When life gets busy, a healthy diet probably isn't at the top of your to-do list. This is understandable - we can only juggle so much at once. With work, family, home and social commitments, healthy eating might not seem a priority. But in order to feel good and stay on top of your busy schedule, eating well is key.
Our LiveLighter team have put together five healthy eating hacks to help make healthy eating your norm without any extra time or burden.
1. Shop smart
A pantry and freezer stocked with healthy staples makes throwing a meal together much easier. Canned beans, fast-cooking grains (like couscous), and frozen vegies are the go-to choices in my kitchen. They are versatile and easy to use. Check out our recent post The Busy People's Guide to Pantry Essentials for inspiration!
2. Build your recipe bank
Keep a notebook in the kitchen, or a photo album with recipes on your phone. Add easy, healthy recipes to this recipe bank that you find or are given. This will make dinner preparation a breeze. Cooking instead of buying take away after a long day will save you money, too. Check out our LiveLighter online recipe collection if you need a kick-start.
Next time you eat during a busy day, take note of how you eat. If you find yourself scrolling through your phone, or watching TV, try removing distractions and notice if there are any changes. You might find that you eat more slowly, are more in tune with your appetite, or are satisfied sooner.
4. Stash healthy snacks
This doesn't need to be fancy! A handful of nuts, a piece of fruit, or grainy crackers will do the trick. Keep these in your car, bag, or workplace. By preparing ahead and having snacks on hand, you can save money and time. Having a fruit bowl in your kitchen is a great reminder to grab a piece of fruit for your bag as you head out the door.
5. Keep it simple
Being creative is great, but don't feel bad if you aren't the next Masterchef. Forget recipes with a million ingredients you've never even heard of. When time is limited, stick to the basics. Have a gander of our LiveLighter team's "Back to Basics" recipe booklet and prepare your taste buds for some easy, delicious meals.
So, don't wait for a new year's resolution! You can try these hacks straight away.
We suggest trying one of these tips each week, or dive right in and try them all. Remember, healthy eating is not a diet - it's a lifestyle, and should be easy to follow long-term. Find what works for you and stick with that!
Want more information?
Cancer Council WA delivers the LiveLighter initiative which aims to encourage Australian adults to lead healthier lifestyles - to make changes to what they eat and drink, and to be more active.
Visit the LiveLighter website for more information, healthy recipes and meal plans.
LiveLighter supports future health professionals through engagement with Australian Universities. This student blog was created for LiveLighter by Sophie Royce, student dietitian Curtin University as part of Advanced Public Health Nutrition Practice coursework (Master of Dietetics at Curtin University, Western Australia). It was originally published on livelighter.com.au