I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to enjoy good health. Because of my lifestyle, I enjoy healthy, regular bodily function and very few aches and pains. Sometimes though, for the sake of fun or convenience, I indulge in food that is fast and easy to get in my body. Tonight was one of those times.
We’ve all done it – sacrificed a healthy choice in favor of convenience or indulgence. My family and I spent some time together at the local Octoberfest celebration tonight. We grabbed a quick dinner at a fast food restaurant and some ice cream cones a few doors down. I’d like to say the food was worth the consequence, but the food (I use this term loosly) wasn’t really that good anyway. Within a couple of hours after eating junk food, I felt like junk. My teeth felt slimy and grimy, I felt bloated and constipated, and all I wanted to do was take a nap. And the kids! My son was so wired from either the sugar or the red dye, he couldn’t help but get himself in trouble. He was like a puppy on Red Bull – couldn’t sit still, started yelling unintelligible sounds, and refused to follow directions. It’s times like these that remind me of the reasons I enjoy my mindful, healthy lifestyle. I feel good and energized after eating instead of wanting a nap. I don’t feel uncomfortable and my body functions with ease and predictability. And most importantly, my children are more Dr. Jekyl and less Mr. Hyde.
I’ve heard people say that giving up junk food would make them feel deprived and that it would just be too hard to do. For me, I feel deprived if I don’t get to have home-cooked food. Even though every once in a while I enjoy letting someone else cook, I would really miss out on the creative aspect of cooking if I weren’t doing it for the majority of my meals. It’s true that fatty, salty, sugary food can be addicting, but I think the hardest part about giving up a junk food lifestyle would be giving up the convenience. And I think when most people get really honest about the reasons they continue with a fast food lifestyle, convenience would be the biggest reason they don’t eat healthier food.
Pop-in-the-oven meals from the freezer section of the grocery store have become a convenient and cheaper alternative to fast food. They are another popular option for families on-the-go. But with the convenience came the challenge for food companies to create them with appealing texture and flavor. In order to do that, they had to add a lot of emulsifiers, oils, protein isolates, and other highly-processed ingredients. So how do you eat healthy food without spending all day in the kitchen?
As a health coach, I teach my clients how to eat conveniently and healthy. I teach how to plan and put together real-food meals that are quick, tasty, clean, and fit their body’s needs. I also teach how to cook once and eat twice and what foods to keep on hand as staples for combining in lots of exciting and easy-to-do ways.
Another option is recipe delivery services. Fortunately there are a lot of companies that have figured out that people want to keep the convenience and ditch the junk. There are so many companies popping up that plan and assemble real-food, for pick-up or delivery meals for prep at home. All you have to do is combine the ingredients, cook and enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal. If you really don’t have time to meal plan, paying a little extra for meal planning service can be a smart, although more expensive, choice. However, most of these companies don’t use many organic ingredients. Using a meal delivery service can get pricey, but many of them have a budget friendly meal plan. Here are a couple companies if you want to check them out.
By the way, I don’t get anything from these companies if you click on the links.
If you don’t have time to meal plan and hate to cook there are companies that will do the cooking for you too. They’re called restaurants. There are more clean eating restaurants opening every month, but you’ll pay for it. Throw in a tip for the server and you’re looking at a spendy food budget.
Ultimately, making the effort to put better quality food in your body comes from connecting with your body and listening to what it’s telling you it needs. And beyond that, adopting a healthy lifestyle is about caring about yourself. When health is a priority, things that are less health-supportive suddenly seem less important and they are de-prioritized. When this happens, time is freed-up for cooking and enjoying food with the people you love. When you fully love and accept yourself, taking care of yourself is the only choice. There is no battle of will-power three times a day. It’s as natural as sleeping and waking. When you love yourself, healthy living isn’t something you have to force yourself to do. It’s kind of like the love you feel for your child. You can’t help but love them so effortlessly.