The way to live stylishly when you’re busy is all about creating time and space.
It sounds impossible. But surprisingly, it’s often not.
Nothing gets the job done like a good system. We create systems and approaches for all kinds of things in life and work — we make to do lists, calendars, organization. We get granular and orderly. Elaborate efforts, using products to help, setting up reminders.
In other areas, however, we’re not conditioned to take a standardized approach and that’s when we start to neglect or ignore things we really should attend to.
Important things — like eating well, taking care of our bodies. Making the effort to do what it takes to look and feel good.
As a result, we often suffer in the places where life actually really matters the most. Sure, it’s necessary and important to do a great job at work. Keep the house clean, take the car in for an oil change, and everything else on your to do list. Taking care of family and relationships should never take a back seat.
But it’s also important to tend to you.
That’s not just about making sure you get to the dentist, or that you’ve slept an extra hour. It’s also about being in the life experience — whatever that may be at any given moment — that makes you feel comfortable, cared for, well fed.
We all know it sounds a lot easier than it is. But, there are ways to lay down systems with stylish living — just as you would tasks you need to complete at work, or the other areas of life where taking an automatic, structured approach is the go-to.
We talked about how to create a stylish eating experience at home. Breaking it down a bit further, here’s how to streamline your foodie process, and make what you eat more precise to your needs, taste, and budget.
- Pay attention to what foods you reach for the most. We often eat on autopilot. We know we should be cognizant and eat healthy. But, it’s usually grabbing something and going. Maybe something good for you, maybe not. After your next grocery trip, pay attention to what foods you lean towards the most. These are likely the easiest things to eat and snack on for you and your lifestyle.
- Evaluate the quality of the items you’ve identified as your go-to. After you’ve pinpointed what you gravitate towards, determine if they’re the right things to be eating for your health, energy, and other needs. Put it all in two categories — what is good, what isn’t. Buy more of what’s good. But, rather than completely ditching what’s not so good, see if you can substitute it with something better. For example, if you love crunchy, salty fried chips, it’s ultra easy to make baked flour or corn tortilla chips at home. Not exactly the same, but close. Incorporate the better alternative a few times and before long, you’ll crave and reach for it instead.
- Rely on fresh frozen. It’s an extra step in your week to freeze fresh foods you’ve purchased, but it can really (really!) make a difference. It’s not just meats or fish — some fruits, and a lot of vegetables can also be frozen fresh. The benefit is that you can cut back on trips to the grocery, fresh foods last longer, and freezing fresh is better than buying frozen. Good food can be at ultra easy grasp for you. Just pull out something in the morning for later in the day, or a few hours before you’re hungry and you’ll be fed well.
- Prep, prep, prep. This was a big item mentioned in past posts here and there’s a reason. Advance preparation of the food you like or want to eat saves a ton of time when the week gets chaotic. Make it a habit to get home from the grocery, put everything away and do prep. Wash veggies and fruits with a good produce wash, rinse, slice them up. Tuck them into storage containers in the fridge, or freeze a portion of what you’ve bought for later in the week or month. Having plenty of crunchy, tasty vegetables or flavorful fruits in the fridge ready to roll for snacks or meals will transform your food experience.
Creating a lifestyle experience is like any other hobby or habit. It gets easier the more you do it. When it comes to what you eat, give yourself a little time to adjust to the system you want to put in place. You’ll have times when you fall off your plans, or you might find it easy to adhere to and off you go. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will make it a habit — and you’ll feel and live better as a result.
Originally published at medium.com