Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

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In a world that never stops moving, life can get pretty busy, overwhelming even. And even when nutrition is a priority, it can often fall down your list of priorities and become forgotten. Because your job is more important. Or your kids are more important. And of course these things need to be taken care of. So when you only have a minimum amount of time to think about nutrition, using nutrition hacks can save the day.

I live a busy life: between working on my master’s and curating my blog into a business, sometimes it seems like I don’t have any free time. BUT over time I’ve developed a few tricks to keep up with my nutrition even when it seems like there’s barely time to breathe. Here are my top nutrition hacks for the busy woman.

• Sneak in nutrients
• Plan to go shopping once a week
• Pre-make meals
• Make snack packs to take with
• Know when to compromise

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Sneak in nutrients

This is a fairly simple strategy, and one of my favorites. In short, it’s a game of replacements. Replacing one less nutritious food with one more nutritious food takes practically no effort, apart from remembering to actually do it.

There are two ways to look at this strategy: one is to look at it as adding a more nutrient dense food, the other is to look at it as removing a more harmful food.

In the first strategy, for example, you could replace your morning breakfast toast with fresh fruit. And to be honest fresh fruit might take even less time to prepare, as it’s generally ready to eat. Fruit is more nutrient dense than toast because calorie for calorie, it contains more nutrients.

In the second strategy, for example, you could replace your standard, sugary peanut butter with natural peanut butter (i.e. the only ingredient is ground peanuts and maybe salt). In this way, you’re eliminating not only unnecessary sugar, but also harmful preservatives. This takes literally zero extra time, and can make a huge improvement on your health.

As time goes on, you can replace more and more foods, making a seamless and time-efficient transition into a healthier diet.

Not sure what foods to replace? Grab a copy of my Unhealthy -> Healthy Food Replacement Cheat Sheet from my free resource library by clicking the photo below

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Plan to go shopping once a week

The biggest mistake busy people make is not planning meals ahead of time. It can seem so much easier or faster to just stop by the store everyday on the way home to pick up what you need for dinner, but I can guarantee that this is actually wasting your time.

Not only are you spending extra time in the store, but you’re also leaving yourself no room to pre-make meals, which can be huge time-savers. You’re also leaving dinner up to a whim, which often means you’re not making the healthiest choice you could be making.

What I have found is the most efficient way to deal with shopping and meal planning is to sit down once a week and write out all my meals for the week, then just do one big shopping trip. Now there are a few tricks to making this planning process efficient and effective, and you can read about my process in my post “Top 5 Meal Planning Tips to Help You Stay On Track.”

Pre-make meals

As I mentioned above, pre-making meals can be a huge time-saver. To cite the classic example, making up lasagna and then sticking it in the fridge in the morning so you only have to throw it in the oven when you get home. Another example would be something like pre-forming/seasoning some burger patties on the weekend so that you just have to throw them on the grill when it’s time to make dinner.

Another way to look at this is to plan leftovers for dinner. I like to make a big pot of chili on the weekend and then eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

Make snack packs to take with you

Snacks are often the undoing of our nutrition plan. Say you get hungry at work. It’s still 2 more hours til you get off, so you walk down to the vending machine and grab whatever looks good. You know it’s not the healthiest, but you gotta eat right??

The best way to avoid this trap is to bring snacks from home. Not only are these cheaper, but they will be a much healthier choice come mid-afternoon.

Some of my favorite snacks to bring to work are raw almonds, carrots, hummus, and homemade granola. The biggest idea here is to make sure you’re not just bringing your own bag of chips rather than buying them from a vending machine.

Related: How to Painlessly Cut Junk Food Out of Your Diet

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Know when to compromise

My final tip is to know when to compromise. You aren’t always going to have the time to be healthy, no matter how much planning you do. So it’s important to know which things are least-harmful to compromise on.

For example, take the mid-afternoon snack craving we talked about above. If you really are hungry, you can compromise and get something from the vending machine. At the same time, you can choose to get something healthier than potato chips. In terms of health, if they have Nature Valley granola bars I would choose one of those. If you’re more concerned about clean eating, Fritos are actually the way to go, because they have no preservatives.

Another example might be one day you realize you’ve forgotten to plan a lunch for the day and you’re already trying to rush out the door. Instead of skipping lunch to have a pity party, it’s healthier for you to go ahead and buy something on your lunch break. Just as long as you’re not reaching for something that comes with fries.

Really, the key here is moderation. You won’t always be able to perfectly keep up with your nutrition, and that’s ok. As long as you keep unhealthy foods to a minimum, your overall health should be just fine.

So now my question for all you busy women out there is: What do you do to keep up with nutrition? Are these all things you already do, or do you have a few extra tips you could share with me and my readers? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. ☺

About Rachel

UntitledRachel is a blogger and Bioengineering masters student who lives in Clemson, SC (go tigers!). After studying conventional pharmaceuticals and how they target specific ailments, she applied that knowledge to figuring out how essential oils can work to treat the same ailments, and ended up creating the blog The Essential Girl. When she’s not blogging or sciencing the shit out of something in the lab, she likes to drink tea, nom on popcorn, and binge Netflix with her Astrophysicist boyfriend.

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Email: rachel@theessentialgirl.com

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Saturday I attended the Gluten and Allergen Free expo. I was invited as a blogger to participate and network and cover the event. I’m not sure if this is coming from a non-gluten-free patient, but I found the event to be slightly disappointing. I am trying to translate some food items in my life because of my hypothyroid disease and found the information that I did get to be informative, but most of the booths are food-based which is great and all and was fun to taste the different gluten-free products out there. I was surprised by the quality of some of them and how some of them did taste like the ‘real thing’ (if you will). But there weren’t many informative booths. People I could actually come up and talk to without being swarmed by crowds of people wanting to taste the food. The people that were there where swamped with handing out samples, which made things to be very unapproachable. A few booths did have a spokesperson there but otherwise it was hard to network. Also definitely one of the smaller conventions I’ve been to. The Boston Travel Trade show was huge, but that was also more centered around sales and marketing so the people whom I wanted to talk to where right there. Here it was a bit different.

Regardless, I am glad I went as it did give me an eye-opener and how to approach switching gluten-based products to gluten-free ones. Below are a handful of pictures from the event.

    Product Review: dōTERRA essential oils

    Product Review:  dōTERRA essential oils
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    Kari Cummins

    These past few weeks, I’ve been lucky to connect with Kari Cummins from over at Mom on a Mission and she was looking for product reviewers of dōTERRA essential oils! I have heard of the brand from several of my holistic/alternative health friends and have been wanting to try them but not splurge on a bottle only to find out it didn’t work for me (which has happened before). She was gracious and sent me a few product samples of Peppermint for invigorating of the lungs, Melaleuca for minor skin irritation and Lavender for stress related symptoms and Breathe, On Guard and Digest Zen for bodily dysfunctions. At the time I was going through heavy stress inducing insomnia and my normal stress relief routines weren’t working. Well the Lavender has certainly helped my stress relief and for that I am grateful for, I am curious to start working with essential oils more for other areas of my life. For Kari it had given her a huge wake up call in regards to the chemicals we put in and around our bodies. She has written about her experience over on her blog: How Essential Oils Change Her Life.

    When I received the package from Kari, I quickly opened up the Lavender sample and placed it on my temples. I immediately felt relief as that is where I feel stress the most and continued to work with the oil in that way. I then realized it may last longer seeped into an herbal pillow I have used to help me sleep. So the rest of the bottle I poured into the square pillow and keep it by my nose when I sleep. It had  the same effect. IMG_0893

    Once I am able, I look forward to offering essential oil content on my blog after some use of the product in it’s full size. Herbal/plant based remedies have often worked well for me and it may just be because I am drawn to the plant world; being an Aquarian with Capricorn stellium and all ;).

    Click the related articles below to learn more about essential oils and how they can help you leverage your life and even help relieve mysterious bodily issues! And check out Kari Cummins’s blog on a more in-depth testimonial for dōTERRA essential oils!

    Virtuosity

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    A rare but brilliant walk of life is to allow specialty to become not specializing.

    Coach Glassman, otherwise known as the founding father of Crossfit, defines fitness as work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This concept applied throughout the years of life, results in the definition of overall health. I have found value in increasing the scope of this definition to include adventure skill sets and applied understanding. This value holds its worth in an achievable mentality that builds a genuinely fulfilling lifestyle that prioritizes health and understanding to foster longevity and compassion.

    What benefit belies the pursuit and application of human movement, health, fitness and psychologies across all domains of life? Health is a challenge, and so is life. Aligning both battles on the same plane extracts positive energy from within and unleashes excitement to explore the potentials of the human capacity to move and understand. The challenge constructs a sport, and goals come in the form of achieving an improved balance. Naturally, the result of greatness conjures a beautiful compromise, as is optimized health, fitness and movement.

    Improvision is the human condition. You’re born. You die. And in-between you improvise.— Ido Portal

    The result from expression of this type of exploratory and healthy mentality is virtuosity; to do the common uncommonly well. Within the acquisition of virtuosity comes a profound energy that gifts curiosity, fulfillment and happiness. To exercise this daily lends inspiration to explore all perceived potential over many domains of life, and to perpetually develop weaknesses to increase overall capacities. This genre of exercised understanding brings on an increased margin of experience that expands the readiness for change, which is really just another word for life.


    Hello world.