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eating healthy in a fast paced world

I don’t know about you, but life moves so quickly that sometimes I have a hard time just keeping up with daily tasks alone. Now I am expected to eat healthy?! Oh brother. I have learned over the years that, no matter how fast paced my life may be, eating healthy must be a top priority on my list of daily to-do’s…But it doesn’t have to take over my life either! Here are some tips for eating healthy in our fast-paced society that won’t put you behind schedule.

First, I will start with breakfast. A great way to save time in the morning is to make a smoothie. It is not only quick and easy, but it is also fresh, healthy, and mobile! Most of the time, you don’t need to search high and low for ingredients, as there are so many things already available in your kitchen. And the best part is, you can take it with you and drink it on the way to work! Any leftover fruits and veggies will do, whatever you’re in the mood for. Here is a great “power smoothie”, one that I usually make on a daily basis to get me going for the day: 16 oz almond milk, 1 tbsp raw organic cacao powder, 1 banana, ¼ cup organic coconut flakes, 1 tbsp flaxseed meal, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp ginger root powder OR a little fresh grated ginger root to taste, 1 tsp organic raw honey (optional). Blend with ice, pour into a to-go container, and you are on your way! Of course, there are many more smoothie recipes, and you can always add more fruits, veggies or herbs/spices to suit your taste buds. This “power smoothie” contains only pure and natural forms of sugar, and is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and natural medicinal herbs. It is excellent for digestion. Total breakfast prep time: 5 minutes

Next comes lunch. What is more convenient than the drive-thru? A beautiful healthy salad, already packed and ready to eat at lunch time! No need to drive anywhere for that. I find that salads require very little preparation time, are very nutritious, and can be made with any ingredients you may already have in your fridge. Each day I pack a “power salad”, full of dark nutritious greens and other colorful vegetables for my work lunch. I choose salad for lunch because you can throw a hodgepodge of veggies into a container and go! I buy the organic mixed greens, already cut up in a container, so there is no need to chop my greens. Here is an example of one of my daily power salads: organic mixed greens, spinach, or arugula (or a combination of all three), chopped organic parsley, chopped organic red, yellow, or orange peppers, ½ avocado, raw slivered almonds. Homemade dressing: extra virgin olive oil base, fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Personally, I like to add some snacks to my lunch for when hunger strikes me later. Some quick snacks I use are organic yogurt cups, organic popcorn made with olive oil (I get mine from Trader Joe’s), almonds, and berries of any kind. Total lunch prep time: 15 minutes

Now you’re all probably wondering, how on earth can dinner possibly be quick? I have two words: crock pot. The crock pot is something that is regrettably underutilized by many. Not only is it fast and easy to cook using a crock pot, it is also extremely healthy. The crock pot softens food and breaks apart the fibers that hold it together making it easily digestible, and with its long cooking time helps release vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients into the broth making them much more bio-available to our cells. There are many crock pot cookbooks available with numerous ideas and recipes, but here is one of my staple meals: organic chicken stock or broth, organic free range chicken breasts (as many as you need), one chopped organic white onion, one bag organic baby carrots, sliced organic potatoes, sea salt, herbs and spices to taste. Cook on low for the work day. When you get home, your entire meal is done. It’s just genius and delicious! Total dinner prep time: 20 minutes

If we add it all up, that’s 40 minutes total meal prep time for the entire day! Tip: You could cut that time down even further by pre-chopping all your vegetables when you get them home from the grocery store so they are ready to be tossed into anything. If you haven’t already noticed, my philosophy is, “throw a bunch of healthy stuff into a container and go.” It’s that simple.

For more tips on healthy eating and for any questions you may have, check out my page at the link below.

Andrea MacLaughlin – Hair Designer / Health Advocate