9 Tips to Conquer a Busy Life and Stick to a Paleo Lifestyle

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Today's article was requested by a reader. You can do the same at my contact page. Is it possible to maintain a healthy mind and body when you're always on the go or in college? Yes it is.

College is becoming an increasingly popular spot for people to spend their time in 2014, with a crippled job market and no sign in improvement (unless you listen to the mainstream media), a college degree may be the answer to your all your problems.

Obviously there is a large gap between salaries and the costs of college, so eating healthy with a tight budget is something a lot of us are facing. Here are some ways to combat the generally high cost of healthy food and how you can eat great on campus or in your busy life.

Precook your lunch and carry it with you

I've never lived on campus to I've learned to pre-marinate and pre-cook my meals.

Bring Paleo friendly snacks with you

I usually carry a stash of an almond/cashew blend or a bag of local beef jerky. You would be surprised how full beef jerky can make you feel with eating just a few large pieces. You will get some amino acids from the jerky. Keeping your body fueled with good sources of protein throughout the day is important, not only for muscle growth and healing, but to give your body a chance to operate at a high efficiency. However, the generally nutrient lacking school food can get you through the day if you follow this next tip.

Decipher the menus at school

My school had a food court that had some healthier options. There was also a school cafeteria which would have different specials that were home-cooked. I would typically order 2 chicken breasts, put some seasoned salt (if they carried it) on the meat and had some sweet potatoes on the side. If I had to eat "fast food" I would avoid the mainstream places and opt for something like Qdoba or Chipotle for an order of a "Naked Burrito" which is basically a bowl of deliciously seasoned meat with some hot salsa on top of it.

Take advantage of University meal plans

I'm not sure what percentage of schools participate in this program, but even for commuter students, my school requires a minimum of $175 meal card to be purchased each semester. This is something that people get angry about, but out of your control. Take advantage of the meal plans which may enable you a discount to the school restaurants.

Make a protein or meal replacement drink to take with you

If I am in a rush, which is the epitome of a college student's life, you may not have time to precook meals or dissect the restaurants and sit down and eat. Honestly, this style of life is miserable and you should try to use some time management and buy yourself time to slow down. This can keep you full for 3-4 hours and would be an incredible way to give your body a boost of calories in a short amount of time. Almost all protein powders contain a complex of amino acids, which will ensure that you are healing your brain and supporting mental function, as well as healing your body from exercise.

Some basic tips are to:

  • Prepping meals. Not just lunches but dinners as well. If you make lets say a tomato sauce make enough to be a base for a chili, it saves time and money!
  • Stock your Freezer with frozen veggies and fruit {if you eat it} when it's on sale, that way you don't pay full price when you need it.
  • Try and buy the "managers special" / discounted meats that might be about to go bad. Bring them home and pop in the freezer until needed. the more you have the less you'll have spend full price for in the long run.
  • Don't feel like you have to buy organic. It can be more expensive than you've budgeted for and you need to be able to pay said bills. So go affordable.
  • Buy things like Canned Diced, Chopped & pureed tomatoes. They make a great addition to stir frys, soups, sauces etc. And are really affordable And also make sure they're as close to "tomato only" as you can get.

I hope this will motivate you and relieve some of your frustrations with eating healthy in a generally unhealthy place.

A lot of schools are becoming extremely progressive and are offering smoothie bars which usually use fresh fruit. I get smoothies at school with a scoop of protein if I need that boost to get me through my next class.

Food trucks are popping up around school as well, which usually offer a meat and vegetable menu. Use your judgement and get a chicken sandwich with no bread somewhere if that's the only option you have.

Don't get discouraged by your unhealthy peers

That was easy for me since I never picked up many crazy, unhealthy friends, mine were found at the University gym. But, having a positive and oriented social group is the #1 best way to stay focused on your goals and lifestyle.