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6 Tips for Healthy Eating When You’re Busy

Do you wish you were organised enough to bring your lunch to work? Want to save time and money on making dinner? Our Nutritional Therapist, Pippa Groves, shares her top tips for eating healthily, even when you’re busy.

Having a busy lifestyle shouldn’t mean you need to compromise on your health. It’s actually more crucial than ever that you support your body and mind with the right foods and nutrients to help you function and perform your best. This can be challenging, but with some forward planning and smart choices, it's definitely possible.

By incorporating the following top tips into your routine, you can make healthier choices even when you're busy and on the move, whether that be travelling, at work, doing the school run or dashing off to an exercise class or running errands.

1. Plan Ahead

Take a few minutes to plan your meals and snacks for the day. Pack healthy options such as low-sugar fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds or homemade energy bars in advance so you're not tempted by unhealthy fast food options when hunger strikes. We love these Cacao & Hemp Protein Bites, Baked Banana, Oat & Peanut Butter Bars, or this Nut Seed Bread with Homemade Hummus.

2. Batch Cook, Freeze & Defrost

Batch cooking not only saves time and energy on those busy days when you’re busy from dawn until dusk, but freezing portions also helps to reduce food waste and locks in those all-important nutrients. 

Here are 5 of our favourite recipes to batch cook, freeze, and defrost in smaller portions for a healthy home-cooked meal on-the-go.

  1. On-the-go Veg Bowl 
  2. Feta, Olive & Sundried Tomato Breakfast Muffins
  3. Protein-packed Fritters
  4. Cauliflower & Cashew Dahl
  5. Mediterranean Chicken Orzo

Ou top tips for successful batch cooking:

  • Make sure you’ve got pans big enough for larger quantities
  • Stock up on plenty of food containers and freezer bags to hold homemade goods
  • Cool the food quickly after cooking and before freezing - try splitting the food out into smaller portions.
  • Create enough space in the freezer - time to say goodbye to anything that’s been lingering in there for too long.
  • Choose your favourite ‘base recipes’ that can be adapted into different dishes

3. Choose Nutrient-Dense Meals & Snacks

If you're grabbing from a supermarket or cafe, choose a balanced meal rich in fibre (vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains), lean proteins (chicken, tuna, boiled eggs, edamame, tofu) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, cheeses, avocado, tahini, oily fish) to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. By picking something full of colour, you'll also be making sure you get your fix of beneficial phytochemicals that support your overall wellbeing. Try to avoid ultra-processed foods that will leave you feeling sluggish and hungry again 1 hour later.

Some healthy snack ideas that are available at most supermarkets or shops:

  • Boiled egg & spinach pot
  • Carrots or Seeded crackers & hummus
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Date & nut energy Balls 
  • Three bean salad
  • Greek yoghurt & berries

4. Know your labels

When choosing packaged snacks or meals, take a moment to read the nutrition labels and ingredients list. Stay clear of products with a long list of ingredients, especially if they're unrecognisable (if you don’t recognise them as food then your body certainly won’t!). Look for simple, whole food ingredients higher in fibre, protein and healthy fats, low in added sugars and free from unhealthy fats and additives (including emulsifiers, stabilisers, flavourings, preservatives, sweeteners).

5. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, so it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when on-the-go. Carry a non-toxic reusable water bottle with you and aim to drink at least 2 litres of water daily.

6. Practise Mindful Eating

Take the time to savour and enjoy your meals, even when you're on the go. Eating mindfully can help you tune into your body's hunger and fullness cues, preventing overeating and promoting better digestion.

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