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The 8-Minute Healthy Eating Plan

by Sandy Todd Webster on Aug 22, 2013

Food for Thought


Your best intentions for healthy eating during the week can be easily derailed if you haven’t thought through a plan. While it’s not always possible to anticipate every curve ball that might get hurled your way, here are a few simple strategies from Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, that take only 8 minutes of focused time each week.

“One of the ways my clients tend to sabotage their healthy eating is when they leave meals to the last minute and have to make do with what’s around,” says Glassman, founder and president of Nutritious LifeTM, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and of Nutritious Life Meals, a program that delivers gourmet, healthy meals daily across the country. “When they plan ahead, they know their refrigerator shelves will be abundantly stocked with fruits, veggies and lean proteins, and their cupboards will be overflowing with whole grains like quinoa and farro. That’s why preparing meals ahead of time, be it through mental or physical prep, is a critical part of living a nutritious life.” If you can convince your clients to set aside just 8 minutes to strategize meals for the week, it may reduce their nutrition chal- lenges. Glassman says they don’t have to cook in those 8 minutes (though they can); it’s more about mental prep and jotting down a few notes for the days to come.

Here—from a recent blog Glassman wrote on the topic—are pointers for how to spend those 8 minutes:

  • Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, Mexican food, girls’ night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.
  • Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.
  • Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.
  • Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.

If you have time left over in those 8 minutes, start with food prep:

  • Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.
  • Chop the veggies you have around.
  • Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.
  • Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.

Glassman says that not only does planning ahead make for healthier meals; it also saves money, reduces stress associated with cooking and helps keep your fridge and pantry cleaner and more organized. “Just remember: It can take 8 minutes to complete your order online or call a restaurant to deliver—and that’s just for one meal! Those same 8 minutes can be used to provide you with a whole week’s worth of healthy meals instead!”

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.