6 Clean Eating Strategies For Busy Schedules
1. Hire a food delivery service.
This one is pretty self explanatory.
It sounds expensive, but it actually is not too shabby. On average, the most people pay for about 14 prepared meals is about $200. You can also combine this with a partial preparation that you can do yourself. The chef (generally) does all the shopping, preparing and adding them into your meal prep containers.
I've known some people to hire a chef and they seem to like it and do well with it. You can hire a chef to prepare ALL of your meals for the week, or just a few days a week when you may be busier than others.
Here are some food delivery services that deliver the food right to your front door:
2. Cook your food all in one day and make it your ritual.
This is what I choose to do as of my writing this.
Before my cooking day, I decide what I want to eat for that week, how much of it I'm going to need in order to last through the week and then I set out to cooking and preparing everything.
Going to shop for groceries AND preparing the food in the same day does not work for me. I don't like to work on prep for that long. The shortest amount of time I've completed food prep was 2 hours. It was only prep for 5 days instead of 7.
Generally, I try to prep every 3 days if I find myself getting bored with food. In the spring and summer months I prepare for up to 3 days because everything is so fresh and there's more variety.
Generally, I rotate between 3 different proteins, usually chicken breasts, buffalo and a fatty fish (salmon, cod). My carbohydrates quite honestly, right now as I write this, is just basmati.
I'm not fond of the way potatoes reheat and depending on how much time I have, I don't really mess around too much with mashed potatoes. I do love and appreciate sweet potatoes and/or yams.
For vegetables, I eat about a head of lettuce a day (possibly more) and other vegetables include green beans, sometimes I enjoy carrots with hummus, asparagus, beets, raw bell peppers, english cucumbers, and grape tomatoes (my favorite!).
I do eat fruit, but not a whole lot of it (maybe one or two servings per day, but usually no more than one) and I rotate between whatever the season provides.
Then I divide them up in my portions and stick in the fridge where they will wait for me until I eat them.
Cooking all your food in one day, say like on a Sunday saves you loads of time during the week and the most you have to do is heat and eat.
Some things I do UNDERcook because if I don't the re-heating process just makes the protein very rubbery.
3. Prepare for the whole day's worth of meals in the morning.
If you don't want to prepare all your food for the week in one day, do it in the morning before or after you eat breakfast. I don't know about you, but the less thinking I have to do in the morning, the better. But if it works for you, then it works for you. Go for it!
4. Pre-cook only your proteins.
If I'm in a big hurry, I will do this to make sure I have a quality protein.
Instead of pre-cooking everything to assemble your meals all at once, you can just precook the proteins only (which take up most of your time to cook anyways) and then add the other components to your meal later at the time you're ready to eat them and prepare them just before you sit down to eat.
5. Pre-chopping vegetables.
I'm a fresh vegetables kind of gal. You can buy all of your fresh vegetables in one day and chop them up, divide them up, and put them all in your fridge for safe keeping.
6. Liquid Nutrition
By far, the easiest and quickest way to get nutrients in, in the morning is the universal smoothie. It's mostly convenient because you can take it with you in handy shake container. You do have to be careful of choosing the right one and something that will work for your body. There are quite a few varieties that you can add to your smoothies in the morning; whey, egg white, rice, soy, vegetable, vegan, plant, hemp etc.
I generally mix my with unsweetened almond milk, but I've heard of people mixing it with water. You should also make sure that your smoothie will sustain you for at least 3 hours.
You should choose one that fits your budget and blends easily and well. It should not be chunky when you blend it.
To make it even more convenient if you like to have your smoothies in the morning, you should put all your smoothie ingredients all in one sandwich sized (or quart size) ziploc bag and freeze them in batches.
That way, when you're ready for a smoothie, you can just reach into your fridge, pull it out and dump it into your blender and you're ready to blend it into a delicious smoothie for yourself.