Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Top 5 {BUSY MOM} Tips for Eating Clean

Raise your hand if you are a Mom and your life is so hectic and crazy that you think it is impossible to fit in eating healthy and working out! I have been in your shoes. I started out on my "clean eating" lifestyle 2 years ago with a 3 year old, a one year old, a house to run, working part time as a nurse, a family to feed, bills to pay, loads of laundry, and a to-do list a mile long. I felt like my life was already too full and I couldn't imagine how I would add in blogging, changing EVERYTHING I ate and adding in workouts to my day. It seemed crazy.

BUT I was exhausted, overweight and worried about what I was feeding myself and my family. I knew I could do better and I knew I would just have to commit to it and figure it all out along the way. So that is what I did. I committed to changing my life and I haven't looked back! This was a lifestyle change for me and I will never go back to the way I used to be. I have so much more energy, I am at my ideal weight. I am a role model to my children. I am healthy. I am happy!

My life is even crazier now with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 10 month old but I always make it work! It's all about making health a priority and finding out what works for you and your family!

I have figured out some tips and tricks along the way for how to eat clean, avoid overeating, and minimize cravings. I want to share my tips with you guys and I hope they will help you commit to a healthier lifestyle!

Busy Mom Tips for healthy eating



Let's get started....

1. Planning: 

This is huge!! If I didn't plan out my week every Sunday...I would never be able to stick with this lifestyle. If you don't plan ahead....you will end up in those situations where you have no idea what to eat or feed your family and you will look to convenience foods or fast food for a quick bite. Watch my video {How I Meal Plan in 5 Easy Steps} where I spell out exactly how I meal plan each week. I plan out what I am going to eat for all meals and snacks. I also plan out the meals and snacks that I will have available for my husband and children. This makes my life so much easier. It takes an hour or so on the weekend during nap time and I literally don't have to think about what I am going to eat or what I am going to feed the crew all week long! Saves me time and saves me money! No trips to Chick-fil-a because I have all of the healthy food that I need for the week already in my fridge. Oh and I don't cook complicated meals for dinner. I don't have time for it!! Healthy meals don't have to be hard!! I have a ton of recipes on my blog and {Meal Planning Monday} posts that link to some of the easiest and tastiest dinner ideas!


2. Find your workout time:

 I am a huge believer in adding in some form of exercise everyday. I don't have hours to spend in the gym so I always workout at home. If you can find time and child care to go to the gym daily....then do that. Schedule a time that you know you can make it....put it in your calendar and stick to it every day. If you are like me...I love working out at home and I find that I stick to that much easier than going to the gym. I like to look like a hot mess in privacy of my own home for my workouts! I find a time during the day that works. For me...it is during my 10 month olds first nap of the day (around 9am) and I make it an absolute must at that time. Sure, there are other things I could be doing but I make it a priority at that time. I set my 2 other kids up with a Kindle or movie and I workout for 20-30 mintues a day. If you like to get outside to workout....put the kids in the stroller and GO! If you like to workout when you get home from work....change into your workout clothes right when you get home and get it done!! The most important thing is that you add activity into your day. Trust me on this...I am a better Mom because I work out. I have more energy during the day to play with my kids and they even workout with me sometimes! :) My Pinterest page is full of free workout videos that are great to add into your day!

3. Prep ahead: 

I think that knowing your meals and snacks and preparing them ahead is crucial. Wash your fruits and veggies, prep your oatmeal, chop up anything you will need that week, grill some chicken, package you own trail mix, make homemade oat bread, muffins, bars, put all of your smoothie ingredients in a bag in the freezer etc. There are so many ways to make your life easier during the week. I don't give myself a ton of options during the week. I find that it is much easier to stick to a few favorite snacks and make sure everything is easy to grab and go. I try not to rely on any packaged bars or snacks. Most of those have ingredients that you don't really want in your body and it is just best to eat as little packaged food as you can. If you do buy packaged snacks...try to stick to the 5 ingredients or less rule. If you work during the week, spend some time on Sunday packaging up all of your meals and snacks for the week so all that you have to do the morning of is pack your cooler. My husband packs up all of his meals and snacks for the day in the morning and it literally takes him less than 5 minutes to do so because everything is ready to go!

4. Don't keep junk in your house

The easiest way to prevent yourself from grazing or snacking on junk is to not keep junk in your house. Just don't do it. You don't need to buy separate food for your kids or your spouse to eat. If my husband wants junk food....he will have to go out and get it!! There is nothing in my house to binge on or feel guilty about. It may seem extreme but when we go out to eat on the weekends we eat whatever we want! If we take the kids to their grandparents house and they want ice cream...they get it. I am not so strict that I don't allow my kids to get treats every once in a while but when they are at home....they eat healthy foods. I find healthy treats that my kids think are AWESOME! My kids think that when I add cocoa powder to their oatmeal and call it Chocolate Oatmeal...they are really eating something indulgent!! It is all about how you spin it! My husband has a huge sweet tooth but I fix him healthy options and he LOVES them!! It is just a matter of exposing them to healthy food and you will be surprised at the things that they will love and ask for over and over! I am human and if there were chips and brownies in my house...I would eat them. That is why I pack my house full of healthy options!! 

If you work full time....pack a cooler. Make sure that you have plenty so you are tempted to stop by the snack machine and grab some chips. Don't even carry change in your wallet. Just have plenty of healthy options available at your desk so mindless snacking doesn't happen! Check out my {Clean Eating on the Go} post for more tips on what to pack!

5. Find craving busters:

We all have those times during the day when we get kind of bored and feel like eating junk food or chocolate!! My worst time of the day for craving junk is around 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon. I always want to stand in my pantry and eat anything I can get my hands on! Please tell me I am not the only one that does this? The majority of time...I have just eaten a snack and I know that I am not actually hungry so I start drinking water as much as I can. I know that the majority of time I am just thirsty or bored. I try to find something to keep me occupied and stay out of the kitchen after I have had my afternoon snack. Herbal tea has been a lifesaver for me. I like to make a cup of hot Green tea around 4 pm and sip on that until dinnertime. I usually end up sipping on that while I am cooking dinner so I don't start nibbling while cooking. I eat every 2-3 hours during the day so I really try to focus on listening to my body and eating when I feel hungry. Once I have had a sufficient healthy snack....I shouldn't need to eat again for at least 2 hours. Just try to listen to your body and try to figure out the times of the day when boredom or mindless snacking occurs and find ways to prevent that from happening. For me....activity, hot tea and sometimes even just a square of good quality dark chocolate can beat that craving and help me move on from snacking on everything I can get my hands on! 


Were these tips helpful?? 

What are your {BUSY MOM} Tips for eating clean??




6 comments:

  1. Very helpful! Love your ideas!! They are always super helpful and keep me encouraged to keep working on it!

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  2. Hey Ashley! I just watched your meal prep tips video and I have a somewhat silly sounding question, but...where do you online grocery shop and how do they ship refrigerated and frozen items? Haha I am honestly curious as to how that works. I HATE grocery shopping. It's actually a big reason I eat out so much because I have never liked grocery shopping. So your idea to shop online has me intrigued.

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    1. Hey Tara! I do online grocery shopping at my local grocery store which is Harris Teeter. You shop online for the items, your personal shopper does the shopping and bagging and you select a time that you can pick them up. They bring them out to your car and swipe your card and that's it! So easy! I've done this for last 5 years and it makes my life so much easier!

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  3. That sounds amazing! I don't know if any of my grocery stores have this option around me, but I am definitely going to find out! Thank you!

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  4. Thank you for these very practical tips! I am gearing up to start meal planning...AGAIN!...but this time with prepping as a part of it on sundays...I don't know why it is so hard for me to do!

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