I am a firm believer that healthy eating and nutrition are too often swept aside – especially during busy times when it is easiest to simply hit the easy button and “just get takeout.” Nutrition is something that has always been important to me, even during law school when life has proven busy beyond measure. In the last year and a half, I have established a routine that has made it much easier to ensure I have healthy, homemade options ready to go for the week.
Planning out meals ahead of time is extremely helpful. It only takes a few minutes, but it helps me make sure that I am eating a well-rounded diet. Additionally, it makes grocery shopping much easier and faster since I know exactly what is needed. I focus on planning lunch and dinner since breakfast is usually something quick, like a bowl of oatmeal. There are so many great resources online to find easy recipes. I strongly recommend searching “one pot meals” or “five ingredient recipes” and other topics of that nature – the results are plentiful. I like to have a couple different options for lunch and a couple different options for dinner so that I don’t get tired of eating the same thing. Look for recipes that have fresh, healthy ingredients!
After my meals are planned and the grocery shopping is done, it’s time to do a bit of meal prep. I have noticed that meal prep has become quite popular – and for good reason. Set aside a couple hours on the weekend to make what you can ahead of time. This makes the weekdays a lot less hectic (no cooking, less cleanup), but you don’t have to sacrifice healthy eating in the process. The extent of meal prep depends on how my week looks. In extremely busy times, I like to keep it simple and buy things that require little prep. Getting dinners cooked ahead of time makes a huge difference. Plus, you get to come home to a homemade meal.
Along the lines of meal prep, I always pack a lunch. It takes a little planning – maybe 10 minutes the night before, but it’s so worth it. True, it’s especially easy to get takeout for lunch. However, takeout options can be expensive! Packing a lunch is generally a healthier choice, and it’s simply a cheaper option. Five days a week of savings adds up quickly!
My last tip involves common sense: buy healthy foods. If you have healthy food on hand, you’ll eat it. If you buy junk food, chances are you’ll eat that instead. Limit the junk food you buy. I find that if there’s no junk food around, I really don’t crave it. Diet is so important for staying healthy, and generally speaking law students tend to be run down and prone to getting sick. Do what you can to make a difference for yourself by enjoying a healthy, balanced diet (and save some money while you’re at it, too!). Remember, you are what you eat!