Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

Improving Time Management Key to Preparing Healthy Meals

FoodI have been undertaking two major courses in entrepreneurship and marketing. Along with having to maintain my home, yard and garden, a business, and beginning a new business as well as keeping up with my studies and nutrition research, I find my time is taken up with all these activities. It has come to my attention that I am out of sync with an appropriate “schedule” that enables me to better manage my time. What generally happens is I don’t eat when I should, but rather “grab-and-go” which is not a good plan or good for my energy needs.

All of us are juggling our many interests and necessary obligations. Time management gets away from us and this can lead to bad habit formation. We really have all the time we need to accomplish all we want to do if we plan. Planning means we take time to physically write down all we want and need to do, prioritize in order of importance, and then follow our plan. Posting the plan to review daily helps to keep us on track and reminds us to put off what is less important to complete each day.

I have learned I need to schedule time for meal planning and preparation as well as a relaxed time for enjoying my food rather than trying to eat and multi-task. I recognize many families must face this same dilemma when I see the volume of fast foods and processed foods being purchased in grocery stores. As you know, these are non-foods that provide no sustaining nutrition for energizing our bodies. Such eating habits diminish energy and health that can lead to anxiety, mood swings, depression, and poor health.

Scheduling time and following through are two keys to success with our time management. I feel that we have drifted away from enjoying having time to play with our food and creating family time together preparing healthy meals. Making time for planning meals with our cookbooks and recipe tear sheets, shopping to our weekly plan, and spending time prepping for upcoming meals can involve the whole family. To me, this is how it used to be with families. Engaging children in the processes provides them with good nutrition habits and a sense of togetherness in food and meal decisions.

I find I am much more organized when I plan, schedule time each day, and follow my plan. I now arise earlier, check my plan, and prep what I will need later, then get ready for the rest of the day. I have no more low energy moments, no grab-and-go snacking out of sync with my nutritional needs, and I feel better about myself.

Idle time in front of the TV can be used to chop and prepare for the next day’s plan. It really becomes the creation of new habits with our time.

I challenge you to take one small step in creating a plan, schedule the time, follow through, and see the benefits to your health. Visit my website and post your changes on the blog page. We can all learn from each other what works and how easy change can be. Join me.

Food (Photo credits: PB Teen)

Krystle Shapiro, MSHN, owns NewTritionally Yours! providing nutrition education and classes. She can be reached at (208) 290-6760.

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