You are busy with work, parenting, volunteering, household chores and children's activities. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. It's easy to let nutrition fall to the wayside when this happens. I know. I allowed my family's busy schedule to be my excuse for poor nutrition for years. It may not be a problem for you now, but poor nutrition will catch up to you eventually.....probably when you least expect it.
So what is a busy family to do? Here are 5 tips to help you keep the stress in check and really help you to keep Juggling Real Food and Real Life.
1. Remember that you are in control: Coaches, scout leaders, volunteer commitments will always be pulling at you. However, you are in control of your eating. We certainly can't control how many practices are on the schedule or last-minute changes, but we can control what we put in our mouths.
2. Plan Ahead: Without a meal plan, you are planning to fail. It really is that simple. You can make all of the excuses you want. I know them all because I've used them all. Time and time again, I have felt forced to run to the fast-food restaurant because I didn't have a plan and my family was "starving to death." I've attached the printable meal planning calendar that I use. What makes it unique is that there is a place to include all of the activities for the day. This really helps me to plan out my day and my meals all at the same time. It's really doesn't work for me to plan a baked pasta meal that takes an hour to cook if I have to be back out the door to practice in a half hour. This planning calendar really helps me to avoid those situations and take control of my family's eating.
3. Put your family first: My dear friend Gaye over at Calm.Healthy.Sexy once said, "When you say yes to someone, you are saying no to someone else." I think that is how it went. Anyway.........the point is that as much of a superwoman as you are........you just can't do it all. Something is going to fall. That something is often our own nutrition and exercise. Without good health, there is no way you are going to be able to keep up with your busy schedule. One of the most important things you can do for you family is to make sure you are healthy. Mothers are often the glue that holds families together. You know how things fall apart when you are sick for just one day. One of the toughest things I've had to do lately is to say "no thank you" (I like to be polite) to a group of Girl Scouts. That group is so important to me, but by saying "no" to planning an event for them, I am able to enjoy my son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, 2 graduations, my little one's birthdays. Next year, when I don't have these other family obligations, I can go back to planning the event for Girl Scouts.
4. Remember what makes you feel good. When life is at its busiest we need to be on our "A" game. I know that being really careful to eat clean and simple is what makes me feel at my best. When I've had a weekend where I overindulge, I always start my Monday with a very simple meal and lots of water. This week I am preparing to attend my son's college graduation. There is nothing that is going to stop me from being there so I am preparing for the event by eating meals with just a few ingredients and mostly whole foods. I can't afford to have fast or processed food cause me digestive distress and put me in jeopardy of missing this event.
5. Use "pockets of time" to prepare food: I'll admit it. I get jealous when I see folks posting all of the food they have prepared for the week on Sunday. I wish I could do that, but I can't. I teach Sunday school and then we typically have Sunday dinner with my folks. I don't have an entire day or even afternoon to prepare food. Family is my priority so I don't want to give up that family time. Instead, I look at my schedule and use little "pockets of time" that I find to work on my meal prep. Sunday evening, while the kids are getting their showers I often will boil some eggs and work on a blog post. Monday when I prepare dinner, I quickly chop a few cucumbers so I have those ready to go for a few days. Homemade granola comes together quickly and while it is baking in the oven, I can throw a load of laundry into the washing machine. Take a look at your schedule and start using those pockets of time to prepare your food. It takes some practice, but soon you will be Juggling like a pro.
Do you have any other tips for when things really get busy?
If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week's challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers. Yes, I'm a real person.