Contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet isn’t synonymous with health. After all, snacks like Skittles and Starbursts are technically vegan. Of course, generally a vegan diet has plenty of nutritional benefits, but it can be difficult to steer away from those convenient food traps that tend to ignore nutrition. The world is a busy place, life gets hectic, and making time for a healthy, delicious vegan meal can seem impossible — or at least difficult. However, it’s important to regain that nutritional focus. Luckily, there are some easy options just waiting for you to try, no matter how jampacked your schedule is.
If you know that you’re going to be on a tight schedule for the foreseeable future, investing in some kitchen essentials might be just the thing to help you get back on track. Think items like a slow cooker. Pull your meal together right before bed, then in the morning switch it on as you’re heading out the door. By the time you’ve finished your busy day, dinner is ready to go. You might also consider getting a vegetable and fruit peeler and corer to speed up your cooking process.
If investing in some kitchen tech is out of your budget, taking a few hours once a week to meal prep can keep your fridge and stomach full with well-prepared, healthy meals. Finding a few solid vegan recipes you know will keep you fueled during your busy days is a simple solution to avoiding those quick, unhealthy options that can be all too tempting in times of hunger.
You should look into having a vegan potluck once or twice a week with friends. Being responsible for a small dish rather than an entire meal can make mealtime easier, and you might also find some new dishes you love!
Diet and Self-Love
It’s also worth keeping in mind why it’s important to make time for your diet and overall health. How we eat certainly falls under self-care. You want to nourish your body: the body that gets you to all your meetings; the body that takes care of your family; the only body you’ve got.
Valuing yourself is something we all forget to do from time to time, but practicing more healthy habits will benefit you in the long run. As experts at Top Consumer Reviews aptly explain, “In addition to making you feel better … [self-love] habits have some physical health benefits. They lead to reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol readings, a healthier weight, and a longer life.” Committing to fairly simple lifestyle changes can vastly improve your health without too much sacrifice.
Give Yourself a Reset
If you find that you need a reset to help you get back on track, consider dedicating a couple weeks or even a whole month to a health reset. You can start big or reduce a few things at a time. A good place to start is to reduce your sugar intake (remember those Starbursts we talked about?).
Reducing your carb or sugar intake can seem intimidating at first, but as Recovery Centers of America points out, “Once you start looking for ways to reduce sugar, you’ll find any number of simple shortcuts that let your food taste sweet without harming your health. Cinnamon is an excellent addition to dishes like oatmeal, for instance, while lemon juice or balsamic vinegar can be used to brighten up savory dishes without resorting to adding sugar.” Again, simple changes can really turn your diet and health around. And simple is crucial when your schedule is always jampacked.
Making time for ourselves can often come last on our to-do list. However, without proper care and love, our bodies, energy, and mind can suffer, which makes that big to-do list pointless. Being on a vegan diet often means having to get creative with meals, and when you're crunched for time, cooking a nutritional, delicious vegan dinner is the last thing you want to do. Finding some simple solutions that work for you and your busy schedule is not only easy, but your body will thank you.
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