Do you know anyone who is not busy? The juggle of work, kids, relationships, family, sports and commuting is real, and few of us find ourselves with a spare hour or two on a daily basis. When we are busy, it is often our nutrition that get compromised, when we do not have the time or energy to shop, meal prep, plan and seek out healthier meal options. As life is often busy, one of the easiest ways we can help prevent the need to grab high calorie, grab and go foods is to know the quick and easy, and healthy options we can grab on the run and still have a healthy, and tasty meal on the table in minutes.
1) Focus on the freezer
Not only is your freezer a great friend when it comes to eating on a budget, but keeping a supply of frozen foods including healthy, calorie controlled Lean Cuisine Meals, a range of frozen vegetables, fish pieces and dumplings means that you can have a nutritious meal ready in just a few minutes. Not only do a number of frozen varieties of food including fruits, vegetables and frozen meals retain all, if not more of the nutrient content of a fresh meal, but you can literally heat up a frozen meal and have a nutritionally balanced, calorie-controlled meal option ready in a few minutes – even faster than ordering takeaway.
2) Know your smart staples
The freezer can be a great source of quick and easy meals, but keeping a handful of pantry staples on hand that too can be converted into a healthy meal quickly means that you can satisfy many dinner cravings – tinned fish, quick cook rice, premade soup pouches, eggs and tinned legumes like baked beans are all nutritious foods that can be whipped into a light and tasty meal. Think omelettes, brown rice with tuna or even beans or salmon on toast or crackers for much healthier alternatives to food we order in.
3) Get the supermarket to work for you
Forget the home delivery apps or menus when you need a meal quickly, all you need is a local supermarket. Supermarkets are stocking an increasingly wide range of prepared and quick meal options which means you can duck in and grab a few key items and have a dinner that costs less than $20 but ticks a number of nutritional boxes. BBQ chickens with premade salads; pizzas and pastas and loads of fresh and frozen meal options means the supermarket can be your best friend when you need a healthy meal on the go.
4) Think meals not snacks
One of the big mistakes we make when finding ourselves too busy to prep and organise healthy meals in advance is grabbing quick snacks on the run rather than meals. Snack foods including crackers, bars, bites, coffees, muffins, cakes and pastries are all relatively high in carbohydrate and lack the protein and vegetable bulk a balanced meal does. As soon as you shift your food focus to meals rather than snacks, even when you are busy, your overall nutritional intake will be improved.
5) When it doubt, think protein and veges
While nutrition can be a complicated science, it can also be pretty simple, and when you are pushed for time, if you focus on quick meal options that offer some vegetable bulk and filling protein you will be on the right track. Whether you option for chicken strips, or a vegetable rice burrito bowl of a vegetable rich frozen meal like the Lean Cuisine Veg’d up range, you will be adding some nutrients into your day and making a much healthier option than fried food, burger deals or pizza that you order in.