Happy weekend, everyone! If you’re like me, you plan on living healthier in 2018 but struggle to keep up with your clean eating when life gets busy. You’ll learn through my blog that I’m all about sustainability in healthy living. Quitting things cold turkey and not having any grace with yourself will often lead to food guilt, which is not a good way to create a sustainable, long-term healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips I’ve learned to help make your healthy lifestyle more effective when you’re especially busy!

Meal Prep

This is probably preached at you constantly, but planning your meals once or twice a week will help with making smart decisions throughout the week. I personally don’t enjoy making a large stock of one meal to eat all week because I need more variety. Instead, I like to plan out individual meals before I go grocery shopping on Sunday or Monday. I make a master grocery list of what I will need for the week and also plan what I will need to pick up on the way home from work on specific days (ex. If I was making chicken and asparagus toward the end of the week, I would wait and pick those up on the day I was making them).

Snack Prep

In addition to planning your meals, having healthy and energizing snacks prepared for the week has been a game changer for me! Whether if it means having carrots and ranch divided and stored in the fridge, or making roasted, seasoned kale chips and chickpeas on Sunday night, you’ll have options to grab on the way out the door. This way you’ll feel less tempted by the vending machine at work!

Fast Food List

Our Fast Food list has been a LIFESAVER over the last few years. I made a list of the top fast food and sit down restaurants that we visit and looked up the calories in our favorite foods there. I included the typical “healthy” options, but also our splurge foods for cheat days or days where we’ve burned a lot of calories. We store this list in Evernote and can pull it up whenever we are out to eat to get a few quick options without having to look up the nutrition information every time we are out. We update this list every few months or when our tastes change!

Keep Water At Hand

I struggle a lot with eating crappy, sugar-filled drinks. One way I’ve combatted this weakness is to keep a water bottle with me wherever I go. I try to keep a water bottle I really like with me filled with cold water, both so I am less tempted to drink anything else and just to keep myself hydrated. According to Women’s Health Magazine, “staying hydrated could help you avoid overeating.”

Variety, Variety, Variety

One of the biggest reasons I fall off the healthy wagon is that I get tired of eating the same things all the time! Pinterest and my big pile of cookbooks are how I keep the boring, repetitive meals away. Start a new board on Pinterest for healthy meals and pin to it daily! I found this beautiful cookbook called “The Forest Feast” and loved getting some ideas from it.

Cheat Days

It is truly all about balance. I don’t know many people who can eat clean 100% of the time without any breaks. Make sure you plan some cheat meals or cheat days into your schedule. You know yourself and your abilities the best, so consider how often you need this. It may be a meal once a week or a day every few weeks, but make sure you are giving yourself some time to enjoy the good stuff so you aren’t craving it 24/7!

Thanks for reading! You can find my healthy eating inspiration and recipes board below. Give it a follow and let me know your favorite tips for healthy eating when you’re busy!

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