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Healthy eating tips when you’re mama-busy

Help us welcome Andrea to our contributor team! She is a mother of two sweet girls and a lover of all things health related. We hope you enjoy reading her adventures as much as we do!

Now that we are back in the swing of the school year (or you have little ones who keep you on your toes no matter what time of year!), us mamas want to feel our best as we head into the busy fall season and many of us need all the help we can get to save time and still eat well. Here are some suggestions on how to stay on track with (or start anew!) your healthy habits in the midst of chasing your kids around, driving them to school and sports, and all the other things that keep our calendars and hearts full.

Healthy eating for busy mamas

Smoothies. Drink all the smoothies.
I love how easy it has become to not only find awesome smoothie recipes online but also to make them at home before we run out the door. Kids love them too! I love to blend no-sugar-added coconut-almond milk and ice with the following combos:

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Drizzle of honey

OR

  • 1 banana
  • Vanilla protein powder of your choice
  • ½ cup spinach
  • Drizzle of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon (or just sprinkle it on)

OR

  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ avocado
  • Drizzle of honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

OR

Simply grab your Blender Bottle, throw in a scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder and a teaspoon of powdered peanut butter like PB2 (look for the chocolate flavor!) in with no-sugar-added almond milk and ice and shake it up. (This is my favorite way to curb my nightly ice cream cravings, too!)

Salads for days:

The secret to making salads is all about prepping ahead of time. We started our meal prepping journey this year and it’s been amazing! If you haven’t considered bulk meal prep before, start small with salads for the week. Use some Tupperware or mason jars and create a bunch of layer salads, putting the heaviest items on the bottom. Make sure you’ve got lids because when it’s go time, just add your dressing, shake and eat!

Step one is the chopping – this can take some time but if you do it all at once you’ll thank yourself later! Start with a darker lettuce like romaine (you can also easily tear it by hand) and add in some spinach leaves. Chop veggies of your choice – the more colorful the better! – and add some protein (slow cooked, shredded chicken, sliced hard boiled egg, or canned, wild-caught salmon are easy choices). Garnish with things like dehydrated corn, dried cranberries or cherries, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, sprouts, or watercress. Use a salad dressing shaker to make a quick vinegarette dressing like this one. At lunch time, toss your favorite ingredients all together and eat.

Know where to go for healthy takeout:

I love living in Scottsdale because there is no shortage of healthy, quick options for food. While eating out isn’t always the most cost-effective option, sometimes it’s just worth saving your sanity by skipping the kitchen every now and then in these busy seasons of life. Here are a few of my favorite places to go when I need a break, but want to avoid the drive-thru:

You may have read about Grabba Green here before and let me be the second to tell you it’s hands down my favorite place for a quick, healthy bite! Smoothies, cold-pressed juices, salads, protein bowls, breakfast, you name it… if it’s healthy, they make it, and they make it well!

Because we live in Old Town, I frequent The Original Chop Shop Co. and Farm + Craft for food to go, located next door to each other on 5th Ave. and Scottsdale Rd. Different owners, but similar concepts geared toward those living a healthy lifestyle. Farm + Craft even categorizes their menu into four types of dietary preferences: anti-inflammatory, probiotics, antioxidants, and stress-relieving (as a certified health coach, I geeked out on this big time!). And their Farro Mac & Cheese? TO DIE FOR.

When we don’t prep all our meals for the week, we will often order from My Fit Foods to fill in the gaps. This is an excellent choice when you want to have things waiting for you in the fridge to heat up and eat with your family at home. And as a bonus, the containers they sell their meals in are dishwasher safe and reusable! Perfect for those salads you’re gonna make for lunch later, right? *wink wink*

The older I get the more I realize that my health is a priceless gift and one I should take special care of – not only for my later years, but also to set a good example for my two daughters. I hope these tips will make it that much easier for my fellow mamas to do the same!

I’d love to hear from you, too:

What do you like to – or tend to – eat when you are really busy? This is a judgment-free zone, mamas… feel free to share the ups as well as the downs!

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One Response to Healthy eating tips when you’re mama-busy

  1. Sarah September 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    This is great advice. Thank you Andrea!