These last few days have been busy, busy, busy with moving. And better yet, it’s been pouring rain for the past 48 hours and the rain continues today. I keep telling myself that moving my whole apartment in the pouring rain is making me more tolerant and my thin a little thicker for when I get to New York.
So on this WIAW morning I’m writing this post from my friend Kelli’s couch in her condo and it feel glorious. I just have to grab a few more things and then clean my old apartment today and that should do it!
As a side note, I’m convinced that moving is the best exercise ever. I don’t even know how many sets up stairs I’ve gone up and down and my whole body is sore. I’m looking forward to some rest this weekend!
As I’ve been in between two apartments and eating on the fly, healthy eating becomes harder. And I can only imagine it will get trickier when I’m taking 20 credits this summer for school. I’m sure meal prep would be really wonderful, but in the back of my head I know I’m not going to be devoting my Sunday afternoon to grocery shopping and cooking. It just ain’t gonna happen. If I have time I might cook one thing, but as far as chopping, dicing, prepping and tupperware upon tupperware- I know that’s just not realistic for me. And maybe it’s not for you either.
So how do we make healthy eating simple despite the craziness of our lives?
And where do you strike the balance between trying to give your body the nutrients it needs and also not stressing yourself out if things aren’t “totally healthy all the time?”
The easiest way for me to make sure I get in a good dose of nutrients is right in the morning with a green smoothie. If I drink one of these in the morning, then I know if my eats aren’t the greatest the rest of the day, I at least got an entire salad in at breakfast. Plus tons of other good stuff like superfoods, omega 3s, probiotics and 50% of my vitamins and minerals from Vega One. My favorite combination is 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop vega, some spinach or swiss chard and a pinch of xanthum gum [the key to a creamier smoothie!] I imagine I’ll be drinking lots of these as I walk to class at 7:30am.
But I’m not one for just drinking my breakfast, I need something to chew! So I usually drink the green smoothie right when I get out of bed [after making tea or coffee] and then I’ll have breakfast after I answer emails or do some writing. Breakfast is usually one of the easiest meals to prepare. But the key is actually finding time to prepare it and then eat it! If you know you’re busy in the morning, make something ahead of time like overnight oats, baked oatmeal, or simple and wholesome banana muffins you can slather with PB and J. My favorite easiest breakfast is simply toast with nutbutter and banana. Sprinkle on some chia seeds if you want. Strawbs are finally in season so I had a big bowl with more almond butter to go along with the toast.
To make a meal balanced, aim for carbs + protein + fat. If you miss one sometimes, don’t stress yourself out over it, but that combo keeps us satiated.
The key to making lunch nutritious, yet easy is to have a few combos in mind that you always rotate through. I typically always have a big salad and then either a cracker + fruit + hummus/avocado combo- or I’ll pack a sandwich or a wrap plus fruit to go along with the salad. If you have those two variations then you can switch up the wrap fillings and salad toppings to keep things interesting! I think we make healthy eating difficult when we try to come up with new things all the time, rather than keeping things simple.
Hummus makes lunches possible in my opinion. Yesterdays lunch eaten on my floor was a big salad with spinach + cucumber + bell pepper + tomato with lemon tahini dressing eaten with spelt bread with hummus, an apple, and two chocolate seeds balls from Oh She Glows.
As for snacking, it’s a must. I lovveee some snacking. It keeps our body burning energy and if we have some snacks on hand we don’t go into the next meal starving. And if we have snacks with us then it’s easier to pass on the foods that might leave us in an afternoon slump instead of feeling energized. Afternoon slumps aren’t normal, so eating some snacks throughout the afternoon give you the energy you need. And if there’s a candy bowl or cookies at the office or whatever, it’s okay to eat those things- withholding ourselves from them then makes them seem like this forbidden food so when we do eat them we are ridden with self guilt or we go overboard and eat the whole candy jar because “we’re never going to eat it again.” So if you want a cookie, eat a dang cookie. But try to pair it with some fruits of veggies to balance out the snack that will still give you energy.
I think the combination of fats + carbs is perfect for snacks. And if you’re eating nuts or nut butter than you’re getting some protein too! I think we put too much emphasis on protein, when we likely need fats + carbs to keep us satiated. I’ve been loving this chia bread from Oh She Glows slathered with some hummus mid afternoon. Perfect for lunches too!
And dinner. Ohhh dinner. Probably the hardest meal to find time to prepare. But don’t let it be! You don’t have to prep and prepare things ahead of time to have something nutritious on the table in 20 minutes. Simply pick a grain. Pick a protein [aiming for plant proteins most often!]. Pick some vegetables [frozen veggie blends make things even quicker!] and then pick a sauce/spices. Combine all these into a “one bowl” meal and you’ve got dinner super quick.
This week I’ve been using up randomness from my freezer and fridge. First I cooked up some millet. While that was cooking I chopped bell pepper, zucchini and onion and sauteed that in a bit of coconut oil. Then I threw in a can of tomatoes [the “sauce”], threw in some pinto beans I had in the freezer from a huge batch I cooked last week [canned is okay too!] and then added in a couple teaspoons of cumin and about a teaspoon of chili powder and called it dinner. Avocado would have completed this but I was all out, such a shame.
And if you make enough, you’ll have leftovers too! When I make extra of something, I love to put one serving in the freezer for later, and then eat another serving or two that week. That way I’m not eating the same thing 5 nights in a row and when life is crazy busy down the road I can pull something from the freezer that’s actually homemade.
I think evening snacks are one of the best things ever. I love ’em. And I always go for something carby with some healthy fats so I’m not waking up hungry.
This week it’s been this simple vegan banana bread spread with blueberry jam + a banana and Naturally Nutty Pepita Seed Butter. I love to have a batch of muffins or bread on hand for healthy snacks, and if you make some- shove extras in the freezer for later.
I know there were be many times when I’m picking up a burrito bowl from Chipotle or a sandwich on my way home or out to eat at one of the million amazing restaurants in NYC. And that’s totally okay. But I’m hoping by keeping things simple I can keep my body nourished and my wallet happy. I hope these tips inspire you too!