Iâ€™ve really been BUSY latelyâ€¦.I mean SUPER BUSY. Between juggling being a wife, mother of two kids, working a full-time IT day job, writing for my blog, working my side hustles (yeah I always keep at least one), taking project management professional certification training (hope to get my cert soon!), and just making time to enjoy myself and relaxÂ makes it very challenging at times to squeeze in workouts and focus on eating healthy foods. Well let me re-phrase thatâ€¦it can understandably be challenging for others to do thisâ€¦but not me! Â I can honestly say that Iâ€™ve gotten to a point where these things are just second nature to me. Â I look forward to my workouts and I know how to make them short enough to not take away from too much of my day but effective enough to still help me meet my weight goals. Â And since I know that eating well is 80%-90% of getting/staying fit then I make sure I take the time out to prepare my meals as much as possible or at least have healthy grab-and-go foods/snacks available to me whenever I need them. Â And I now have a pretty good idea of what to get when Iâ€™m hungry but out and about, too. Â Yes, getting to this point takes time but when you start seeing the results of your work and feeling better it makes it so much easier. Â So youâ€™ll get there! Â But let me help you by sharing my top choices for quick-n-easy healthy foods to prepare and grab-n-go foods/snacks.
Spinach or Kale Salad
Ingredients needed â€“ sunflower seeds, craisins, sliced onions (preferably red or sweet), chopped tomatoes, light dressing of choice.
For this super nutritious salad I typically like to combine sunflower seeds, craisins (watch portion), sliced onions (preferably red or sweet), and chopped tomatoes. I then add a lite dressing (my faves include lite Italian, red wine vinegar, and raspberry and balsamic vinaigrette) and toss with the other ingredients. Be careful not to use too much dressing but just enough to coat everything. I generally try to stick to the serving size or fairly close to it.
Veggie Bean Burgers[get my white bean veggie burger recipe here] You may wonder why I included this since it mustÂ prepared. But generally I make 6-8 patties per batch of these then freeze them. Whenever I want one I just grab one out of the freezer and cook in a medium-heated skillet coated in fat-free cooking spray or a healthy oil such as coconut or olive for about 5-6 minutes per side or until they get brown. I often eat mineâ€™s open-faced on one slice of whole wheat bread with sliced tomatoes, onions, and lettuce/spinach or I eliminate the bread and just use lettuce instead to hold everything together. It typically takes me about 15 minutes to prepare one of these (5-6 minutes cooked on each side, 2-3 minutes to prepare toppings and add to burger).
This is one of my faves as I LOVE pizzaâ€¦and this one is guilt-free (unless you load it down with too much cheese). Â Be mindful of serving size when adding your cheeseâ€¦I typically like to add no more than Â¼ cup. Typically, it takes me about 15 minutes to prepare one of these (5 minutes to pre-cook flatbread…preferably whole wheat, 3 minutes to chop up veggies and add to pizza, 5-7 minutes to cook pizza until meat meltsÂ and starts to brown).
Quinoa or Brown Rice Dishes
Ok so this would require you to first prepare the quinoa or brown rice. But the idea is to cook enough of it to last you for anywhere from 2-5 days so you can use it for different meals. I love to make
stir-fry using these. I also make my version of â€œfried riceâ€ using brown rice or Iâ€™ll just add a little cheddar cheese and garlic seasoning to it and eat it as a side dish. With quinoa, sometimes Iâ€™ll just mix in some veggies or make meatless quinoa taco salad as shown in the picture. Â OrÂ sometimes I’ll even add in fruits such as cooked applesÂ with chopped pecans for healthy breakfast or snack. There are many quick-n-easy meal you can make throughout the week usingÂ quinoa and brown rice.
preferablyÂ raw and unsalted…I love the bag sold at Trader Joe’s
I love the new chocolate and caramel salted peanuts from Plantersâ€¦but again be mindful of serving size.
I really love the Chocolate Fudge and Yogurt Wildberry P90X protein bars made by Beachbody. I eat these for a snack or sometimes even as a meal replacement for breakfast.
Protein/all-in-one nutritional shakes
Hereâ€™s another great source of protein I turn to as an alternative to meat. Right now, I have the Tropical Strawberry Skakeology by Beachbody (my fave!) and chocolate made by another brand. I usually blend mines with frozen bananas, vanilla almond milk, and ice. I sometimes then add in some chopped pecans or sliced almonds for something extra. Depending on thickness sometimes it even tastes like ice cream!
My fave is the banana crÃ¨me flavor by Oikosâ€¦love it! Since I rarely eat meat anymore this is also my go-to for a good alternative protein source.
Don’t let a busy lifestyle be your reason for not eating a healthier diet. Â Yes it may require you to prepare more of your foods and can be a bit challenging at time. Â But it’s all part of the process of developing healthier habits and living a healthier life.