(and other excuses for poor eating choices)
I hear these things almost weekly, be it through conversations with my clients or with friends: cooking healthy food and eating well takes too much time, it feels like a chore, it’s hard to keep up, and I am just not that inspired or organized enough to make it happen.
The truth is, eating well and nourishing our bodies is only as difficult as we make it.
If we keep telling ourselves that it is hard or challenging to cook healthy meals for us and our families, then that this is the story that will play out in our lives.
Sometimes it’s about finding a new way to do an old task that can re-inspire you. Something like BBQing your chicken instead of baking it. Tossing up a delicious salad with fresh garden greens instead of steamed greens. Switch it up and have fun with cooking and in turn, with eating! Eating with others in a potluck situation, trying a new recipe or cooking a super simple meal that tastes great can make all the difference.
Here are a few responses to the common complaints I mentioned above:
1. Prep and batch.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. It’s what we choose to do with that time that matters. Prepping food for a few days at a time can save you the hassle of daily preparation. Cutting up extra vegetables that are easy to grab or preparing a few meals in advance when you have everything out on your counter anyways, will make eating healthy food much easier and will require far less effort and thought.
2. It just feels so good!
The physical and mental benefits that come with eating food we prepare from scratch are endless. Believe it or not, we have better digestion, we feel better about ourselves, we spend less on poor quality food, and we get to control the ingredients we put into our bodies when we make our meals. When we focus on nourishing our bodies (along with a little movement and mindfulness) losing weight becomes a natural byproduct not the main focus.
3. Make it with Love.
Remember your mom’s famous casserole, pasta sauce or in my case, homemade pizza?
It was made with love and the result was a more enjoyable meal that we all looked forward to eating. Grabbing grub from a fast food joint not only lacks love but nutritional value, taste and it causes all sorts of health concerns long-term. Find recipes of your favourite meals that you grew up eating, and turn them into healthier versions (if they were not healthy to start with). Now your family will have the same fond memories for years to come.
To help you start making better choices for your mind and body, I always come back to the phrase “what would this look like if it were easy?”
I first heard this phrase from Lori Harder, a health coach I have been following for years. When we come from a place of positivity and not frustration, things are easier and more fun.
We can create a lot of our own stress around food and not even know it. Looking at things in a different way and uncovering the reasons behind why you are making the choices you’re making — the process becomes a little easier and you just might be happier doing it.
What’s your all-time best “made with love” food memory?