Simple Shortcuts to Eating Healthy

Do you find that it is hard to cook healthy meals every day?

Many busy parents, whether they work from home or are stay at home parents, have the same dilemma.

You may have been sticking to your goals all day long, but at the end of the day you stray because you do not want to cook.

What if I told you there are many simple ways you can still eat healthy, stick to your goals, and not feel overwhelmed even on the busiest days?

There are! Now that you are beginning to drink more water, get more sleep, and move a little bit more doesn’t it make sense that your nutrition should match?

Most of the time what is advertised is that you should avoid frozen foods. This is true most of the time, however, when you do your homework you can use frozen foods to your benefit.

Healthy Vegetables You Can Eat

First, use frozen vegetables. Many times fresh vegetables are hard to add to your diet because they take a lot of prep work. Then, they do not last very long and if you don’t get to them it is wasted money.

Frozen vegetables are getting better and better. You can easily get as many nutrients from frozen vegetables as you can from fresh vegetables. This is because they are flash frozen shortly after they have been harvested. It is very easy to find healthy frozen vegetables than healthy fresh vegetables.

frozen veggiesThink about this…
Unless the vegetables you eat are locally grown, they have to travel in a truck. Sometimes they can be in that truck for at least a day before being sold at the store. The longer and further your vegetables have to travel the more nutritional value they actually lose.

Eating frozen vegetables gives you the opportunity to open a bag of vegetables that are already prepped and still have their nutritional value. They are easy to throw into any meal. I personally love the stir fry blends because they help add a nice color and variety to my meals.

Pre-Prepared Meals Are Not Always Bad

Second, it is okay to eat pre-prepared foods. Sometimes it is thought of as a sin to eat a meal that is already prepared. This is because many are loaded with added sodium and sugars to help preserve them. However, a rotisserie chicken is a much better purchase than that cheeseburger.

You can have a fresh cooked chicken for supper, plus leftovers to use on tomorrows salad or in a soup. Speaking of salad, do not overlook prepackaged salads either. You do have to be picky when you purchase them as you want to ensure their freshness, but they may the perfect meal or side when you are in a hurry.

Along with the salads, there are many companies that wash and prep your vegetables as well. Both prepackaged salads are great finds in the produce aisle. The work is done for you and you can have a fresh meal.

Using prepared, prepackaged, and frozen foods are great shortcuts to continue eating healthy on busy days. When you do decide to use them, use caution and read the ingredient labels. You know much more than you think you do. If the list of ingredients contains more than what you think should be in the food, or they seem to be created in a lab, choose a different item.

You will save a lot of time and struggle sticking to your diet when you wisely use simple shortcuts to eat healthy.

Lose Weight & Improve Productivity While You Stand

When you run your own business, especially when you are starting out, most of your time is spent at your desk. Whether you are researching the next best web host, or figuring out what SEO means you are sitting at your desk typing away at your computer.

This can be great for your business, but it can be very detrimental to your health. Living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the quickest ways to lower your health; it is bad for your heart, brain, and waistline.

I can tell you from experience that this is much more difficult done than said. However, there are simple ways that you can incorporate more standing into your day. You can definitely purchase one of the expensive treadmill desks, but it is not

Here are three ways you can easily stand more:

  • Raise your computer up to a height that allows you stand while you work.
  • When writing, stand at a table.
  • Break up your day with small breaks every hour in which you spend at least five minutes walking around. It doesn’t matter if this is a walk around the block, or simply getting more coffee you will still get the same effect.

If you cannot get up every hour, at least fidget. Even fidgeting can help you burn a few extra calories.

Not only will the walking around help you burn a few calories, but standing improves your blood circulation. As your bloodstanding circulates throughout your body it delivers oxygen to much needed areas such as the brain. Having more oxygen circulating throughout your body increases your mood and productivity. You will be more alert and awake during those long hours that you put in working on your business.

(Another email for another day, but try to work IN your business more than you work ON your business. Trust that you have done what you can.)

Sometimes you may not have the option to stand while you work. That is okay, you are not going to fail at weight loss or productivity. It simply means that you need to brush up on your creative juices.

Find ways to incorporate extra standing before you get to work. If you run your business out of an office, try standing on the train or walking to work when feasible. If you work out of your home, take a quick walk around the outside of your house before you begin work.

Other times you can stand instead of sit are when you are completing tasks such as that phone call. How many times have you been on a conference call or a one-to-one call and sat at your desk.

Instead of sitting at your desk, get up and walk around. You will burn extra calories plus, as mentioned earlier, you will improve your thought processes and creativity while thinking on your feet.

(The term “thinking on your feet” came from somewhere. This may not be it, but I like to think of it that way. When you are on your feet you can adjust easier to various situations.)

There are many times throughout your day that you can stand more. Get your creative juices flowing and share your ideas with me; they may just appear in my next blog.

Get a Double Punch of Health with Sleep

Society has created a busy world for everyone. Unfortunately for many this becomes an opportunity for putting in more hours at work, squeezing in family time, and eventually finding excess time for focusing on your health.

This is not how you want to continue your life, because you have most likely gotten out of any healthy routines, if you had any, and put on a few….most likely several extra pounds. Putting in those long hours is not beneficial to your health, nor is it beneficial to your sleep.Putting in those long hours is not beneficial to your health, nor is it beneficial to your sleep

As a busy entrepreneur, mom, or dad, it is easy to lose sleep. It’s not always because you are stressed about the events or because you are worried about what needs to be done. Many times it’s because you put in long days and late hours to make sure everything you need to finish is finished. However, there are also many times that it is a combination of stress, worry, and too many hours working.

Now that you have decided to become healthy, it seems like you are even more tired. I know, I’ve been there and there are days that I still feel that way. Squeezing in exercise, menu planning, timing your water drinking, and all the other get healthy tricks you begin to use will not accomplish anything if you are not getting enough sleep.

Most studies say that you need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. If you are like the millions of others who know this fact, you are only getting about 4-6 (if you are lucky). You may even feel as though you are doing well with that amount of sleep. I am here to say that if you are not getting at least eight hours of sleep you are doing more damage to your health than good.

Those days that you feel good after those 4-6 hours of sleep are because your body is taking extras from other functions. The only way you are going to truly balance your life, lose the excess weight, and keep it off is if you change your sleeping habits.

Dr. James Maas, in his book Power Sleep, actually explains research that proves people used to sleep approximately 10, or more, hours a day. This was prior to 1879, when the light bulb was invented. This is a great book, if you are interested to learn more purchase a copy at your local book store or borrow one from your local library.

Sleep is important to keeping your body functioning at its optimal levels. When you lack sleep your body will begin to crave sweets and fats to help increase your energy levels. When you want to lose weight, these foods are detrimental to your health.

You may try to tell me that if you sleep more you will not get enough done. NOT TRUE! The opposite is actually true. By getting more sleep you will increase your productivity levels during your waking hours.

I like to call sleep a double punch of health. When you get more sleep you will lose weight, plus you will become more productive. Two for one is a great deal.

Beat Food Cravings in 5 Simple Steps

I am going to be blunt…weight loss is tough.  There is not an easy solution to losing weight; in order to reach any weight loss goal you have to put in the effort.

This is why so many feel disappointment when they do not reach their goals.  When you put forth the effort it is devastating when you step on that scale to see that you have not reach your goal, or even worse that you have put on weight instead of taking it off.

One thing that holds many people back are cravings.  Craving certain foods is not horrible, however when not handled properly they can lead to weight gain and missed goals.  You may put in the exercise, plan your meals, eat the proper meals, but cravings can lead you to adding in extra foods or eating the wrong foods no matter how much you have planned.

I want you to know, that cravings are not the end of the world and there are many things you can do to overcome and beat them.  You can win the craving game.

Find a hobby – Many times the cravings hit when we are bored. Finding something that you enjoy doing will help keep your mind occupied so that it doesn’t have time to think about food. When you feel a craving begin, try doing something fun.  I personally enjoy making cards.

Ensure that you are eating enough – If you find that you have a craving shortly after eating, check your meal plan to determine what you are missing. If you crave sweets after eating a meal you may need to add some fruit to your meal to curb the sweet craving. Or, you might need to alter your meal to include more balanced nutrition.  Not having a balanced meal can cause you to crave foods because they are missing from your meals.

Don’t skip meals – skipping meals will lead to food cravings that you normally would not have simply because you are hungry. The phrase, “never shop on an empty stomach,” holds merit. When you’re hungry you will be more likely to purchase and eat anything that is quick and easy.  As a second part to this, eating breakfast will help quell many cravings.

Skipping breakfast leaves you with more than 8 hours of not eating anything.  This means that your body has been expending energy without being replenished.  Starting your day with breakfast will allow your body to have its nutrients and fuel replenished.

Avoid junk food– try to keep all junk food out of the house. Having rule that keeps junk food out of arms reach is great as well. My family has a rule that junk food stays out of the house, however, we do not avoid it all the time.  It can be tough when you go to a party, or are out of the house for an extended time to avoid it at all costs.  Not having it in the house allows us to enjoy it when we do have outings or visit friends and family.

Another option is to keep your junk food at the back of the cupboard.  One trick that works really well is having the healthier options in front of the junk food.  I know sometimes it can be hard to keep it completely out of the house when the whole family is not on board.  Instead, request that it be kept at the back of the cupboard.  This is a sneaking trick that will reduce the amount that all members of your family eat.

Give In – There are times when there are not any reasons for your craving. Sometimes they seem to come out of the blue. When a craving strikes, wait about 30 minutes.  Find something to distract yourself like calling a friend or going for a walk.  If the craving is still there, give in to it.  Giving into the craving may be your best option at times.  If you wait too long, it will overpower you and you will binge.  By giving in you will be able to stick to a single serving and quell your craving.


These are just a few of the ways to beat your cravings.  Remember that you are a unique person and you may find something different that works for you.  Share what you do to beat your cravings in the comments below.

Build a Family Bond while You Lose Weight this Summer

Have you spent the last nine months working out that perfect daily routine, only to have it come to a screeching halt this past month?

This time of year can become daunting for a busy mom.  School is out and summer is here!  This is a happy and joyful time for most people, but when you are a SWAHP with a busy schedule this can become added stress to your day.

You have worked so hard to find the perfect time for completing that workout.  You may be getting a little worried about when you are going to get exercise in now.  You no longer have to fear the lack of exercise during the summer.Photo: Ester Gibbons

Sure, your kids are home more.  That is not a reason to skip the exercise.  Take this summer to enjoy your kids while still getting your exercise in.

One secret I have learned is that when my son is home I am actually more likely to get up and exercise.  Why is this?  Because, he loves to have his SWAHM play with him.  I just use this time to become creative with my exercise and invent a new routine that both he and I can enjoy.

Forget the idea of going to the gym, unless you have been able to create a schedule that works year round.  Yes, I said it…You Do Not Need the Gym!

Rather than spend all of your time at the hot, stinky gym give yourself the joy of fresh air.

When the weather is nice outside, go to the park on a regular basis.  This is a great way to enjoy time with your children while still providing yourself with a fabulous workout opportunity.  Both you and your children will enjoy the health benefits along with the bonding time.

Photo: Eric LewisIf your children are too young for the equipment, they’ll enjoy walking with you or playing games such as tag or race.  This is a prime opportunity for some mild exposure to the sun that can provide many health benefits.  Plus, allow you to enjoy exercise that is not a grueling workout in the gym.

If your children are a bit older you will be able to enjoy more strenuous activities.  How long has it been since you’ve ridden a bike or enjoyed a backyard sport?  Do not stop there, the park also provides a great source of exercise equipment.  Playing on the monkey bars works upper body, swinging will work the core and legs along with cardiovascular endurance.  Get creative with your workouts and build a routine that involves the playground. Or, just dedicate half an hour to following your kids around and doing anything that they do.  It is incredible how their play actually has the ability to give us busy moms, the workout of our life.

There are many activities that you can enjoy together as a family.  By involving your children in these healthy activities you will not only enjoy your workout, but you will help instill healthy behaviors with in your children.

Remember that you do not need to have a formal exercise routine to stay fit and healthy.  Continue to eat properly, get plenty of rest, and enjoy outdoor family activities and your health will improve.  Your family bond will become stronger and you will build healthy habits that your children will continue to use into families of their own.

What do you do for summer, family, weight loss fun?  Share below.