Finding the time and energy to stay properly nourished during busy days can be tricky. Nicole shares her top tips for staying healthy during the days busiest moments.

Making time for good food is a constant struggle. Between getting the kids to school, prepping for the next call, and maintaining important relationships with loved ones, meals during the week often fall into two categories: forgotten (whoa, is it really 4pm and I haven’t had lunch?!) or forgettable (that 4-day old piece of pizza posing as dinner when I got home from work at 8pm). Here a few tips for getting nourishment during the busiest moments of the day.

1) Daytime meals at the ready

The best way to arm yourself for the ongoing battle between time and good health is preparation for those ‘I need to eat NOW!’ moments. If you aim to have 10 of your meals prepped for that 9-5 window, you’re literally halfway there. You might have a go-to overnight oats routine or a vegan chili recipe that lasts all week or maybe even a freezer full of pre-made soups (hint hint).  Personally, I arm myself for these moments with Splendid Spoon smoothies for breakfast and soups or grain bowls for lunch.

2) Dinner hacks you can lean into

The last meal of the day is a big struggle for two reasons: we are fatigued, and we aren’t done yet. For parents you really know what I mean. The pressure to get kids fed, bathed, home-worked and into bed a reasonable hour after a long day can feel like heartbreak hill in a marathon. (So close, yet so far…) Similar to my daytime meals, I have a handful of quick hacks that turn my daytime staples into shareable family meals. Basically, this just means keeping my favorite proteins in the fridge or freezer each week. My kids love fish so I buy wild cod in bulk and keep it in the freezer. I also keep tofu, vegan sausages and grass-fed beef stoked. I lean on Splendid Spoon as the base because it means most of our plates will be veggies, and with our meal hack recipes it means the whole family is eating in 10-15 minutes.

3) Keep your work/home pantry stocked with whole fruits and vegetables

Once you have your meals covered, you can layer in snacks. Apples, carrots, bananas, peppers - whatever your favorite whole fruits and vegetables are, stock up on those! The 3pm crash is REAL: your body and mind are genuinely tired at this point, you are usually feeling the stress of the last push of meetings or school pick-ups, and the body is screaming for something salty or sweet (usually processed or full of refined carbs). The struggle is no joke, but if you have a full stock of the good stuff you will be ready. If you like sweet, stock up on grapes or dried apricots and cashews. If it’s savory, try for carrots and hummus or banana and nut butters. If you get in the habit of it, your body will be so grateful and you'll feel happier and more energized.

There you have it: my top three! If you add it up, you’re basically on an 80/20 diet, where 80% of what you are eating is mostly plant-based and full of whole ingredients. And that level of goodness is something you can be super proud of.

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