Brown BagEating healthy in our hectic daily lives is often a challenge! I know that many of us homemakers want to keep healthy food in the house and in our diets, but with our busy schedules, it can be difficult. Here are a few suggestions for healthy living on the go!

· Cook once, eat twice! You may have heard this suggestion before, but it is very good advice. By cooking food in your own home, and not eating out with fast food, you are already winning half the battle. Cooking a meal that will last more than one night is a great idea because you will always have healthy leftovers in the fridge. You can pack leftover food to take to the office the next day. Lunch will no longer be a problem! Certain foods like leftover chicken can be used for a variety of different new meals, too. Chicken salad is one of my favorite leftover meals.

· Organize a meal plan. This is really important if you want to learn to plan ahead and stretch your food budget. If you are very organized, you can make a list of all meals that you plan to make that week, and you can plan ahead for what leftovers you may have as well. You can plan lunches for the week this way as well. Keep a small journal with you so that you can write down items for a shopping list, just in case you stop by the store on a moment's notice!

· Avoid impulse buying. If the item is not on your list, don't buy it! If you are trying to eat healthy, then you should try to stay away from foods that are not on your list. If it was good for you in the first place, it would be on your list! Most impulse buys are foods that you know you shouldn't have, so try to avoid them.

· Keep items frozen for quick thawing. There are many foods that thaw quickly from the freezer, especially if you plan ahead! I usually buy chicken breasts in bulk, because they cost less that way. After I buy various meats and fishes, I portion them into freezer bags, three or four breasts to each package, that way I can pull them out and thaw them in lukewarm water. It only takes an hour or two to thaw out smaller portions of fish, meat and chicken, so think ahead and you will be able to make a meal in a very short amount of time.

· Pack small, healthy snacks to take with you to work or as you are out running errands. Have a few bags of carrot sticks or celery in the fridge to just grab and go! Granola bars, trail mix and raisins are also a great snack to have handy. Planning ahead for a quick snack can really help during the day because it will perhaps stop you from buying junk food at a convenience store or a vending machine if you get a sudden urge!

· Try to pack lunch for work as much as possible. Try taking some of those leftovers in a small container to work and heating them up. This will save you money and help cut down on the daily junk and convenience food.