Food for Thought: Finding the Time to Eat
It’s dark by the time you arrive home. After running around from school, extracurriculars, sports, and work, you suddenly realize, courtesy of your growling stomach, that you couldn’t find the time to eat all day. Perhaps you believe that there’s no room to fit in a proper meal, and you may tend to disregard any gnawing sensation of hunger. However, just because you’re not tired at the moment doesn’t mean you’re not exhausting your body. We have to replenish ourselves-- our bodies need the nutrients and subsistence.
Poor eating habits can increase stress, reduce sleep, and weaken your immune system. No matter how hectic your schedule may feel, you should never sacrifice a full meal or hydration! Here are 5 quick tips and foods for thought that will help you maintain a healthy schedule throughout your day!
Pre-pack lunches and snacks. You can plan ahead and pack the night before, so that you don’t have to do anything the morning of! Make sure to take the time and plan out a good meal to take with you for the next day (check off all the groups of the food pyramid!). During the day, you may not be able to find the time to prepare a proper meal but, with pre-packing, you will always be one day ahead.
Making dinner on weekends. This could be a small, fun tradition you can do with your family or friends! Rather than microwaving frozen dinners or going out for fast food, you can try to cook your own dinners when you have the time. That way, you can have some fun while knowing exactly what’s going into your body. You can make a bit extra to last you through the week as well!
Healthier snacks. Some quick, easy snack ideas are trail mix, pretzels with hummus, or apple slices! There are plenty of healthy snack options that can give you a bit of energy before your bigger meal. You can munch on these throughout the day-- make sure snacks include a carb and protein so that you can feel more energized for a longer period of time.
Drinking plenty of water. This is definitely something that can often pass over our heads whenever we are preoccupied with tons of other tasks and activities. We need water to function-- without it, our brain won’t be working at full potential. It’s shocking how much better we can feel if we drink some! Carry a bottle with you anywhere you go, drink plenty, and refill when you run out!
Listening to your body. If your stomach is growling, you feel lightheaded, or you can’t focus, then make sure to take a break. We have a tendency to try and push ourselves even when we are fatigued. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and treat our bodies to some good food! With activities, it can be difficult to take the time to eat, but it’s important to understand that food isn’t optional. If we want to achieve our fullest potential, we have to make sure we’re full first.
Some of these may work for you, others may not. How to maintain a healthy diet differs for everyone. Try to see which ones work the best for you! Maybe you will come up with a completely different regiment that works well. If you find that your involvements are completely hindering your ability to eat good meals, then it may be best to take a break and figure out how you can implement healthy meals into your schedule.
Although it’s easier said than done, students and athletes need to prioritize their physical and mental health over all else. While you’re out chasing your dreams and getting involved with your school and community, make sure to carry along a bag of scrumptious, healthy delights to keep you going!
"6 Ways to Eat Healthier When You Are Super Busy." Inc., www.inc.com/kevin-daum/6-ways-to-eat-healthier-when-you-are-super-busy.html.
"Tips for Eating Healthy with a Busy Schedule." Rebecca Bitzer and Associates, rbitzer.com/tips-for-eating-healthy-with-a-busy-schedule/.
"Tips for Eating Healthy with a Busy Schedule." UC Berkeley, uhs.berkeley.edu/news/tips-eating-healthy-busy-schedule.