I imagine that being a mum, running a business and ensuring that you’re eating healthy, nutritious foods is not always the simplest of tasks. There are always things to do and places to be, and your health can become the least of your priorities. Here are four steps to help you integrate nutritious foods into your eating, while being a busy working mama.
1. Plan ahead
Yep, the old P word. You’re a business owner; you know that planning is important.
• Consider creating a scheduled weekly food shopping time. Create a habit that will be difficult to break out of. It could be first thing Monday morning after you’ve dropped the kids off to crèche or school, or every Saturday afternoon. Whatever works best for you.
• Plan your main meals ahead of time. Carve out half an hour each week to sit down and write out the main meals for the coming week. From there, you can more effectively plan your food shopping and food preparation.
2. Prepare your meals in advance
• Whip up a smoothie or juice for breakfast for a quick nutritional boost. Make a green fruit and veggie juice, a smoothie with yoghurt, milk and fruit, or mix it up. Throw in some banana, berries, kiwi fruit, apple or oranges for a colourful, nutritious drink.
• Consider the benefits of taking the time to eat a healthy breakfast if you rush through or skip breakfast. Breakfast shakes, bars and snacks can be high in calories, as well as sugars and can take the enjoyment out of eating.
• Boil a number of eggs, ready to go for lunches at home during the week. Leave as they are and put in the fridge.
• Have a selection of veggies on hand. A great thing you can do to ensure you are eating healthy, nutritious foods through the week is to have fresh vegetables at home, ready to go. Bring consistency into your eating and choose a selection of vegetables that you know you will enjoy and use throughout the week. For example, I always like to have spinach leaves, lettuce leaf mix, tomatoes, cucumber and red capsicum on hand, which can be incorporated into lunches, dinners or snacks.
• Consider committing an hour or two for a big cook up on Sundays. Prepare and cook up batches of food and put in containers in the freezer to bring out during the week.
• Get the slow cooker out Monday morning. Create delicious, healthy soups, casseroles or rice dishes for the whole family to last for a few meals. Plus, it will fill the house with delicious smells and you’ll be looking forward to dinner time!
3. Food shop well
Is it possible that you could leave the kids with your partner, family member or friend to go and do the weekly shopping at the same time each week? It might help you save time and ensure you can follow your shopping list, as well as give you a chance to have some alone time during your week.
Another option is to bring the shopping to you. Have you ever considered using a fruit and veg delivery service, or ordering your supermarket shopping online? This could be an investment worth looking into.
4. Have healthy snacks ready to go
It is so very easy to reach for the biscuits, coffee or chocolate as a quick snack when you’re feeling a little tired or overwhelmed. Ensure you have healthier snacks on hand to eat at home or on the run. Here are some ideas that could work for you:
• Add easy to eat foods onto the shopping list, such as grapes, apples, bananas and berries
• Cut up celery or carrot sticks and keep them by your desk during the day
• Put together a trail mix of nuts, seeds and some dried fruit (e.g. unsalted almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds) and put in a snap-lock bag in your handbag for an easy snack on the run
• Out and about and ready for lunch? Opt for a takeaway wholemeal salad sandwich from the café, sushi, or a salad (chicken, quinoa, cous cous… there are a lot more healthy options out there these days offering nutritional benefit).
• Fancy a treat? Popcorn is a great option! Go for popcorn without flavourings or added salt or butter.
Eating more nutritious foods will help you to perform better, be more productive and have more energy throughout your day. I hope these tips help you, and I’d love you to get in touch and let me know how you go!
Kate Mackay is a health & wellness coach at Invigorate Wellness with a passion for helping business women & entrepreneurs get energised and productive in their businesses & lives through building healthy lifestyle habits.