Eating nutritious meals every day doesn’t have to feel like a chore. A chef shares five simple ways he can eat healthy while on a busy schedule.
In the fast-paced whirlwind of modern life, nutrition can often take a backseat when it comes to food. A quick and easy meal is preferred to anything that takes more than five minutes. However, there is a lot of research out there on why maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for overall well-being and quality of life, something every parent has been screaming about forever. While prioritizing nutrition on a busy schedule may seem like an insurmountable challenge, a little creativity and strategy can go a long way.
“Meeting our daily nutritional requirements is important to ensure we have the energy to get things done on our schedule. A good diet needs good planning,” says Satendra Negi, Executive Chef at Organic Roots, who has over 18 years of experience in field. Organic Roots creates ready-to-eat foods rooted in traditional recipes and adapted for contemporary lifestyles.
Negi talks to Lounge about five simple ways nutrition can be packed into everyday meals, even when your schedule is hectic.
plan your meals
The secret weapon against ubiquitous fast food and unhealthy convenience foods is meal prep. Spend a few hours each week planning and preparing your meals. Once you know what your next meal will be, it’s easier to switch to healthier homemade foods. “When planning your week, include meals. On weekends, you can chop vegetables and make sauces. Then, during the week, cooking will only take a few minutes of your time,” says Negi.
Plus, when you have time to think about meals, it’s easier to make sure you’re including the right amount of protein, carbs, fat, and more.
Snacking doesn’t have to be just chewing on chips or chocolates. Instead, pack nutrient-dense snacks, such as fresh fruits, nuts, peanut chikki (bars made with brown sugar and peanuts), or homemade energy bars. This will help you satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling energized. “When you travel, for short or long distances, for work or on vacation, pack healthy snacks like nuts to eat. Eating chips and other unhealthy foods won’t do your body any good. Instead, it could make you feel tired. Negi says.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Although often overlooked, hydration is important when it comes to good nutrition. Carry a refillable water bottle to drink throughout the day. If you tend to forget, set reminders on your smartwatch to make sure you’re drinking enough water. To make it more fun and refreshing, infuse it with a lemon wedge, mint leaves and cucumber. Proper hydration is important for maintaining good energy levels and supports general well-being.
“Drinking enough water is important for your body to absorb nutrients. Make sure you hit your hydration goals every day,” advises Negi.
focus on breakfast
There is an age-old debate as to whether or not it can be skipped, specifically when following a diet plan. Negi has a strong stance and emphasizes that breakfast is important and should be high in protein. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to skip breakfast. Instead, make sure it’s a healthy one, packed with protein to give you energy throughout the day. Some easy sources of protein are eggs, which are also easy to make,” she says. . Adding a bunch of pre-cut vegetables to the mix can make it healthier.
Feeding your body in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. So think about what food brings you joy and eat it, but make sure you add some good protein and carbs to the mix.
Choose healthy instant meals
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, life takes control. For example, when you’re stuck between meetings, you may not have the energy to cook or the time to tidy up. Ready-to-eat meals can seem like a savior. But it’s important to check the ingredient list to make sure you’re not eating unhealthy meals packed with preservatives.
“Ready-to-eat meals are often thought of as unhealthy, but it is possible to choose those that are consciously prepared without chemicals,” Negi says.