We get it: Eating healthy when you have a super busy schedule can feel challenging. From grocery shopping to meal planning and prepping, it may even seem downright impossible. We’re here to tell you, though, that there are easy ways to eat healthy that fit into the tightest of schedules—without making your stress levels rise even more.
Eating healthy can truly feel like a last priority as your to-do list grows. But fueling your body with good-for-you food will actually make it easier to cross all those things off your to-do list. You’ll have more energy (which means you’ll be way more productive), and you’ll feel better so you can be the best version of yourself.
Easy ways to eat healthy when your schedule is crazy
At Freshly, we’re all about health and convenience so we asked our nutritionist Emily Navarro, RDN to share her top tips for eating healthy—even when you’re crazy busy.
1. Cook once, eat all week
Too tired to cook after work? Try batch cooking—aka, whipping up a bunch of meals on Saturday or Sunday so that all you have to do is re-heat them during the week. That way, you’ll always have a home-cooked, ready-to-eat meal waiting for you.
2. Order groceries online
Getting your groceries delivered to you is a huge time-saver (no more waiting in long lines or getting stuck in traffic!). Online grocery services make it super easy. In fact, online grocery shopping is one of our favorite easy ways to eat healthy because it solves two problems: it saves you time and it helps ensure you don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, which tends to lead to junk food ending up in your cart. No worries—Freshly meals come fully prepared and are loaded with healthy ingredients.
3. Keep healthy snacks on-hand
When hunger strikes, it can be tempting to hit the vending machine. A better idea: carry healthy snacks with you so you always have something nutritious to munch on. Navarro recommends a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a hardboiled egg, which you can easily store in a ziplock bag. Pro tip: Boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week so you can eat them all week!
4. Make use of a slow cooker
If you work long days, a slow cooker can be your best friend. Simply throw in your protein and veggies in the morning and come home to a healthy, delicious meal. Dinner? Done!
5. Prep a healthy breakfast
A surefire way to start your day off on the right foot? Prep your breakfast the night before so you can grab-and-go in the morning. Navarro is a fan of prepping: chia pudding, overnight oats, and yogurt with fruit. Another super easy (and healthy) breakfast? Smoothies! Nothing is easier to whip up, and you can drink it on the way to the office.
6. Keep canned beans in your pantry
Carefully chosen canned foods will be your best ally when putting together a last-minute meal. Beans are an easy way to eat healthy since they’re high in protein and easy to heat up and serve over eggs, rice, and soups. Cooking dried beans can take hours whereas canned beans take just a few minutes. Be sure, however, to choose a low-sodium option and drain and rinse beans before using.
7. And keep nut butter in the fridge
Like that can of beans, a jar of your favorite nut butter (personally, we like almond butter) will help you out when you’re feeling hungry and need to whip together a quick snack. Spread it on toast or an apple, or whip it into a smoothie.
8. Take advantage of frozen fruits and veggies
Frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh produce—and they can be a cost-effective and time-saving way to eat healthier. Keep bags of cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and edamame in the freezer so you can easily whip up smoothies, soups, and stir-frys.
9. Prep veggies in advance
We know: Incorporating more veggies into your diet can be tough. An easy solution? Set aside half an hour on Sunday to wash and slice a bunch of your favorite produce and store them in airtight containers. That way, you can easily grab them as a snack or toss them into simple dinners (like stir-frys or salads).
10. Buy in bulk
If you don’t have time to make tons of trips to the grocery story, buy in bulk. The healthiest foods to buy in bulk are grains (like brown rice, millet, quinoa, and oats), which you can keep in airtight containers or jars. You can also buy canned tuna, frozen veggies, dried fruits, dried beans, and pasta (gluten-free, if you’re like us!).
11. Invest in a blender
Like a slow-cooker, a blender is another easy way to eat healthy thanks to a tool. A powerful high-quality blender will allow you to whip up breakfast smoothies, nut butters, and healthy desserts like a pro. Other healthy goodies you can make in a blender? Non-dairy milks like cashew, almond, and hemp milk, almond or coconut flour, pureed fruits and veggies, and even homemade pizza dough.
12. Eat breakfast for dinner
Frustrated trying to think up yet another healthy dinner that isn’t a salad? We’re big fans of having breakfast for dinner. Omelettes give you an incredible opportunity to stuff veggies, lean meats, and cheese into one meal that’s both quick to whip up and eat.
13. Don’t be afraid of your microwave
According to Harvard Health, microwaving your food isn’t bad for you. In fact, the cooking method actually helps food retain more nutrients, making it a healthy option for warming up meals in a hurry—and giving you more time and energy to do the things you love.
Freshly delivers healthy, chef-developed meals weekly to make eating well easy and delicious. Check out our rotating menu.