Life can zoom past your eyes very quickly if you don’t stop to smell the roses. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to always have the time to smell that proverbial rose or to be as healthy as you’d like to be.

As I’m packing up our apartment preparing to move, trying to do some work and coping with unpleasant morning sickness at the same time, it makes me realise how hard it can be to eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep up a regular exercise routine when you have little time for yourself. Of course, many people cope incredibly well at juggling a busy work and family life along with keeping up a healthy lifestyle. And usually their secret is that they ‘plan ahead‘.

I have included some tips below on how to make the most of the time you have.

Before you even read these, stop, take a deep breath and think of one way you can make your day a little bit healthier. It could be that you buy a fruit salad instead of a muffin with your morning coffee, you order a side salad with your takeaway pizza tonight or you take the stairs instead of the escalator or the lift on the way home from work. Whatever you choose, pat yourself on the back when you achieve this and think of a new healthy change you are going to make tomorrow.

MY TOP TIPS FOR EATING WELL WHEN YOUR LIFE IS BUSY

1. PLAN AHEAD

  • make the most of your day off
  • write a list of meals you are going to eat for the week ahead
  • go shopping and purchase the ingredients
  • choose some dishes that can be made ahead of time and have a fun cooking session with your nearestand dearest and your favourite music. Some you may be able to freeze, others can keep in the fridge for a day or two
  • Prepare your fruit and vegetables 
  •         chop up fruit such as watermelon and pineapple and keep in a container
  •         cut up green vegetables such as broccoli or sugar snap peas, blanch them and keep on hand  for salads or a snack
  •         grate carrots and add to a sandwich or a salad
  •         roast vegetable such as sweet potato, pumpkin, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant and beetroot and eat as a snack or add to pasta, an omelette, a salad or a sandwich
  • Prepare your protein sources for the week
  •         boil some eggs and keep in the fridge for a snack or an easy addition to a salad or meal
  •         keep tins of tuna on hand to add to rice, pasta or couscous
  •         steam or bake a chicken breast and slice or shred it ready to add to a stir-fry, pasta or even omelette
  •         keep a tin of chick peas to add to a salad, some couscous or cooked rice
  • Bake a batch of healthy muffins such as banana and walnut, apple and cinnamon or carrot and sultana and keep them in the freezer

2. HAVE QUICK AND EASY SNACKS AVAILABLE

  • chopped up fruit salad
  • nuts and dried fruit
  • yoghurt with berries
  • homemade muffins – keep them in the freezer
  • cheese and wholegrain crackers
  • breakfast cereal with milk and a banana
  • homemade hommus and crackers
  • homemade popcorn
  • tuna and sliced tomato on toast

3.     FOCUS ON FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

  • fill half your plate with vegetables
  • aim for a rainbow of colours of fruit and vegetables
  • always try new fruit and vegetables

4.     ENJOY YOUR FOOD

If you’d like some personalised advice from a dietitian on how to fit a healthy diet into your busy lifestyle, then contact The Travelling Dietitian to make an appointment. For those living in Singapore, a consultation in your home can be arranged. For those living outside of Singapore, why not consider a Skype consultation. Contact Vanessa for more information.

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