It hit me last night when I was writing a blog-post about make-your-own-masks using avocado. I needed an image for the masks and didn’t even feel like making the masks myself because I knew it would involve taking pictures, editing them, uploading them, doing the dishes after, etc.
Then it hit me. How can I encourage others to use a mask that even I straight up don’t have time for?
The past several months have been jam-packed, to say the least. I was hired and am now in the process of writing my second book, The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda.. 400 well-researched, written and edited pages due December 1st. I just launched my 12 week Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type online program and am uploading videos, audio files, meditations, meal plans and grocery shopping lists every week. I’m still working one-on-one with dozens of clients, guiding them through transformational life-changes, which is definitely a big energetic load. I am public speaking regularly, including teaching an upcoming two-day Ayurveda intensive at Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles December 10-11 (ya’ll should come!) I’m filling up spots for my Movement is Medicine Costa Rica retreat in February. And I have another special announcement which I’ll let you guys know in the next few weeks.. Whew.
As I’m so busy teaching everyone else how to make their own food and facemasks from scratch, I don’t even have time to myself. Thank God for Los Angeles and there being so many organic vegan takeout options or I would not be surviving.
I used to look at a cool recipe and be like “Oh okay, I’ll give it a go” and waste a few hours in the kitchen and perhaps it not even taste very good. Now, I’ve been guilty of eating in front of the computer because I have so much work to get done, something I always tell my clients NOT to do.
Don’t get me wrong- I love being busy and having all these amazing projects underway. But there’s got to be a way to stay healthy even when life’s way too busy to chop a bunch of vegetables under the stars that you hand-picked from the farmer’s market that day.
The real question I had to ask myself is: how do you stay healthy when you flat-out don’t have the time?
Now this is still a work in progress from my end but here are seven little tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way (and need to remind myself to reapply.)
- Meal-prepping is everything. You are way less likely to spend $20 ordering out when you have something (even if it’s less appetizing) in the fridge. If you are anything like me, your guilt conscious will pick up and you just have to eat it. However, if there is nothing prepared, you give yourself the excuse to order out.Meal-prep something. Anything. It can be an extra big batch of beans to mix and match in different soups and salads. A bowl of quinoa to eat with almond milk for breakfast and veggies for dinner. Even just some cut-up veggies because we both know when you are hungry, washing and chopping broccoli is the last thing you want to do.Prepping is everything. When you do get yourself to cook, make a big batch and save some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer to thaw out for layer. This little hack will save you thousands— dollars and calories.
- Always have greens at hand. It’s hard going to the grocery store everyday to buy all new veggies. What’s worse is when you buy a bunch and they end up going bad in your fridge because you never used them (guilty as charged.)When I’m super busy and don’t have time for anything, I just make sure I have some greens and I put them in everything—smoothies, salads, lentils, eggs, tempeh, tofu noodles, you name it. Greens are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and can be combined with anything. If you just make sure you eat your greens everyday, you’ll be good on vitamins.Whenever I go out and buy a $15 salad, I kick myself for not just making it at home. Buy a $5 big box of greens for the week and use it with whatever you have in your fridge- hummus, salsa, vegan cheese, tahini, apple cider vinegar, tamari, avocado, smoothies, etc. Your wallet and belly will thank you.
- Buy frozen, intelligently. I know frozen foods are a big no-no in Ayurveda, but sometimes in the modern world, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive. It’s better to eat something that’s frozen and natural than the fresh MSG-filled takeout you order just because it’s hot.Nowadays, you can find plenty of healthy frozen options without chemicals and tons of sodium. I like Dr. Praeger’s Green Veggie burgers, Against the Grain Pizzas, Hilary’s Veggie Burgers and just having organic frozen chopped veggies to make an impromptu stir-fry or coconut curry. I do NOT recommend Annie’s, Lean Cuisine or anything else with expeller oil or over 100mg sodium. It’s good to always have some clean frozen meals on-hand when life gets too busy to even turn the stove on. Yes buying fresh is always best but do you know what’s worse? Ordering Domino’s. Choose your battles.
- Avocados. Need I say more? I just buy a bunch of hard ones in the bag because they’re cheaper that day and end up gradually eating them as they soften. Sometimes multiple will ripen at the same time and that’s when I’ll make a batch of guacamole or avocado pudding. Once they’ve gone bad, I’ll use them for face-masks (if I get around to it, as mentioned.)Avocados are long-lasting, compared to other produce, and you have a few day period they’ll be good for. Whenever I order out and they ask for an extra $2-6 for a side of avocado, I cringe because I can buy an entire bag for that amount. Even if I end up ordering out, at least by having my avocados at hand I’ll save some money on that. Plus they make a great snack wrapped in seaweed with some tahini (healthy fats, ya’ll!)
- Get saucy. Whenever I buy food from out, 99% of the reason is because I like the sauce they use. I’m a huge sauce person and will eat just about anything if it has a good sauce with it. My favorites are cucumber tahini yogurt, spicy peanut, mango lime, jalapeno cilantro and sesame ginger (yum!) When I go out to eat, I literally order vegetables with just one of these sauces for it and end up paying like $20 for it.So I realized there are two ways I can hack this. This first and preferable option is to make a large batch of my own sauce and put it on everything myself. That way, I’m avoiding the sugar and canola oil they often use (even Whole Foods, my friend. Read labels.) Some sauces, like tahini with apple cider vinegar and coconut aminos, lasts forever in the fridge. Other sauces, like mango lime or cucumber yogurt, have to be remade every day or two.Which brings me to the second and lazier option; when you do order out, ask for extra sauces. Even if they charge you $1 extra per sauce, it’s worth it. I used to say “Screw that, I’m not paying extra for a sauce!” then end up ordering from there again because I wanted the sauce. Don’t be penny cheap but rather dollar wise. If buying three $1 sauces is going to save you from eating out there three times (or even once) again, then it is entirely worth it. When you have your favorite sauce at home, you can just add them to your veggies without spending a fortune on takeout again. Remember- when you buy food from a restaurant you aren’t paying for the food but rather paying for their rent, which is fine sometimes but shouldn’t be an everyday thing, like it is for many of us in big cities. Grab your sauce, greens and avocado and have a party!
- Do your dishes as you go. I know it’s hard and you don’t feel like putting the gloves on (the struggle is real, every single day) but if you make the mistake of waiting until they pile up then you will NEVER do them. As we both know, the food will crust up and you’ll spend 10x the amount of time just trying to scrub it all off (who knew soft yogurt became just about the hardest thing ever to clean off?)As soon as you’re done with a dish, just run some water over it. No need to go all scrubby-dubby Operation 11 on them. Just get the food off it and your hardest job is done. We all know what it’s like spending an hour just trying to clean God knows what out of the sharp corners of your blender. Spend that time stalking food on social media that you’ll never make 😉 (if only those vegan dessert recipes included someone to come clean the sticky chocolate off my dishes after)
- Sometimes you just gotta do it. There will always be things to-do and tasks to take care of, but you have to remind yourself your number one job is your- body, mind and spirit. Everything else comes secondary. Even your family, because if you aren’t healthy and happy, you won’t be able to show up as your full loving self.You don’t need a full spa day every week (as nice as that would be.) But maybe just put that avocado on your face for 15 minutes while taking out the trash. It really isn’t as daunting as it seems.The little things like bringing your lunch to work, stir-frying some veggies in coconut oil, throwing some fruit in the blender and turning the oven on to bake a sweet potato really make all the difference.
And writing this article even reminded that to myself. <3
P.S. The mask is on and the dishes are now clean, Freshies! We’re always the best teachers of what we needed to learn the lesson of ourselves.