Stockpile healthy snacks. Say sayonara to the office sweet stash or a take away when mid-day hunger strikes. Keep healthy snacks on you at all times—pile them in your office drawer, fridge, gym bag and purse. Convenient go-to include nuts, homemade trail mix, fruit and nut bars, apples, bananas, clementines, single-serve nut butters, dried edamame and air-popped popcorn. If you have refrigeration, stock up on Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs for protein-packed snacks.
Choose whole grains. Make a simple swap in your eating routine by choosing 100% whole grains instead of highly processed white or enriched grains. Whole grains, like steel cut oats, brown rice, barley and 100% whole grain bread or pasta, provide greater nutrition from energy rich B-vitamins to filling fiber. Bonus: Whole grains have a lower glycemic index and glycemic load, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as simple carbs.
Create a shopping list. Plan your meals and build a list. When you shop from a list, unnecessary temptations don’t land in your grocery cart; your bill (and you) will be more fit as a result.
Grocery shop once per week. When you’re busy, popping into the grocery store on a daily basis is a waste of your precious time. Instead, organize your schedule and plan to go grocery shopping at the beginning of the week to be more efficient.
Go for frozen foods. Frozen produce can be a healthy alternative to fresh foods, and they will last longer too. Fruits and veggies are picked at their peak of ripeness and flash frozen to retain the most nutritional value. Some good staples are corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, edamame and spinach. Don’t forget about protein too—frozen proteins like shrimp, salmon, tilapia and even chicken can make weeknights easier. Tip: Stay away from frozen foods that are packed in sauces and syrups.
Opt for pre-chopped veggies. Trouble cutting up butternut squash? Have a crying fest when you chop an onion? Buy pre-cut veggies so all you need to do is cook and eat. Stock up on diced onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, broccoli and cauliflower florets, diced butternut squash and baby carrots to make your life easier.
Shop the salad bar. If you have trouble eating all of your veggies before they go bad, or only need a quarter cup of onion for a recipe, try an alternative approach. You can buy just the right amount for you and pay by the ounce by stocking up on veggies from your grocers’ salad bar. This will save you prep time too. Try adding common salad bar items to meals like omelets, stir-fry or homemade pizza.
Shop at the farmer’s market. It’s nearly effortless to fill up on fresh local produce and eggs when you gather your food at the farmer’s market. Though farmer’s markets have a reputation for being pricey, seasonal produce is often competitively priced with what you’ll find at the grocery store. As long as you can bypass the kettle corn, you’re golden.