Nutrition-Bites-Tips-on-how-to-eat-healthier-and-save-time

Nutrition Bites: Tips on how to eat healthier and save time

In a perfect world, all your responsibilities – personal and professional – can be completed with time to spare. In reality, responsibilities need to be prioritized, and what often falls by the wayside is personal health.

While there may be nothing wrong with eating the occasional junk food to indulge a sweet tooth, this indulgence can often begin a junk food cycle, in which any individual with a busy schedule can become a victim. So is there a solution to this seemingly endless issue? An effective method is to meal plan.

The benefits are two-fold: first, you can create healthy and nutritious meals that keep you full throughout the day; second, meal plans help use all the produce in your kitchen which results in reduced food waste and spending less.

The goal is time management and scheduling. Create a weekly meal plan that allows you to overlap the more expensive items in a shopping list (i.e. meats/proteins and vegetables). After purchasing all the items necessary for approximately two weeks of meals, choose a meal prep day. This day allows you to create large batches of your meals that you can then refrigerate and eat throughout the week for lunch and dinner.

Another tip is to add a night where you can utilize all produce with an upcoming expiration date. Normally, a stir fry or soup work best. This again allows you to reduce food waste and avoid throwing away food on which you have spent time and money.

A sample meal plan is shown below. The menu stars two proteins which are placed in several different types of dishes that are meant to be created in large batches so they can be eaten over a one to two-week period. Unlike other meal preps which have the same lunch and dinner every day, this menu uses different recipes with the same core ingredients. By getting creative, eating healthy becomes fun as well as time-efficient and frugal.

Click here for the sample meal plan.

By Amrita Arcot, Tulane Dietetic Intern
February 2017

(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com. Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that appears in the Tulane PRC's e-newsletters and covers nutrition and health tips. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   nutrition , diet , health communication

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