How to plan and eat when your schedule is super busy.
Avoid Flipping Starving
The essential component to making whole food happen, even on the busiest of weeks, is to avoid getting FLIPPING STARVING, which is otherwise referred to as HANGRY. Getting to this point means your blood sugar is swinging low. Physiologically, your body is out of juice or energy and it is asking for food that can be easily turned into energy. Quick energy comes in the form of foods that contain white flour and sugar. Think chips, baked goods, sweets and white grains like pasta. That’s what we tend to crave and grab. And it’s an easy grab—coffee and sweet bread at 10am. Chips and dip at 3pm.
The Vicious Cycle
When life gets busy, easy food becomes crucial. I hear the following A LOT:
- “What can I grab when I’m busy?”
- “I don’t have time to cook.”
- “Ordering is quicker than cooking.”
- “It’s a relief to not have to make dinner.”
- “I’m past the point of caring what I eat.”
With a little thought, we can avoid the blood sugar swing and consequential grab of simple white bad-for-you food. We can eat a whole foods healthful meal even when life is crazy busy. A little planning for a busy week is huge!
Timed Eating is Really Important
Avoid the hangry train wreck by having good food on hand. Eat BEFORE you hit the bewitching time. It may be effective to strategically place a daily snack at 10am and 3pm. Is that when you grab unplanned sugar? Most likely. Also, having a loose food framework for the week is helpful.
Weekly Planning for Success
- What’s for breakfast this week? One breakfast for the week is quick and easy. Mix it up week over week and you’ll soon find favorites you can look forward to.
- Choose at least 2 whole food snacks for the week. A couple of interesting options really help to steer clear of the chips and sweets at snack time.
- Pick up lunch or plan for leftovers. Don’t overthink it…but think it. Have food scheduled for lunch—normally a combo of pick-up salads and leftovers is helpful.
- Dinner in 3’s. Plan for 3 dinners for the week, each consisting of protein, lots of veggies and some healthy fat. You don’t have to have it entirely figured out, but knowing which proteins and veggies you’re excited to enjoy makes it far more likely that you’ll have it in the house ready to be prepped and cooked.
- When am I in the kitchen this week? It takes two, 2-hour sessions to make the week go-round. We like Sunday and Wednesday evening. That’s enough prep time for the week.
- Protein shakes
- Egg bites or frittata
- Nutty granola or Greek yogurt and nuts/seeds
- Avocado toast
Snacks: The clear winner is veggies and dip (hummus, guacamole, nut-based dips like Bitchin’ Sauce)
- Use a formula of protein + veggies with some healthy fats.
- Soups, stews, or chili that you can make ahead and warm up
- Big salads with protein toppers (see our Instagram feed for doable and delicious recipes)
- Grilled or roasted veggies + a lean protein
You can eat a whole foods diet even when you’re crazy busy; it just takes some planning and a commitment to try. Give it a go! You can do it, we know you can.
For more info on blood sugar balance, good energy or feeling your best through smarter food choices, please contact our holistic nutritionists. It’s a personal puzzle, but we can assist in figuring out what’s best for your body.
Read more on sugar issues and book a free 20-minute consultation with Healthy Nest Nutrition owner Robin Hutchinson.
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!