We often hear about the challenges people face trying to maintain healthy practices while juggling the demands of a busy schedule, so we tackled this topic head-on during our February Nutrition Talk, hosted at ACCEL and led by performance dietitian, Alisha Parker.
The conversation started by comparing common dining out habits with at-home practices to illustrate that convenience isn’t always a time-friendly option. For example, waiting in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for a grilled chicken cool wrap took, on average, 15 minutes to get compared to just 6 minutes when cooked at home. And the Starbucks drive-thru was even more surprising. On average, it took 18 minutes from pulling into the line to leaving with a coffee and breakfast sandwich. When prepared at home, Alisha found that it took about 7 minutes to make an iced coffee and a similar sandwich. Knowing where your time goes is an important part of creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
For some, the thought of planning and preparing all your meals and snacks at home can feel overwhelming. Below are a few tips that were covered by Alisha and her intern, Kirby.
Formulate a grocery list. Prepare your list ahead of time to be efficient with both your time and money. You’ll also feel less overwhelmed knowing exactly what you want to buy and how you’re going to use each item.
Alisha and Kirby recommend following the shopping list below as a guide to reduce waste and still ensure you have the flexibility to try new items.
Schedule your grocery shopping and meal preparation on separate days. If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping in the morning and then come home to begin your meal prep for the week, you’ve probably experienced dread after packing it all into one day and losing the desire to even eat what you just prepared. Here’s our fix: Go grocery shopping during the week and batch cook over the weekend.
Instead of meal prepping, try batch cooking. Our dietician recommends batch cooking, which is where each food item is prepared separately instead of using your food to create one recipe to eat all week. If you’re really in a pinch, batch cooking can be made easier with things like pre-cut or frozen veggies, pre-made sauces, and pre-seasoned meats.
Now batch cook and follow these easy, healthy meal ideas.
Putting it all together. From grocery shopping to food preparation, our nutrition experts provided a fulfilling and nutritious guide for a week of healthy eats. Feel free to give it a try or substitute based on your individual needs and preferences.
If you have specific questions about reaching your personal health goals, contact our performance dietitian, Alisha Parker.