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How to Eat Healthy in the Chaos of Daily Life


It's hard to believe it's that time again...

...back to school!

If you have kids headed back to school, the routine that comes with it can be great, but it also can mean more chaos!  Between morning and afternoon practices and meetings, weeknight activities, homework and team sports, mealtime becomes even more challenging...for every meal of the day!

Even if you don't have kids to worry about, you may be looking for ideas to simplify your seemingly-always busy routine!

Last year, we did a coaching tip on school lunches, including tips such as letting kids pick out their own "cool" lunch bag, investing in the right containers, sitting down with your child to make a list of ideas, and creating theme days such as sandwich days on Mondays and Mexican days on Wednesdays.  And, our all-time personal favorite...having the kids (or helping younger kids) pack their lunch the night before -- one less thing to worry about during those hectic mornings!

 

But, it's not just lunch...

it is important to "de-stress" other meal times too, including breakfasts, snacks, and weeknight dinners!

 

BREAKFAST!

Let's be honest, mornings can be stressful and chaotic!

Which is why it is crucial to have a plan...ideally, a plan that doesn't involve Pop-Tarts, Lucky Charms or frozen waffles.  Eat REAL America has some incredibly convenient and delicious ideas, many you can make ahead of time, to bring some "calm" to your mornings!

 

Overnight Oatmeals - put all the ingredients together the night before and a delicious breakfast is ready-and-waiting for you in the morning!

Chunky Monkey Breakfast Cookies, Baked Oatmeal Cups, Mini Frittatas and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:  all freeze beautifully, so go ahead and double the batch -- you will be so glad you did!

Mug of Eggs - put those unused oversized coffee mugs to work!

Smoothies - with our smoothie formula, you will be an expert in no time!

Breakfast Burritos

Cranberry Coconut Granola - make a batch ahead of time, and then it's so easy to combine with yogurt and fresh berries for a super-easy and satisfying breakfast!

 

LUNCHTIME!

It's not just about lunches for the kids.  Adults need healthy, delicious lunches too!  Plus, you can save A LOT of money vs. eating out.  Our favorite lunchtime ideas often involve leftovers from the night before, and here are some other great-tasting, quick and easy ideas:

Loaded Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Honey Lime Chickpea Salad

Greek Style Quinoa Bowl

Avocado Egg Salad

Raw Pad Thai

Cobb Salad with REAL Green Goddess Dressing

Cheeseburger Quinoa Bites

Greek Salad Sandwich

 

 

SNACKTIME!

We know...Goldfish crackers, pretzels and granola bars are so easy.  But healthful, REAL food snacks are so much better, especially to help you and your family members perform their best...in school, in sports and in our work.  Here are some ideas to try:

Every Day Hummus - served with veggies or pita chips.  You can make it even more interesting with other delicious ideas such as Roasted Beet Hummus or Roasted Garlic White Bean Hummus.

Spiced Mixed Nuts or Birdseed Snack Mix - ideal to make up and take with you for an anytime snack...and say goodbye to getting stuck grabbing unhealthy choices from the vending machine or concession stand!

Dreamy Fruit and Nutty Salad

Peanut Butter Power Balls or Almond Butter Bites - these both work great as post-workout snacks or when mid-afternoon hunger strikes.  They also freeze great!

Air-Popped Popcorn

 

DINNERTIME!

A little planning can go a long way when it comes to getting a healthy delicious dinner on the table on busy weeknights.  Don't get overwhelmed...it can be done!  By using the slow cooker, planned two-for-one meals and an arsenal of quick and easy meals that take less than 20 minutes, you can make it happen!  Here are some ideas to help inspire you:

Greek Tortellini Salad

Mango and Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos and then Carnitas Taco Pizza as the planned-over meal!

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

Green Machine Quesadillas

Thai Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry

Mexican Style Crock Pot Chicken and then transform the leftovers into Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps!

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Broccoli Parmesan Pasta

Mexican Black Bean Veggie Pizza

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

 

 

 

SWEET TREATS!

We believe you should not deprive yourself, and it is possible to be smart with sweet treats.

Consider enjoying a simple piece of dark chocolate or satisfy your sweet tooth with other absolutely delicious ideas like the Smarty Pants Chocolate Chip Cookies (our kids favorite thing to have in their school lunches!) or the Almond Butter Brownies.

 

 

We want to leave you this week with a excellent piece of advice:

"Before you go to bed tonight, you should know what you are eating tomorrow."

 

Do you have tips and ideas to de-stress your chaotic weekly routine?

Do you have challenges you need help with?

Please share -- it just might help all of us!

 

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