Nice weather has finally arrived, after a long arduous, winter. With that brings kids’ sport practices, barbeques, and plenty of other activity. It’s difficult enough to eat well when you have the time to prep and cook meals, so how does one keep eating in check during the busy summer months?
I promise, it’s not as hard as you think! Here are a few easy tips to keep you full and well-nourished so you have plenty of energy to spend on the fun stuff.
1. Meal Planning
I used to think that meal planning was far too time consuming, but I realize now that it saves time, money, and helps me to eat healthier. I spend about 20 minutes picking recipes (I have all my favorites saved on my Pinterest boards) and making a list of the necessary ingredients. I usually pick 3-4 meals, depending on what’s happening that week. Then I head to the store armed with a grocery list that I know will get me several healthy, delicious meals.
2. Food Prep Days
Sometimes life is just too crazy to cook every day, and that often leads me to graze the fridge or visit Panera one too many times. Instead, I pick one day a week (typically Sunday) to chop, dice, and prep anything I can for the week ahead. It usually takes me 1-2 hours, but is well worth the time I save during the week.
3. Freezer Meals
This goes along with food prep. Sometimes, it’s easier to make the whole meal, put it in a Ziploc and store it in the freezer. My favorite part about freezer meals is how long they last. I can make freezer meals and pull them out weeks later! I love to freeze crockpot meals, casseroles, and marinated meats, but the options are endless.
4. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
No matter how much I plan, prep, and freeze, I am still a snack girl. I don’t always want to eat a full meal, especially if I have a midday BBQ or food event planned. But let’s be honest here – I can’t go more than a few hours without having something to eat. I always plan snacks into my grocery shopping and food prep. Sometimes I pre-pack baggies of crackers, fruits, or veggies. Other times I prep banana muffins or homemade granola. As long as it’s easily accessible and healthy, anything will work.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We often eat when we are actually thirsty and dehydrated. It’s important to drink lots of fluids (water) throughout the day, particularly in the hot summer months. Making sure that you’re well-hydrated will prevent boredom eating and unnecessary snacking.
For me, the key to eating well on the go is keeping things fun and fresh. I like to change things up all the time, but these 5 keys help me stay on track, even when life gets crazy!
Maggie Abbate is a healthy living blogger at readysetbreathe.wordpress.com. She is a certified personal trainer and speech language pathologist in Syracuse, NY.