It is no surprise that a busy schedule tends to lead to poor eating habits. According to Time Magazine, research has found that more than 50% of people resort to unhealthy eating habits when their schedule becomes hectic. Picking up a pizza or ordering takeout Chinese food might seem like an easy way to get a nightly meal on the table, but doing so can too often lead to weight gain, poor nutrition, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. While the Paleo Diet® life might seem time-consuming, your health should come above everything. Thankfully there are a few easy ways to fit Paleo into even the busiest of schedules.
Prep your veggies in advance
Slicing, dicing and cutting up vegetables might seem like a simple enough task, but when you’ve walked in the door at 7 pm, and you just want to eat, the process of getting the prep work out of the way can be a massive roadblock. To make mealtimes more manageable, consider prepping all of your vegetables ahead of time.
When you bring home your produce from the grocery store or farmer’s market, immediately clean, peel and cut what you’ll need for the week, store everything in separate containers. You don’t have to cook the vegetables ahead of time if you don’t want, but steaming kale and spinach in advance can make your weeknight meals even more accessible. Once everything is cut up, it is super easy to grab what you need for whatever meal you are putting together.
Plan your meals and freeze the extras
Meal planning is essential if you have a tight weekly schedule. Take one day out of your weekend and find recipes that interest you. Plan a week’s worth of dinners and lunches based on what each day of the week looks like in terms of your schedule. If you know your Monday evening is busy, but you have Sunday free, consider cooking up a big batch of a Paleo-approved meal for Sunday and freeze the extras for later in the week.
By freezing individual portions and planning your meals in advance, you take the guesswork out of dinner time. You can do the same for lunches and even breakfasts. The further you get into the lifestyle, the easier it will be to portion, prep, and plan.
Keep a running grocery list
Many people fall into poor eating habits when they run out of food in their fridge. Instead of running to the grocery store, it might seem easier to just stop for some quick takeout. To avoid this pitfall, because, let’s be honest, eating out on a Paleo Diet is a challenge, keep a running grocery list on your phone.
By keeping tabs of what is in your fridge, you can make smart decisions about what you will be eating when you finally arrive home at the end of the day. It will also make grocery shopping and meal planning for the week easier. If a running list isn’t for you, consider taking a photo of your refrigerator each day. When you are zapped for ideas, take a peek inside, so you know exactly what is ready to eat.
Avoid stale eating habits by changing things up
It is annoying to eat the same thing every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend time each day prepping a new meal. You can meal prep while keeping things fresh by using different spices on individual meals. If you have a huge package of chicken, section it out and prepare it in different ways ahead of time. If you want to enjoy a stir fry one day and a Greek-inspired dinner another, you can simply season individual portions separately and cook.
Once everything is cooked, place your meals into individual storage containers. Not only will it ensure you are eating something different each day, it will make getting dinner into your body almost effortless. To excel at this, it is best to purchase proper storage containers.
Finally, if the same six or seven meals are feeling stale, check out our recipe section for more great Paleo ideas!