Sep. 30. 2020
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

We hear so often from the NS community that they aren’t as consistent with their healthy eating is because they don’t have the time or energy.

But here’s the thing — there will never be a magical, perfect time where you have no other obligations, no stress, and plenty of free time to dedicate to your wellbeing. 

It’s so important (and effective) to learn to work with the time you have based on your schedule, just as it is right now. 

Here are a few ways you can prioritize nourishing yourself, even if you don’t have a lot of time — because you are worth it!

Setting Priorities

What I’m sharing with you today is how you can be a little more efficient and also work with the time limits you do have so that you can practice your healthy eating habits 365 days a year, even when life is really busy. 

Identify Your Healthy Eating Non-Negotiables

The first step is to simply align with what you’d like in your life. Identify 1 to 3 things that you’d love to add into your life that contributes to you practicing healthy eating habits on a daily basis. 

This can be something like having a nourishing dinner every night, packing your lunch the night before, or drinking enough water throughout the day. There are journal prompts to guide you with identifying this inside of our free guide, so be sure to download that!  

Consider these your healthy eating non-negotiables — the things you’re always going to make sure you have time for. Anything else that you’re able to fit on top of these things would be an added bonus!

Once you’ve identified your healthy eating non-negotiables, next, you’ll want to map out your routine. 

Map Out Your Routine

I want you to write down what your typical day looks like and identify places where you can fit in time for the non-negotiables you just identified.

Really ask yourself what you’re currently doing with some of your hours and if it’s something that you could give up a little bit of time for your wellbeing.

For example, if you’re watching 2 or 3 hours of Netflix in the evening as a way to relax after a long day, could you give yourself even 30 minutes of that time to cook a simple meal and enjoy dinner with friends or family? 

After you’ve mapped your routine, you’ll want to work within the time you have.  

Work With the Time You Have

For example, if you know that after work you don’t have either the time or the energy to cook anything that takes longer than 15 minutes to make that’s perfectly okay! 

All you need to do then is to simply set yourself up so you’re able to whip up meals in 15 minutes. 

If you have just an hour on the weekend, for example, you can batch cook or prepare a few meal components — like your protein, some veggies, and rice or quinoa — that you can mix and match for meals throughout the week. 

If you want more details on that, you can download my free guide linked around this video that will support you in creating healthy eating habits and walk you through how to batch cook and make 15-minute meals like this! 

Create Efficiencies with Your Time

Step four is to learn a few things that can make you more efficient with the time you have. This will vary for everyone depending on you and your lifestyle. What you can ask yourself to find where you need more efficiency is where are you experiencing friction with your healthy eating habits?

Here are a few examples.

If you find yourself crunched for time in the morning but you have a little extra time in the evening, is there anything you can prepare for yourself the night before? 

This may be making your smoothie to grab on the go, preparing your lunch or even just filling up your water bottle. Anything you can do to make it easier for yourself when you don’t have as much time. 

On the other hand, some of you may experience more friction around the cooking process. Maybe you need more easy meal ideas. Or maybe it takes you longer to cook than you’d like because you don’t have the best knife skills or you’re not confident with the different cooking techniques. 

In that case, you may consider learning a couple of skills that will help make you more efficient, like how to chop properly, how to organize your kitchen effectively for a good flow, or quick-cooking techniques. 

When you become more comfortable and confident with your kitchen skills, you also become more efficient, so even though it may take a little bit of time to sit down and learn those few skills, that will end up saving you time every day.  

Seek Out the Support You Need

Whether you seek support from friends, family, coworkers or professionals like myself through my membership program, you have so many potential ways to be supported.

Maybe a family member can help take something off of your plate that would give you more time to cook, or maybe they’d be willing to help you in the kitchen. 

Professional support can not only help you learn to work with the schedule you have and gain the skills to be more efficient with your time, but it can also help keep you accountable. We offer a membership to support you with creating healthy habits and working with the time you have. 

Here’s what Amy said after joining The Method Membership and learning to work with her current schedule:

“I thought that the plan and “to-do” items would be too time-consuming or difficult to implement in my life. McKel used information about my current lifestyle and habits (and health) to create a framework that required implementing small changes over time that positively impacted my day-day life. If you’re on the fence, if you think this is a magic button, it isn’t, but it also isn’t hard. Be as honest as you possibly can about the timeline of your day and your habits. This will enable you to create a plan to support your health and your goals. If you commit to small changes over time, you can change the way you think about nutrition and positively affect your everyday life.”

So be really honest with yourself with what type of support would make the biggest impact for you.

Putting This Into Practice

Now have several little tips that you can use that will help you create healthy eating habits even when you’re short on time! Which one of these tips do you feel you can put into practice this week? 

Download my free guide that’s going to give you the full process for creating healthy eating habits and more tips for how you can maintain them on a daily basis!