There’s no doubt that, for many of us, life just keeps getting busier. However, skipping meals or eating nutritionally empty foods just leaves us feeling tired, irritable and less able to cope. With a little bit of little planning and simple substitutions, we can ensure that our bodies have the energy we need to get through the day with a greater sense of energy and excitement.
 
 
 
BREAKFAST:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, too many of us skip breakfast in our rush to get out the door (loading up on coffee and sugary breakfast pastries doesn’t count). A bowl of healthy cereal (like Cheerios), yogurt mixed with diced fruit, a scrambled egg sandwich (beat two eggs in a mug, cover and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes) and a toasted bagel with cheese or peanut butter are all examples of healthier options that take just a couple of extra minutes but get you set up for the day. Also, try water, milk or juice instead of coffee (or at least try reducing the size of coffee and amount of sugar you take).
 
LUNCH & SNACKS:
The best alternative is taking a healthy lunch and snacks. Use the weekend to plan and shop for your weekly lunches and mid-day snacks. Each night, prepare yourself a balanced lunch including a few light snacks to keep your energy levels high. Of course, there will be days when you don’t bring your lunch and don’t have time to go buy one. Instead of grabbing empty calories from the vending machine or coffee shop, reach for your desk drawer or work fridge where you have previously stored a number of healthy food items like canned fruit, cereal, canned soup, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, cheese etc. Again, try substituting water for coffee or soda (or at least try reducing the size of coffee and amount of sugar you take).
 
DINNER & SNACKS:
To save time with making dinners, plan ahead. Plan and shop for your evening meals on the weekend and pre-cut/pre-measure the ingredients for faster preparation during the week (if you leave the weekly meal plan and recipes out, perhaps other members of the household can get started while you’re out). You might even want to pre-cook and freeze entire meals for those extra busy nights. You can also buy lower-fat, pre-made meals like soups, sandwiches quiches and pastas. Just add a healthy salad or other side dish. For those nights when driving your kids (or yourself) to and from recreational activities make sure you have light, healthy and non-perishable snacks in the car. And yes, try substituting water for soda, coffee or alcohol.
 
The more demanding your schedule, the more important it is that you keep your body fueled with healthier foods. All it takes is a little planning and a few simple substitutions.