13 Healthy Eating Tips for a Busy Lifestyle

By Katrina Bertol on April 09, 2014

With deadlines to meet, after work cocktails, frequent dining out, late nights and early mornings, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to take control of your health. The following tips  outline some simple ways to enhance your everyday health, boost your metabolism, maintain a healthy weight, increase brain function and start feeling powerful from the inside out.

1. Start Your Day Off Right, Eat Breakfast

Eating breakfast is important for sustaining energy levels and aiding in blood sugar management.

Choose a healthy breakfast that is:

  • high in complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, cereals, fruits, vegetables)
  • high in fiber (whole grain cereals and breads and ground flax)
  • rich in protein (nuts, seeds, soy milk, organic milk and yogurt, eggs, protein powders)
  • and provides good fats (nuts, seeds, healthy oils like extra virgin olive, flax and coconut)

2. Don’t Rely On Coffee!

Excess coffee overloads your liver, dehydrates you (coffee is a diuretic) and increases the risk of blood sugar irregularities (afternoon energy dips sound familiar?). Your liver is the body’s detoxifying organ and if overloaded, your chances for disease, sluggishness and weight gain will increase. Try to decrease coffee or eliminate it altogether. There are some great coffee alternatives on the market. You can also enjoy herbal teas: dandelion root (liver detox), ginseng (energy), oolong (weight loss), green tea (concentration), and peppermint (stomach ease).

Read more about caffeine-free energy foods

3. Stay Hydrated

This step is as easy as carrying a stainless steel or glass water bottle with you. Count how many times you fill it up. At least eight glasses of water a day will keep your energy levels high, your hunger down, your digestion smooth and your concentration sharp. When we are dehydrated, our bodies often mistake this feeling for hunger. Make sure to not drink water before meals as this can hinder digestion. Drink 20 minutes before and 30 minutes after. Also, try and drink room temperature water because cold water increases gastrointestinal contraction and slows digestion down.

4. Decrease Packaged/Refined Goods

Most packaged goods are loaded with sugar, excess sodium, stabilizers, preservatives and Scary Seven ingredients like artificial colors and flavors. If you cannot pronounce even one ingredient, skip it! Another good rule of thumb is the fewer the ingredients the better.

5. Eat Local, Whole Foods

How did our ancestors eat 100 years ago? Fresh meats, fish, beans, grains, nuts, seeds and fruit and veggies is what our ancestors relied on. Whole foods are the key to good health. When you’re wondering what you can bring to snack on during the day, try bringing a nut bar, some fruit or sliced veggies.

Read more about local and seasonal food 

6. Dine out the Smart Way

When ordering meat at a restaurant, look for words like steamed, baked, poached, roasted, broiled or grilled. Do your best to avoid foods with the words fried, au gratin, crispy, escalloped, pan-fried, sautéed or stuffed which are good indications that the foods are high in fat and calories. If an item calls for the one of these options, ask the food item to be grilled, steamed, or baked instead.

7. Limit Alcohol Intake

For every alcoholic drink you have, drink a glass of water. Alcohol dehydrates you, lowers inhibitions and increases your appetite. As a rule of thumb, men should have no more than two drinks daily and females no more than one. Healthier alternatives are light beer, virgin Caesar, white wine spritzer, sparkling water or just straight up water with lots of lemon and lime. No one needs to know your drink is non-alcoholic, just ask for it in a rocks glass.

Read more about arsenic in beer and wine

8. Avoid Anything White

White rice, white bread, white pasta, and white sauces. White flour foods are all processed and the good fiber and nutrients are significantly reduced. Enjoy whole grain breads, pastas, brown rice and whole grains like quinoa, couscous or buckwheat instead. Go for a tomato or pesto sauce instead of white sauces which tend to be laden with saturated fat and sodium.

9. Carry Snacks With You

No matter how long you will be out for, always have a piece of fruit or a healthy protein or nut bar with you. Eating every three hours will help to keep your blood sugar steady and decrease overeating at meal times.

10. Don’t Stuff Your Self

Eat until 80 percent full and no more. If you are still hungry after 10 minutes, then have a little bit more. Overeating not only causes weight gain, even if you are eating healthy foods, but it also slows down digestion and can lead to more serious problems like irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes.

11. Increase Fruits and Vegetables

Eat 2 to 3 servings of fruit and 5 to 7 servings of vegetables each day. Think colorful, fresh and local! Be sure to eat lots of greens (kale, bok-choy, swiss chard, spinach) as these are the most nutritionally powerful foods.

Read more about the healthiest fruits and vegetables

12. Avoid Eating Late

Your metabolism slows down at night so you can count on anything you eat within three hours of bedtime sticking to your bones! Eating before 8 pm will allow your body to detoxify before you rest and helps get rid of unnecessary weight.

13. Supplement

No matter how good your diet may be, no one has a perfect nutritional profile. With environmental toxins and poor soil quality so prevalent, we are not getting appropriate nutrients in our diet. A good quality multivitamin/mineral is a must-have, along with probiotic supplementation, a B-complex vitamin (for stress, metabolism and healthy immune) and a good quality EFA (essential fatty acid/omega 3) supplement. Look for fish oil capsules to keep brain function high, digestion smooth, stress down, inflammation down and appetite controlled. Consult a Registered Nutritionist for more information on your nutritional profile. Every single person is different and needs a different supplementation plan to stay healthy.

All of the tips outlined above are relatively easy to implement in your life, regardless of how busy it might be. Just remember the key to a healthy and balanced life starts with dedication, and if you’re just as dedicated to your health as you are to your busy work schedule, then you’re bound to succeed.

Photo Credit: alasam


By Katrina Bertol| April 09, 2014
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  Eating on the Run

About the Author

Katrina Bertol

Katrina Bertol

Katrina Bertol is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Reiki Practitioner. Katrina has an undergraduate degree in fitness and nutritional sciences and an advanced diploma in Holistic Nutrition.

Inspired by her father, who died at an early age from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Katrina decided to turn her passion for health into a commitment to helping others balance their lives and find whole health through a combination of nutrition, fitness, meditation and reiki. She has combined her love for travel and her interests in alternative health therapies and has done courses in Yoga, Reiki, Ayurvedic Medicine and Cooking throughout India, South-East Asia and Europe.

Katrina has worked in corporate wellness, rehabilitation, pre and post-natal fitness, as the nutrition expert for the Canadian Society of Crohn’s and Colitis, in home and studio group and individual training, and currently operates her Nutrition and Reiki practice. She offers Nutritional Consultations, Holistic Food Preparation Classes and Personal Training Packages.

As a practitioner, Katrina looks at her client’s whole health and individual genetic profile. She believes that no two clients are ever the same. By careful analysis of structural, organ and system function, lifestyle assessment, nutritional profile and dietary habits, Katrina’s goal is to help her clients achieve whole health with real life strategies. Katrina specializes in Weight Loss, Allergies, Detoxification, Pediatric Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Fertility Health, Irritable Bowel Disease, Urinary Tract Infections and Whole Foods Cooking Preparation.

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