Although it can often take a backseat to your other work, taking care of your health is a vital part of being an entrepreneur. Bad health will interfere with your ability to lead, innovate, close deals, or do anything else to grow your business.
Nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining good health. But as a business owner, you probably don’t have time to cook every day. Here are four practical options for balancing health and nutrition as a business owner.
Whether you’re looking for cost-effective options or quick and convenient ones, you’ll find something here to help you on the path to better health.
Meal Prep for (Most of) the Week
Meal prepping is simply the practice of preparing meals ahead of time. You don’t have to worry about mustering the energy to cook at the end of the day or having to skip lunch because you don’t have time to stop at a drive-through between meetings. It’s ideal for busy entrepreneurs looking for a way to eat healthier food and lower their spending on takeout.
How Home Cooking Measures Up
According to Money Under 30, the average cost of a meal at a restaurant is $13. In contrast, the typical cost of groceries for a meal prepared at home is just $4. Essentially, eating out costs over 300% more than cooking at home.
Of course, cooking at home is also the most time-consuming: you have to drive to a store, choose ingredients (and hope you didn’t forget any), cook the food, and clean a pile of pots and dishes afterward.
Making Meal Prep Manageable
A simple way to make cooking more feasible for your calendar is meal prepping. Block off one day and cook all (or most) of your meals for the week. This option works well if you don’t mind eating the same thing for several days at a time.
If you prepare 14 servings, you’ll have 2 meals for each day ready ahead of time, reducing your takeout budget (and the accompanying negative impact on your health) to just one meal a day.
14 servings may sound like a lot, but it’s very easy when you cook one large batch of 2-3 different dishes. Some easy-to-prepare options include sandwiches, soup, salad, and chicken or beef. When you have home-cooked food ready to pick up or pop in the microwave, you’ll be less likely to eat out or grab the nearest junk food.
Average cost per meal: $4
Buy Healthier Instant Meals
Buying “instant” meals is another time-saving and inexpensive option. Although they taste good, they often have poor nutritional value.
Fortunately, some brands are recognizing the growing demand for healthy meals that can be heated up quickly. For example, Healthy Choice’s “Power Bowls” offer beef, chicken, and vegetarian meals paired with cauliflower rice, farro, quinoa, and other options healthier than rice or noodles. Primal Kitchen has a similar line of healthy microwaveable meals.
Just spend some extra time looking at the frozen foods aisle of your typical grocery store and make a commitment to choosing ones with healthier ingredients.
Average cost per meal: $4
Use a Meal Kit Service
Meal kit services save you the time of meal planning, driving to the grocery store, and picking out ingredients. These companies send you the ingredients for pre-selected recipes for a week at a time so you can just focus on cooking. As an added benefit, ingredients are pre-measured so you can just toss them in the pan as needed.
Some of the most widely-known meal kit services are Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Green Chef.
While meal kit subscriptions cost more than typical home cooking, the amount of time saved is well worth the cost. The price may be close to the cost of eating out, but the food options are much healthier.
Average cost per meal: $10
Use a Meal Preparation Service
Meal preparation services offer the most customization and convenience. You simply order from a menu online, and a week’s worth of meals are delivered to you in easy-to-heat-up portion sizes, along with instructions.
The cost can vary depending on the individual chef and the types of meals you choose. Obviously, steak and shrimp will cost more than chicken or pasta.
At the end of the day, the meals are still healthier than takeout, and dramatically less expensive than ordering each meal individually from a delivery app.
Average cost per meal: $$9-15
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your health and wellness is critical for entrepreneurial success. Think of it like a business asset and make it a priority. You don’t want to collapse on the job– or worse: build a successful enterprise and then not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your legacy.
It starts with acknowledging your bandwidth, choosing solutions that work for your lifestyle, and taking small steps. At the end of the day, some progress is better than not trying at all. Just start somewhere, and your body will thank you later.
Want More Tips on Health and Business?
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EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. Since 2017, EnrichHER has deployed upwards of $4 million through its platform and matched business-owners to $13 million in working capital through its Accelerator. By providing capital, coaching, and connections, we are fueling the fastest-growing demographic of business owners. Our network has engaged with over 23,000 advocates through its digital community and in-person activations.
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