180 Nutrition: When you bump into a friend or colleague, before you’ve even asked them how they’ve been going you already know the answer you’re going to get.
“I’ve been busy.”
Work’s busy, the kids keep you busy, and this crazy hamster wheel called life that we’re all spinning around on is never-ending, non-stop BUSY. For most of us, that is the world that we’ve signed up to, and the sad fact is that it doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.
While, for the most part, bodies are becoming stressed and minds are becoming tired; our busy lives are also playing right into the hands of the fast food giants. Everywhere you look, someone’s giving you a faster way to eat your lunch, a quicker way to feed a family of four, and the whole ‘convenience food’ marketing world is preying on the fact that most of the population are short on time.
And they’re winning hands down…
Unfortunately, what these advertisers aren’t taking into consideration are your health and wellbeing and, as a result, we’re consuming much more ultra-processed, refined and nutritionally deficient ‘food’, and missing out on key nutrients because of our one big weakness – lack of time.
The sad fact is, there’s more money to be made from us becoming unhealthy than there is from us buying and cooking natural foods with wholesome ingredients. Regardless of the fact that it could lead to a healthier, more energetic life. But I’ve got news for you. Even though it’s the oldest excuse in the poorly written book of reasons not to be healthy, a fast-paced life does not have to mean a diet based around fast food.
No matter how many kids you have, how long your commute is, or how full your work calendar – you can still have it all – a busy life and a healthy diet.
Here are seven of my tips that I live by and when you’re short on time, will make a difference in your life too:
1) Batch Cook
Spend three – four hours in the kitchen on a Sunday batch cooking a variety of meals for the week (think curries, Bolognese, healthy stir-fry bases), portion up and freeze in reusable containers.
Take a meal out for yourself or the whole family each morning and let it defrost throughout the day. In the evening, all you need to do is heat up your meal and cook some sweet potato or boil up some brown rice to go with it for a nutritionally dense meal in a matter of minutes.
Every day you’ll get a generous portion of protein and vegetables without the processed ingredients found in many high-street meal options.
2) Eat a Good Breakfast
They weren’t lying when they said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Scramble two eggs with chopped veggies in coconut oil, add a side of avo and the combination of healthy fats and protein will keep you full well into the day.
Oats which contain slow releasing carbohydrates give you energy as your body needs it rather than in one big hit and they’re great combined with fruit or nuts which also provide plenty of good fats.
As far as breakfast is concerned, you should think outside the cereal box. Sugary cereals will give you zero energy for maximum calories, and you’ll find yourself starving again before you’ve even left the house.
Make smart breakfast choices to give your day the start it needs and to do what’s best for your body.
3) Superfood Smoothie
Our Superfood Smoothie base is full of nutrients like protein, fat and fibre and takes just a few seconds to prepare. Whizz up some veggies, fruit, liquid, and a serve of 180 Superfood Protein Blend and you’ll feel fuller for longer leaving you less tempted to reach for the junk food when you’re out and about.
4) Stay Hydrated
Just as important as eating the right foods is drinking enough water. Each person is different, but between two and three litres a day is plenty to keep you hydrated.
Often, thirst can be disguised as hunger and if your stomach is rumbling you could well just need a big drink. Make sure you can differentiate between the two by keeping up your liquid intake.
5) Be Prepared
Always carry around some nuts and seeds or a protein bar for those moments when you’re caught short. Having a convenient, healthy snack or two close by will leave you unlikely to reach for the lollies that appear like a holy grail as soon as the mid-afternoon slump sets in.
6) Limit ‘Fast’ Food
While it might be tempting to grab a cheeky burger or a hot bakery sausage roll because it’s quick and easy to do so, these are all forms of empty calories which satisfy the appetite but not the body.
While these fast options will make you feel like you’re full for a while, it’s a trick. Your body has not consumed the nutrients it needs to carry on, and it will continue feeling hungry until it gets them.
When caught short, it is just as easy to pop to the supermarket and buy a couple of pieces of fruit or some meat from the deli to combat those unwanted hunger pangs.
7) Change Your Mindset
Ultimately, while these few hints and tips will save you time and help to keep you on track with your healthy eating goals, it is a change in mindset which is really the key.
When you decide to put your health first and commit to a healthier lifestyle, the extra time spent on making healthy food choices won’t feel like a hassle at all.
It is never going to be as fast as microwave meals, but getting into good, non-negotiable habits will, over time, make you wonder what you used to spend all your spare time on! With these few habits in place, next time you bump into someone, and you tell them how busy you’ve been, watch them respond in shock “but you look so well!”