Getting Proper Nutrition as a Busy Adult
I’m excited to partner with Boost to bring you this blog post. As always, all opinions are my own.
We all feel the days and weeks buzzing by; work and activities and errands during the day, kids, grandkids, or personal activities at night, etc. Our schedules are fuller than ever, and with the convenience of fast food and delivery, cooking at home has become more rare than eating out for many people throughout all age spans. My friends who are older adults and retired have very busy travel, grandkid activities, and social schedules, even my parents who are 80 years old have more things to do each week than me half the time! And my friends and colleagues in our 30’s-40’s are constantly trying to pack in 10 days worth of agenda into a 7 day week. All that being said, it’s easy to see how the nutritional routine for many young and older adults can often be tricky.
Remember 15-20 years ago when eating out was a special treat? Going out to eat was something that happened once a month or if there was a graduation or special occasion. Our meal culture has evolved so far from the home cooked meal at the dinner table surrounded by your family, tossing the broccoli to the dog and pouring a little extra gravy on the chicken, to eating pre-packaged food, that always tastes good, in front of a computer or phone screen, or cramming food in at the airport or something quick on the go.
In this face paced world few of us young and older adults have the time or desire to cook every meal at home. And that’s the reality. So, in my recent years of practice as a Nurse Practitioner, I’ve discovered that it’s best to give recommendations that are not only realistic, but also adaptable for both young and older adults and all of their ever changing and busy agendas.
My patients and online audience consistently inquire about my nutritional routine and recommendations in search for ideas and inspiration to adapt as their own to aid in their health and wellness journey.
This can be twofold, because not only am I someone with a busy schedule, I am a Nurse Practitioner, who knows from years of education, training, and experience what the body needs, and how to balance that with what it wants.
I tell my patients that balance is the key to all things in life!
So, from the perspective of my being a Nurse Practitioner, there are a few key things I can offer as takeaway:
First of all, it comes down to being mindful of choices. As a Nurse Practitioner, I have to take into consideration the many dietary and lifestyle requirements of my patients, as well as their budget and personal challenges when it comes to nutrition. Education is key, and so I use every encounter as an opportunity to educate, learn about their lifestyle and diet habits and routines, and make recommendations based on my knowledge as an NP.
So, on the subject of being mindful of choices, I challenge myself and my patients to prepare at least 1 meal a day at home. Usually, for me, that’s breakfast on days I have to work or have errands to run (can even be cooked the night before and reheated in the am), or dinner on my days off (and on these nights I really go all out because cooking is therapeutic for me). I consider it a luxury when I am off work from the hospital and have time to be home and cook something.
Secondly, it’s good to start the day off right. I constantly educate my patients on this important fact: having a high sugar breakfast like a donut or a frozen coffee drink is nice every once in a while, but, as the evidence and research data shows us, it only leads to a sugar crash about 2 hours later which is a direct result from a spike in the body’s production of insulin.
When I educate my patients and audience about what we “shouldn’t do”, I always follow up with something that we “should do”. So, in this case, I recommend to my patients that they start the day with something that has protein, fat, & fiber, like a spinach and egg breakfast wrap or plate or sandwich on wheat toast, some eggs and sausage, an avocado or avocado toast with egg, a green or fruit combo smoothie, or an all encompassing supplement like Nestle’s Boost High Protein Drink. The benefit of the Boost High Protein Drink is that it is quick and easy for those days where you’ve got a laundry list of things to do, or maybe just don’t have the energy or wherewithal to cook something, and is a perfectly balanced nutritional drink with great protein-calorie content. (this makes the NP very happy).
My third and final caveat is to have healthy snacks on hand! ALL OF THE TIME!
I keep walnuts and macadamia nuts and natural beef jerky on hand, and I always have a stash of Nestle’s Boost High Protein drinks in the fridge. This nutritional drink has 20g of protein plus some extra vitamins and has helped me through the last 4 hours of many, many hospital shifts and many late nights up working at home. I buy them in packs of 6. They don’t need to be refrigerated but I prefer them ICE cold. They don’t taste like typical protein drinks that can have that chalky heavy supplement taste and a fake flavor. They taste rich and when ice cold, remind me of a milkshake.
So even though I’m totally guilty of ordering in a lot, and picking up convenience foods, I make good choices where I can and remind myself of the importance of protein, fiber, and vegetables and continue to choose items based on that. A balanced breakfast, 1 home cooked meal a day, and healthy, easy snacks on hand. This is a routine I can feel good about and this is a routine that’s realistic for my patients and also anyone with a busy schedule.
I hope this post has helped with some decision making and recommendations for you to add some balance to your routine. If you’re interested in trying out a good source of overall nutritional supplement drink, you can click here for Nestle’s Boost Simple Complete Drink, which is great for snacks and on the go. If you’re in need of a higher protein intake, you can try out the Nestle’s Boost High Protein Drink which can be found here They come in both Vanilla and Chocolate- both best served chilled.