Prep Meals

The first time you pull out a knife to prepare a meal, keep it out and prep as much as you can at once. This may mean peeling and chopping vegetables, pre-cooking grains like rice or quinoa, measuring baking ingredients and bagging them up, or chopping nuts. Group things together by meal so they’re reading to go when it’s time to cook.

pre cut veggies to save time

Cook Ahead

Everyone loves leftovers, right? Why not make all your meals leftovers? Instead of just prepping a bunch of meals at once, sometimes I like to fully cook them. All I have to do is reach in the fridge or freezer to serve a meal. Having prepared meals helps me make healthy choices even when I come home late, tired, or starving. Just as easy as fast food; way healthier. This is also makes it easy for the husband to have a home-cooked dinner, even when I’m not home at dinner time.

freezer pizza dough

Think Outside the Box

Most people tend to have simple lunches and more complex dinners. Think “lunch” for dinner- it doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate to be satisfying. Lunch meals tend to be easier to transport, making grab and go dinners easier. Don’t hesitate to have lunch for breakfast or breakfast for dinner it it makes it easier.

Have Set Go-To’s

Having an arsenal of go-to meals is probably what keeps me fed most of the time. There’s a lot to be said for not having to come up with an idea for a meal. I just make sure I always have the ingredients for those meals on hand. This works for meals to cook at home as well as on-the-run foods.

pantry meal black bean enchiladas

Use Your Freezer

Often fresh is best, but when it comes to frozen veggies, as long as they’re not in sauce, they’re just as good, if not better, than fresh. It’s easier to eat veggies when they don’t take any prep work!

Snack

If you’re not getting home until late, pack a snack. Waiting too long to eat simply spells disaster.

healthy granola snack

Stay tuned for Part II: Fitting in Exercise.

 

What strategies do you use to fit health into your busy life?