Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Make Time for a Healthy Lifestyle

Phew! Thank goodness the weekend got here ok! This week has been absolutely CRAZY, I didn't get much more than 2 hours of sleep any night last week. So here is a little background on myself, I am a full time college student, I work full time, and I am dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Yes I know that 2 hours of sleep a night is not good, but I definitely made it up this weekend, so it balances out. Right?

So I survived this because of a few habits that I wanted to share with you today.

Food Prep
Every week I go grocery shopping and get fresh produce. Here Is generally what I get:
  • Bananas
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli & Cauliflower
  • Strawberries 
  • Apples
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Meat & Poutlry (I usually buy in bulk from Costco and freeze)
  • Juices
  • Oranges
  • Gapes
  • Tomatoes 
  • Bell Peppers
All of these things might not be just want you want/need for the week, but I recommend making a solid list to take with you to the grocery store. If I don't make a list I end up spending a lot of money on extra things that I don't really need.  A list is also a great idea if in weeks where you are particularity busy and you have a significant other who is willing to help out with the shopping. :D

After going to the grocery store, as soon as I get home I start my meal prepping. That translates into rinsing the produce, cutting up fruit to store in 1 serving size containers, and making a few meals that can be frozen. My go to prep meal for a busy week is soup. I make it in a crock pot and then freeze half of it, and put the other half in the fridge. Most soups can last about 3 days in the fridge and 10-15 in the freezer. Once I finish what is in the fridge I pull out the other half from the freezer.

Other than making soups, I also prep for meals that I plan on making, like my favorite enchilada recipe among others. It is something that is heavy with prep work (cutting up the bell peppers and chicken) but then once that is done the actual meal only takes 5 minutes to cook.

Here is my favorite soup recipe:
                                                             Chicken Potato Soup


  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Potatoes
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 3/2 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning


  1. Sear chicken breasts till outer edge is firm. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Chop or cube potatoes and onion.
  3. Put chicken, potatoes, onion, and seasonings into crock pot.
  4. Fill crock pot with water until all ingredients are covered.
  5. Cook on high heat for 4 hour 

 Overall the success of  eating healthy during a super busy week depends on how much and how you prep. Even with the best laid plans sometimes you don't have many options. Once last week I didn't have any food and I ended up getting suck on campus later than I was hoping. My choices were limited to a few fast food restaurants on campus, in this case I had a plan, while I don't support eating out a fast food restaurants my choices were Chickfila, Subway, and McDonalds. I figured that this was going to happen at least once this semester and I had a plan! I would go to Subway and get some apple slices and chocolate milk, and that while it wasn't the idea situation I would be able to still stay with my healthy eating habits. In my personal opinion having a contingency plan for the worst case scenario helps you stay on track in those worst situations.


A disappointment that I have about this past week is that I only did my normal 3 runs and 1 cross-training day. I was going on two weeks of running consistently. The best advice I can give about getting your workout in is to know what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, and plan accordingly.

This past week all of my workouts were preplanned. I usually plan from race to race so this wasn't a problem, but some people like to plan on a weekly basis, which also works. I love working out in the middle of the day or at night but when things get really busy I find that working out first thing in the morning makes me more productive the rest of the day. The biggest problem that occurs for me when I try to workout in the evening is that I tend to make excuses and thus never workout that day, especially if I am tired.

Well those are my two cents about exercising and eating healthy when life gets busier than usual. What helps you stay on track when you get busy? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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  1. What helps me stay on track? Well, my grocery list always looks similar to yours. I just don't buy junk, because if I don't have it in my home, I won't eat it. I try to make healthy snack foods once a week (like fruit and nut balls, hummus, homemade crackers, etc), and then I can reach for those if I don't have time to sit down and cook something.

    Exercising is a bit harder when I'm very busy. I just try to get a little in here and there and do the best I can until things slow down a bit.

    1. I love it! I don't buy junk for myself but my family still does, which for me is just as bad when I am craving some chocolate or potato chips after a rough day. May I ask for you fruit nut ball recipe?

  2. I really need to get better at meal prep for lunches & using the weekend to prep meals for the week. I really have to stop making excuses and just do it already! I know I would appreciate it after the fact!

    1. I have the same problem sometimes, especially with cleaning. I usually set an alarm for Sunday at 4:00 to have an hour of cleaning time. Then it is like getting up or going to work. I have an obligation to do whatever I was putting off.

  3. Great post and I am loving that recipe, I may have to give that a try it would taste wonderful on this colder day!!