Are you a busy parent? A working mom? A business owner? In a high-stress job that allows little to no down time? Are you running here, there and everywhere, feeling like there is no way you can fit in a healthy eating regimen?
Believe it or not, I know what it’s like to be extremely busy, with little to no down time and wondering where your next meal will come from. I also know that even in this scenario, eating healthy can be done.
I was a hairstylist for nine years. And for three of those nine years, I was also in school full time training for what I do now.
Let me paint a picture for you of a day in the life of a hairstylist also training in Traditional Naturopathy.
The alarm goes off at 6:30am. And when I say alarm, I mean loud-ass cat who wants breakfast and will do anything in her power to get it including, but not limited to, obnoxious meowing, door scratching, hallway laps, hair biting, knocking down water glasses, lamps and other inanimate objects, the list goes on. I must get up at 6:30, there is no snooze button.
I’m up and at ‘em. As kitty’s food warms up I juice my lemon and pour myself a warm tall glass of lemon water. I drink it down. It’s now 6:45. Kitty has been fed, lemon water downed. It’s time to get ready for my workout.
I brush my teeth, throw my hair up in a messy bun, put on some workout clothes, eat half a banana and press play…Tony Horton is waiting for me to start P90X3. Oh God. I dread it…I’m so tired. But I know once I start it’s all good. And I never regret it. It’s 7am, here I go.
7:50 and I’m done. Thank goodness! I feel rejuvenated and awake finally. I make a shake with my vegan Shakeology packet. I dump it in the blender with some unsweetened almond milk and throw a banana in with some ice. The clock says 7:58, and now I’m in student mode.
I sit at my laptop and work on my case study while I drink my shake. Two hours pass and it’s 10:00. Oh crap, I have to be ready to leave for work in an hour, showered, makeup and hair done, lunch made. I guess I’ll finish this later.
I get dressed and ready. I grab my work bag that contains all my hairstylist tools, work apron and client file book, and place it by the front door along with my purse and keys.
It’s 11:00. Running behind and I still have to pack lunch. Not that I’ll get to eat it…busy day at the salon and no break in sight when I checked last night. I need an assistant.
I open the fridge. Oooohhh! Leftover quinoa from last night’s dinner. Let’s throw that in a bowl. I’ll throw in some fresh organic greens too, and some other random veggies. I think I have time to quickly chop a cucumber and maybe a carrot. In they go. Dressing container…let’s add some olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt and pepper.
I grab my lunch cooler. Ice pack goes in the bottom, then salad, dressing, and I’ll throw a banana on top because I know I’ll need a snack at some point. I don’t have much time for anything else. I grab my 32 oz water bottle and fill it with filtered water from the Brita. I throw it in my work bag.
It’s 11:13. A little late but I will still be on time for work. Breathe…
I take one last look around the house. Yup, all the lights are off, heat is set at 68, kitty is sleeping. Aw crap. I forgot to clean her litter box. Oh well…later it shall be.
I dash out the front door and down the stairs with my purse, work bag, lunch cooler and keys. 11:17 and I’m pulling out of my driveway. Not bad for a goal of leaving by 11.
Aw crap again. No time to get the mail or bring in the dumpster from the street. Oh well, such is life.
Ok should I take Northville Road or 275? I’m running late but there’s construction on 96. I should probably just play it safe and take Northville Road.
11:38 and I’m pulling into the parking lot for work. I realize I forgot to take out the ground turkey from the freezer for dinner. It was taco salad night. Oh well, taco salad can wait til tomorrow. Eggs it is! I love breakfast for dinner.
Me and my three bags hoof it into the side door of One Salon. I’m now in hair dresser mode.
I love where I work. *Smiles*
I have an 8 minute long conversation with someone in the back room. There are so many great people to talk to I can’t help it. But oops, it’s 11:50. My first client is at noon. Oh God I haven’t even looked at my schedule since yesterday. I don’t even know what is about to happen.
I throw my lunch cooler on the window sill somewhere. There’s no room in the fridge…too many people ordering takeout and letting it hang out in there. (I work with 50 + people…it happens)
I grab my supplies, water bottle and schedule, wave hi to the front desk staff and head out onto the floor to set up my station. Crap. There aren’t too many available. I find one in the corner by the makeup station. It’s nice, thank goodness I’m by the window. 11:53 and I’m setting up my station. 7 minutes until client numero uno.
I finish setting up my station, and I take a peek at my schedule. I’m booked. Yay! Very glad to be busy and helping people. But I’m lucky if I fit in a lunch somewhere. Glad I brought that banana, and my big jug o’ water.
The day is moving by swimmingly and I have ten minutes to spare after my first client to take a “lunch break.” Good thing my salad is already made. I pour my dressing on and scarf. I’m 5 minutes late for client numero dos because I need a few extra minutes to cram in some food. I check my teeth. Something in between my two front teeth. No floss, urgh. I pull out a hair from my scalp and carefully shimmy it in between there and get that sucker out. BOOM.
Client number two. Mom and daughter duo. While mom’s color is processing, daughter gets a cut. She’s got long tangly hair and I’ve got 30 minutes to do it. I can do it. NOT. It takes me 45 minutes. Now I’m 20 minutes behind. Oh well, I can catch up.
I catch up by ten minutes, and manage to be only ten minutes late for client number three. A men’s hair cut. He is the nicest. Been cutting his hair for years…I apologize, he laughs and understands. We have a fun conversation for 40 minutes. Now I’m only 5 minutes behind woohoo!
I’m getting hungry. But it’s 5pm and I have three hours left to work. I can hold off on that banana for another hour. I’ll chug some water and have a mint.
Client numero cuatro is here! This one’s a project. Thick hair, color, highlights, haircut and blow dry. I’m on time for her. I can finish early I know I can. She wants something new. Hmmm. I will not finish early. But while she is processing I WILL have time for that banana…amen!
Consultation and color application takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It’s 6:20. She’s processing but I have to check her every ten minutes. I’ve got ten minutes for a banana. My feet are starting to hurt. My hips and low back are aching. Thank God I wear good shoes. I’d fall apart if I didn’t.
I eat my banana. Best banana ever. Chug some water. I get back out there. I finish my day when the clock says 8:15. Breathe.
I have no energy left to clean and pack up my station. My eyes are glazed. My floor is full of hair and my products are everywhere. I think there is a big pile of hair in my bra. So itchy. Thank goodness for generous people who offer to sweep for me when they can.
I put away all my crap, roll up to the front desk, grab my tips and head out to my car. 8:45. I have no energy to drive home. It just sounds hideous. But I had a great and fulfilling day at work. I helped so many people, I earned some money and I ate healthy. I am feeling accomplished. I blast some tunes and roll.
I pull into my driveway at 9:10. I grab the dumpster and roll it into the garage. I head upstairs with all my crap. I empty my bag and my lunch cooler. I change my clothes and wash my face.
Husband says he can’t find the ground turkey. I tell him I forgot to take it out and we are having eggs for dinner. Husband whips up some eggs, we throw some avocado and organic raw sauerkraut on our plate and call it a night. It’s 9:30 and we are finally eating dinner. Since I was hungry for that banana at 5, this may be the best dinner I ever tasted.
It’s 10pm and it’s family time. Husband, kitty and I snuggle on the couch until about 11:30. We head to bed. And the day begins anew tomorrow.
WHEW! Were you exhausted reading that?!
I was as I was writing it! This was a typical day as a hair stylist/naturopathy student. I did this for three years, and I ate the healthiest food I had ever eaten in my entire life.
How did I do it day in and day out? I made healthy eating an absolute priority.
Here are my three favorite go-to tricks for eating healthy on-the-go:
1. Eat a ton of raw fruits and veggies. There is nothing easier than grabbing an apple or a banana and dashing out the door. Chopping a cucumber takes about a minute, and same with pretty much any other raw veggie. This is the healthy “trick” I call grab n’ go! And there’s really no trick, it’s just making a conscious choice to grab something healthy. (And there's always hummus to go with those carrots!)
2. Utilize your blender and your crockpot. Talk about two kitchen tools that are forgotten far too often. The second easiest thing to grabbing a piece of fruit and dashing out the door, is putting that fruit in a blender and whipping up something delicious. The most tedious part about the process is the cleaning of the blender. But, even that takes less than two minutes if you really think about it. Same with the crockpot. My motto is, throw in a bunch of healthy crap and let it cook. Seriously, it’s so easy you won’t go back to the way life was before. Just google “healthy crockpot meals” and you’ve got about a million things that pop up. My go-to meal in the fall and winter is organic pastured chicken (whole or breasts), carrots, onions, celery and veggie broth. BOOM. Easiest meal ever. I used this recipe all the time when I was working at the salon and it took me about 15-20 minutes to prepare. When I got home from a long day at work dinner was done and I could just chow.
3. Prepare prepare prepare. This is my absolute NUMBER ONE go-to “trick” for eating healthy on the go. It’s all about how prepared you are throughout the week. If you already have your grocery shopping done, meals prepped and veggies chopped before you even begin your week, you are way less likely to reach for the junk food or stop at a fast food joint. My day of shopping is usually Sunday, and when I get home with the groceries either from the store or the farmers market, I wash my veggies, chop and organize them as best I can for the coming week. I understand that sometimes life grabs hold and you simply run out of time, and that’s ok. The most important thing is that you are preparing as best you can so you can be ready to grab healthier options.
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