Sure, you are busy. Work, kids, new opportunities, those are often the priority. Healthy eating becomes a secondary concern in your life. So you run down to the cafeteria, grab the easiest and quickest thing to eat, and run back to the office for a working lunch. Even when you get home, you probably are so tired you just call up the usual takeout. This may solve the food problem but eventually it takes its toll on your health, either through weight gain, lost energy, or both.
This was a problem for Ooshma Garg while she was a junior at Stanford University and starting her first company. Her intense schedule as an entrepreneur and student left no time to eat healthily.
Garg was tired of eating fast food in her car, so she went on Craigslist and asked if there was anyone willing to cook for her for $8 a plate. She was surprised with the response she received. This simple act of solving the healthy home-cooked meal problem for herself eventually led her to found Gobble to solve everyone's problem with innovative 10-minute fresh dinner kits.
At Gobble, Garg not only figured out how to deliver fresh ingredients direct to your door, but also how her company can do all the prep and chopping so all you have to do is sizzle everything together in a pan and serve the meal. It's working so well that Gobble is expanding quickly and has raised funds in three rounds from high-profile investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Trinity Ventures.
Garg believes that even the busiest workaholics can have a healthier diet by integrating these simple six tips into daily busy schedule.
1. Make a simple breakfast a priority.
People tend to be in a rush during the morning as they prepare to go to work, and they usually neglect the first meal of the day. Garg believes that breakfast is crucial to getting the body ready for the long day. Her recommendations? "I'm an on-the-go woman. I have two standard breakfast options, either probiotic-packed Greek yogurt or a spinach, banana, and coconut water smoothie with no extra added sugar," she revealed. She also recommends starting the day with eight ounces of hot lemon water, because it will "rejuvenate your system, which has been on a fast all night long. This gives your immune system a boost, strengthens the brain, hydrates, aids digestion, and relieves stress with vitamin C."
2. Pre-portion your snacks to avoid overeating.
Snacking is one habit a lot of people get into throughout the day so that they can get something into their system. But even when avoiding junk food, people often lose track of how much they eat. Garg has a fix for this: "My midmorning and afternoon snacks consist of pre-portioned nuts or fruit," she added. "Pre-portioning in the kitchen is most important so that I don't get tempted to overeat. Better to put a small portion in a bowl than to take the whole bag or box of your snack."
3. Drink a lot of water.
People like to drink coffee throughout the workday to keep themselves energized, but Garg drinks water instead to ensure that "my body is clear and free of any toxins I might eat or drink. I like to use a medium-size water bottle--that way I can take it everywhere and only have to fill it twice during the day." It's cheaper than a mocha latte and you don't have to take time to prepare it.
4. Eat at the same time every day.
Many busy people set daily routines at the office. This way they can control the things that are controllable, leaving them mentally free to deal with whatever unexpected challenges or opportunities come their way. Eating should be no different, according to Garg. Having a specific time and routine for eating ensures that you are able to prepare for it and make healthier choices than rushing through a meal. Then, when the exciting food adventure comes, you can make choices accordingly.
5. Go for the lighter lunch.
Lunch is likely the meal that most directly impacts any hard worker, because it happens in the middle of the workday. Calorie-rich business lunches can bring on health risks and joining in on the take-out group can be tempting when busy. Nothing is easier and healthier than a simple salad, which can be prepared rather quickly. Of course you need to lay off the fatty dressing and opt instead for a little lemon juice with a hint of olive oil. "Make lunch that consists of a green vegetable salad with protein, along with some sort of thin side carbs (low fat pretzels or crackers with hummus)," recommends Garg.
6. Walk and talk.
Eating healthy alone will not give you the energy and brain power you need for success. Exercise will make a positive impact as well. You may not think you have the time, but you do with Garg's process. "All of my calls are walking calls. I carry a notepad and pen and walk around Silicon Valley with headphones, which allows me to speak on the calls hands-free," she explained. "Sometimes, I have to stop and sit on a bench to write notes. I set a daily walking goal of 10,000 steps per day. This allows one to maintain a healthy lifestyle and with moderation, maintain a healthy body."