Healthy Eating Options when You’re Busy

Happy Wednesday!

It’s nice to have a long weekend ahead, with the holiday tomorrow.  We’re hoping for a relaxing weekend wrapping up some final details, and then we head out of Texas for good next week!

Last week, my friend Hollie suggested a post on healthy options on the go, so I thought we could talk about it today.  I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions as well!

I think the key is preparation.  If at all possible, setting aside one day to do meal prep in advance makes the whole week flow more smoothly.  Lindsay has an inspiring post every Sunday on meal prep.  Here are some additional ideas:

Weekend Prep ideas:

Hard boiled eggs or Baked Eggs

Egg white bites with sweet potato or banana

Big batch of Quinoa Veggie Salad

Baked Tofu slices (great for snacking, or in wraps)

Date nut balls

Healthy Pancakes

Chopped veggies for chopped salads

Salads in a jar

Healthy Bites


Cook once, eat twice:

Crock pot chicken (Use again for salads, tortilla soup, sandwiches or season for tacos)

Roast veggies (as a side dish, then use again for hummus wraps, salads with tuna or salmon, pizza toppings)

Grill salmon/fish/chicken and veggies (use again with rice or quinoa for salads, add to wraps or make a frittata)

Make a large pot of rice (as a side dish, use again for fried rice or a simple stirfry with soy sauce, or rice pudding)


Last minute throw together:

Wraps (mix it up with corn, rice or sprouted grain tortillas)

* tofu and roasted peppers, broccoli and hummus

* mashed bean, avocado and salsa

* leftover chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, arugula and feta cheese

* tuna avocado salad with spinach

* almond butter, sliced banana, shredded carrots and cinnamon

Smoothies (34 healthy smoothie recipes)

5 minute Breakfast Ideas



Put it all together (sample week)

Weekend Prep for the sample week: Hard boiled eggs, pancakes for freezer, Quinoa veggie salad, energy ball/bites, Egg bites or mini-frittatas

These menu planning templates may also be helpful to keep the week organized.  There are always good ideas Sunday’s meal planning link up as well!

More of our family’s favorite recipes are here.

If you’re so busy that there is no time for meal prep, you can use some of the following shortcuts:

  • Purchase a rotisserie chicken rather than making your own
  • Larabars instead of homemade energy balls
  • Frozen waffles rather than homemade pancakes
  • Trader Jo, Wegmans or Whole Foods salad bars in place of Quinoa veggie salad and salads-in-a-jar


Do you struggle to find healthy options when you’re busy? What are the foods you grab when you’re on the go?



51 thoughts on “Healthy Eating Options when You’re Busy

  1. We strongly support cook once, eat twice in our house. We usually make a big meal on Sundays (crockpot in winter, grill in summer) and then have yummy leftovers for 1-2 days. Since my husband and I both work, cooking is often the last thing we want to do, so leftovers are our best friend!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Marathon Mama: Richmond 2013My Profile

  2. It really is all about prep – I dedicate a few hours on SUnday to shopping and prep for the week. I bake off most of my proteins, precut veggies, and cook my carbs. One thing I do is prepare carbs (quinoa, etc) without much flavor so I can change it up as I reheat through the week. Helps to keep meals interesting!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Back to the Gym + WIAWMy Profile

  3. I really cannot thank you enough for all these recipes. As you know with my job I have been eating at least lunch if not dinner at work as well. I make a lot of crock pot chicken recipes too and they are seriously awesome. I am going to have to try making a big batch of salmon…don’t know why I already don’t since it’s one of my favorite foods.
    Hollie recently posted..19 Weeks AwayMy Profile

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  5. Last night I had to throw my dinner together because there was nothing in the house. It was hot and I didn’t feel like cooking. I had some quinoa so I put some diced up chicken, cranberries and walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette and mixed it all together. Topped with some Gorgonzola. It wasn’t too bad!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Race Report: Summer Solstice 10KMy Profile

  6. Great ideas! I’m all about cook once, eat twice (or more!). My default travel snack seem to be fruit/dried fruit/nuts.
    Have a great holiday weekend!
    Marcia recently posted..RSVP = Dinosaur?My Profile

  7. Rotisserie and roasted chickens are seriously a life saver! When whole chickens are on sale, I throw one in the crockpot for a day and I can get at least 2 meals out of them for the boyfriend and myself. And if I don’t have time for that, I just buy a rotisserie chicken…I did that on Sunday and used the leftovers for a stirfry the following night.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..WIAW: BBQ and a Swimming Pug.My Profile

  8. I most definitely do struggle with healthy food options when I’m busy, stressed and in a rush. Green smoothies are a go-to for me. And food prep is key! That is when I remember to prep food 🙂

    Love all of these Laura and thank you!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..All About PieMy Profile

  9. Great tips! planning ahead and always having healthy options on hand are what works for me. I don’t think healthy eating needs to be elaborate. I can throw together a quick veggie stir fry with beans or tofu in the same time it takes to order out.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Backyard BootcampMy Profile

  10. Yes – if I don’t do any planning, when I get busy our meals tend to go way down hill!!! (like this week – since I haven’t even taken the time to do a true grocery shopping trip).
    Great tips, Laura!!!
    Kim recently posted..Music and RunningMy Profile

  11. These are GREAT ideas! I find that the headrest thing for me is eating healthy when I have my 4year-old twins in the car. There are almost zero healthy options for food with a drive-thru where I live! I always have to pack healthy snacks & then head home if I want a real ( healthy) meal! Thanks for giving me a lot more great options to try!
    Allie recently posted..WOULD YOU LIKE AN HOUR OF EXERCISE WITH THAT?My Profile

  12. My husband and I need to get better about meal planning. It’s easy now with just the two of us to eat out or prepare something quick, or even just grab an energy bar, but one of these days when we have kids, I know having a plan and options that everyone likes are going to be necessary. On the go, we almost always make sandwiches which are easy but not even remotely creative!
    Amy recently posted..One Run For Boston Relay RecapMy Profile

  13. THIS IS AWESOME!!! So many of my friends always say, “ohhhh I am sooooo busy, so I had to go to McDonalds” – NOOOOOOO YOU DIDN’T!!!!!!!!!! I am known as the girl who whips out a grass-fed burger of sorts out of her purse when she is hungry! I ALWAYS PLAN IN ADVANCE! Today I brought a delicious turkey burger with me (I will be posting the recipe video this Tuesday – FRAMAZING)… Or I will bring easy open cans of fish or I stop in at Whole Foods or this other place called Gelsons and get some things off the salad bar!! BOOM! You can always eat healthy even if you’re crazy busy like I typically am!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Every Foodie’s Pin Up GirlMy Profile

  14. I used to struggle with eating healthy when I am time crunched but it is so easy to grab an apple and a hand full of nuts, hardboiled egg, slice an avocado, or olives. Prepping ahead definitely works w chopping up veggies like peppers. Love your suggestions for cook once eat twice.

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  16. I always have some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge – love them as a quick afternoon snack. I also usually keep a small container of walnuts or almonds in my bag, and never leave the house without fruit to snack on (for me and the kids)
    Michelle recently posted..Winding Down and Gearing UpMy Profile

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