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What’s Cooking: 3 tips for balancing a healthy diet with a busy lifestyle

(NC) Today’s hectic pace doesn’t always allow much time for us to consider what it is we’re putting in our bodies. We often place more consideration into what we can eat versus what we should eat.

However, while this approach may get you through the day, you could be missing out on the benefits of a nutritionally sound diet. Choosing to eat healthier options can help you feel more energized throughout the day, which helps you power through even the busiest of schedules.

Here are three tips to eating healthy while juggling a busy lifestyle:

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Prepare meals ahead of time.

Once the hunger pangs strike, you rarely have much time to act. To get ahead of the cravings, prepare your meals ahead of time and choose foods that are easily refrigerated or frozen that can be reheated later. There are many healthy meal options that can be stored in the fridge for up to three to four days (longer if frozen) that also taste great.

Opt for more plant-based food.

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Fresh off the heels of the updated Canada Food Guide, which calls for the inclusion of more plant-based options in our diets, this tip doesn’t need to completely change your eating habits. But choosing at least one vegetarian meal each week is a great start. Plant-based foods are great for you because they cut out added sugars and refined grains, resulting in improved mental and physical function, as well as helping reduce your risks of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Pack/store easy-to-eat snacks.

Foods like granola bars, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are easily packed in your bag or stored at your desk and require little to no preparation. These foods can keep you feeling satiated between meals. There are plenty of great-tasting and healthy options when it comes to granola or protein bars, like Hemp Yeah! Bars from Manitoba Harvest, which are loaded with omegas 3 and 6 and contain over 10 grams of plant-based protein.

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