Pressed for Time? Here’s How Busy Caregivers can Eat Healthier
Pressed for time? Here’s how busy caregivers can eat to reach good health.
Eating healthy food is important to maintaining your energy and well-being, especially when you’re taking care of others.
Sometimes the world feels like a fast-paced rat race. Between your morning routine, job, family, and taking care of the loved ones in your life, planning meals and snacks may rank low on your to-do list. But having a busy schedule is even more of a reason to maintain your health, so it’s very important to eat well while on the go.
To stay healthy for those who depend on your care, wise food choices will keep your energy level high and your immune system in tip-top shape. Here’s some quick, healthy advice.
Think twice about the drive-through
You may catch yourself swinging through a drive-thru because of your busy schedule. You probably know in your heart that fast food is not a good choice for your health, and here’s why:
- Typical fast food is full of processed carbohydrates, bad fats, sugar, man-made chemicals, and few nutrients, all of which are damaging to your health.
- These foods cause inflammation in your body and ultimately, with prolonged consumption, can lead to disease.
Think it’s time to look for other options? The good news is that there are better, healthy foods you can eat while on the go.
Convenient food doesn’t need to come from a fast food restaurant or gas station; a little planning can go a long way to maintain Caregiver health.
If you know your schedule ahead of time, and can predict that you will be away from your home for an extended period, a cooler full meals and snacks will be your new best friend. Here are a couple good examples:
Real Food Meals To-Go:
- Chili with sour cream, celery and peanut butter on the side
- A slice of rye bread with 4 oz. of chemical-free deli meat, 1 oz. sliced cheese, butter or real mayonnaise and 6 to10 olives with raw vegetables on the side
- Canned salmon or tuna with mayonnaise on rye crackers, with a small apple
Real Food Snacks To-Go:
- A hard-boiled egg, small orange and a handful of walnuts
- Turkey roll-ups made with 2 oz. chemical-free deli turkey, carrots and/or pickles and cream cheese, rolled together
- 2 oz. nitrate-free beef Jerky, a small apple and 16 almonds
Sometimes you won’t have a healthy meal or snack available. Then, stop at the closest grocery store and get a pre-packaged salad, some cooked shrimp and a piece of fruit for a nutritional pick-me-up. You could also choose a chicken or salmon salad with a small apple. Or keep a back-up snack like a protein bar in your briefcase or purse. This can be a blood sugar saver if you’re pinched for time.
Plan Ahead and Stay Well
Try to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. It is best to pick a specific day of the week that you designate to visit the grocery store and make your meals. This habit not only helps you to be prepared, it also alleviates any last minute meal stress.
Good nutrition is vital for good health, especially if you’re busy all day long. Planning can be difficult and you might want a helping hand or additional creative tips. If this is true for you, organizations like Nutritional Weight & Wellness can help you with planning, meal ideas and nutrition information to get you to your best state of health.
Sure, eating healthy food on the go takes planning and a little effort, but the rewards are real. So pack up your cooler or lunch bag with healthy balanced foods and say “hello” to your best state of wellness. You and your health are worth it!
CaringBridge is happy to help you with this and other caregivers advice. Visit often.
Nutritional Weight & Wellness is located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. We educate and counsel individuals about nutrition at our offices, telephonically, through classes, and at workplaces. We are also known for our popular weekly radio show, Dishing Up Nutrition. Learn more at weightandwellness.com.
Katie Haarala RD, LD is a registered dietitian that discovered her calling to be a nutrition educator at a young age when a teacher helped her understand the healing powers of food. She believes knowledge is power and that we can all use a little nutritional knowledge to stay well.