7 Tricks To Eat Healthy Even When We Are Under Stress

Stress has the ability to totally disrupt our lives. The Covid 19 pandemic, its fears, required precautions, and the constant reminders of its devastating effect have placed underlying stress on all of us. Yet day to day mishaps can add to that stress. Last week was an exceptionally stressful one for me. I have been a Zumba instructor for over 10 years. Can you imagine how much music I have? Each lesson and routine has its own special music. Suddenly I discovered I had lost 10 years of hard work. The stress and anxiety  was almost overwhelming. I awoke each morning at 6 AM, and worked through the day until I went to bed much too late. My natural rhythm was completely out of balance.

I’m glad I kept my healthy eating pattern during the week. I believe it was the one thing that got me through that stressful time and  I want to share with you some of my healthy meal preparation tricks.

1- I don’t have time to cook every night. I cook four or five servings at at time. I freeze and label the additional servings for future use.

2- I have created a meal list on my phone.  I probably have 50 different meals that I like. Some have a short preparation time, while others take longer to prepare.  Each meal on the list contains a grocery list and preparation instructions. I prepare my grocery list from the meals I have chosen to make for that week. When I go to the grocery store with my list, shopping is quick and easy. It is also easier on my wallet!

3- When you prepare and cut vegetables for one meal, double the amount and freeze them in a big Ziploc bag. Next time you want to prepare that meal again, you’ll be ready in no time.

4- Keep it simple. A good and healthy meal doesn’t have to take long and complicated to prepare. It should take under 30 minutes. That’s why I love using my instant pot or slow cooker. Here are some ideas you can try (click here).

5- In summer, I always have a big container of “ready to go salad.” I just need to add protein and dressing for a complete meal. In winter, I always have a big container of soup. I also use these as sides to complete meals.

6- I always have something ready to eat in my fridge. For example, I usually have a prepared smoothie. I also like cutting veggies in advance, and I keep them in a container. I like keeping hummus in my fridge and it’s a perfect quick snack.

7- To assist in your planning, I have created a suggested meal plan for one week. When making the weekly grocery list I always divide my list into categories: fruit and vegetables, cans, frozen food, dairy (if you do), and a meat/protein section. Basically, I shop on the outside perimeter of the aisles. In the middle, you’ll find processed foods, which we should try and avoid whenever possible.

Voilà! I hope my tips will help you to get organized,  save time, and reduce your stress around meal planning and preparation! They are the things that helped me through my stressful week.

Happy meal planning! Stay safe!

Read more here:
Eating Healthfully During Stressful Times by WebMD
The Ultimate Diet Plan for a Happier, Less-Stressed You by Everyday Health