5 Time Saving Tips to Eat Healthy during the work week

Let’s be honest, during the week it can be hard to fit everything in; work, laundry, walking dogs, cleaning, working out, seeing friends and or family takes up a lot of time and planning. So who the hell has time to meal plan and cook! And cooking delicious, healthy meals? What am I, Betty Crocker!?

I’ve had a few friends lately ask me if I am cooking constantly….follow me on Instagram and you’ll understand where they could get that idea. I post yummy food pics almost days a week, insta stories that show ingredients turned into what many have called gourmet meals. And while I am extremely fortunate to have a remote working situation, cutting out the commute and providing lots of flexibility to cook hot meals for lunch, I don’t in fact cook for hours on end. I wish I did!

The meals I’m making typically consist of whole-foods, very few things I’m using are packaged or bottled. Most sauces are homemade, seasoning is usually limited to dried herbs or fresh citrus and packaged or pre-made foods are rarely used. On an average week, Mike and I eat in 4 or 5 nights out of the week, including lunches due to the fact that I work from home and he usually heads home from a job at lunch. Depending on the day, I have anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes for lunch, as my work schedule is on east coast time and we are a meetings heavy organization, so I am on the phone a lot!

So, how in the heck do I find the time to eat in 90% of my meals, using fresh, plant-based, whole ingredients without spending hours prepping? Here’s a few things I do to ensure success on these fronts:

  1. Plan meals, as in what I will be making, before I go to the grocery store. I typically pick 3 or 4 meals I want to make so I know at least 4 or five meals will be covered (we usually have leftovers from at least two meals). When I know what I want the end result to be, I take the guess work out of weeknight meals, saving me time when I go to cook because all I have to do is pick one of the pre-selected meals.
  2. Prioritize what you already have first, veggies second. If you look around your kitchen and realize you have a lot of brown rice, make sure you’re incorporating that into at least one of your meals. If you’re starting from scratch, make the veggies the main focus of your meals.
  3. Stick to the grocery list. Once I have the meals I want to cook, I peek in my cupboards to see what I have, then make a list of the ingredients I don’t. When at the grocery store I try to stick to the exact list, so I don’t throw a bunch of junk impulsively into the cart. Just by sticking to the list alone, you will be amazed at the cost savings, plus you won’t have food spoilage!
  4. Pick a day to prep. Whether you have time on your weekend to set aside time to grocery shop and meal prep, or have to split the two up, I find it extremely helpful to find one night early in the week to cook two meals or at the very least, to prep a few things for the following night’s dinner.
  5. Use your time in the kitchen wisely. If I know I’m cooking something that may take a bit longer (sweet potato fries or baked cauliflower take some time) I’ll use the baking time to throw in or fold a load of laundry, vacuum or clean a bathroom, do some yoga or perhaps finish up some work. I’ll typically prep all veggies at the same time or use time while that nights’ dinner is cooking or sautéing to prepare the next nights meal. Time is precious, so use it wisely!

Here are a few sample meals I plan pre-grocery shopping, keeping all the above in mind.

These meals are made for two people, with many of them making enough for 3 meals, so I’ll have lunch a few days a week already made.

I love to cook and usually rotate a few tried and true meals every two or three weeks, as they are easy, delicious and really inexpensive. Once you start cooking more, you’ll get more and more comfortable with meal planning, knowing what goes well with what, using fresh ingredients to pack a punch (without the added preservatives, sugar, salt) and knowing your way around the kitchen, so cooking won’t seem like such a chore.

If you truly don’t like to cook, make sure you’re picking simple recipes, with only a few fresh ingredients, so preparing them will be easy.

Hope these tips help you during the week – Happy Monday!

3 Steps to Take Control of Your Own Health

Nope, it’s not always genetic. You are in charge of you own health. Period.

I’m currently enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Institute in Denver. The program relies heavily on the science behind the food we eat, what it’s doing to our cells, how it’s interacting within our blood stream, organs, intestines and how our environment and lifestyle choices greatly determines the state of our overall health.

My day job involves marketing to healthcare organizations, physicians and care managers, IPA’s (Independent Physician Associations). My company provides interoperability and practice management solutions, all in the name of better patient outcomes.

How in the hell do the two relate to one another? So much it’s scary!

50% of the healthcare costs are going to 5% of the patient population. In other words, the chronically ill are costing billions, while rising healthcare costs are felt across the board.

YIKES! But, what the heck can we DO about it?!

Start taking control of Your Own Health! It’s that simple. Just take control of it it, starting right now. Not sure how?

3 steps to Take Control of Your Own Health

1. Start making healthier food choices. Sounds SOOOO easy, but I know it’s not. Convenience, taste, time, availability all come into play here. Start small – incorporating one piece of fruit into your day, one vegetable. Cut out one soda per day. Work up to it, as opposed to just banning all of the bad cold turkey. Start small & start now (here’s a YouTube video from my Happy Kitchen talking a bit about this).

Colfax 1/2 Marathon!
Colfax 1/2 Marathon!

2. Start moving. Again, sounds SUPER easy to do, but all of the factors listed above (especially time) rear their ugly heads. Don’t overwhelm yourself with crazy, lofty goals you won’t accomplish. I’m going to run 10 miles 3 times a week! Well, if you barely run 2 now, that seems cray! (Above is me running my first 1/2 a marathon….that took me 16 weeks to train for! It was hard!) Start with a 10 minute walk everyday and build up to a mile. Give yourself realistic goals you can meet and feel good about. With our sedentary lives, it’s so important to start incorporating movement into every day. And lots of it!

3. Stop making excuses. It won’t happen over night, but the more you find excuses to not take charge of your health, not make healthier decisions, the worse your well-being will be. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or miss a workout. Just make sure you don’t make that the norm. Every day you start new, make the most out of it!

Healthy is a lifestyle….live it well! Have questions? Feel free to reach out or comment.

Happy Health!

Top 5 Plant Based Sources of Protein

plantprotein

Day 1 of the #plantfueledyoga Challenge: Strength & Protein

“People eat meat and think they will become as strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.”

~ Pino Caruso

There are tons and tons of plant based sources in which to pack on the protein (and a bajillion of resources out there to help educate yourself). For Day 1 of the #plantbasedyoga challenge, we are delving into the Top 5 Plant Based Sources of Protein to incorporate into your diet.

  1. Lentils – 17g of protein per cup
  2. Hemp Seeds – 16g of protein in 3 tablespoons
  3. Beans – 12-15g of protein per cup
  4. Quinoa – 11g of protein per cup
  5. Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms (cooked) – 4g of protein per cup

Why not try changing it up every once and awhile? Replace that meat with a plant-packed-punch of protein!

Your Strength Yoga Challenge: Warrior Series

Start off in mountain pose, dive over your feet for a half lift, then step your right foot back.

Come into a crescent lunge, then come up to a Warrior I. Hold for a few breathes, then flow into Warrior II.

From here, move into reverse warrior by bringing the rear hand down to the back leg, palm facing down. Turn the front palm to face upwards and extend the front arm up towards the sky, palm facing toward the back of the room, reaching your heart up toward the sky.

Raise your left hand for the full twist. Bring your hand down to meet the ground, bend your right hand, then take your back leg back down to the ground, into a runner’s lunge. Bring your right leg back to meet your left leg, coming into plank. Then, bend your elbows for chaturanga!

Repeat on the other side. Check me & Sarah out on Instagram for a clip of the series.

Feel the strength in this series, feel strong, feel grounded!

Namaste