When it comes to eating healthy, I am no stranger to pizza and ice cream. I am also a non-intentional practicer of mindless eating. What can I say, I like my food!
Now that I sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, I want to make sure I’m staying on track and making the best food choices whenever possible. I find that I’ve had to re-think the way I see food, when my body needs it, and why. This has helped shape some better eating habits my way.
Food = Sustenance
Too many times, people get the 3pm doldrums and reach for a soda or red bull. When you’re tired, you’re body needs fuel. Eating has found itself on the bottom of most people’s list of priorities, and so we forget that food helps our body function at top performance. A red bull, on an empty stomach, is never a good option.
Seeing food as sustenance, you are suddenly more aware of what it is that you’re choosing. Your body needs sustainable energy, like peanut butter and banana; not a quick sugar jolt.
While I, in no way, count how many servings of fruits and veggies I get everyday, I make an effort to eat them with every meal. It’s honestly so easy. Consider your meals throughout the day:
- Cereal or oatmeal: Just toss in some berries or bananas. So easy and really does taste good. Why wouldn’t you?
- Toast with peanut butter: Slice on some naners. Peanut butter and banana make for the best energy lasting combination.
- Eggs: Make a scramble with onions and broccoli and shredded parmesan. If you don’t have time to prep in the morning , cut your veggies up the night before or at the beginning of the week.
Add a small salad to your usual tupperware o’ left overs. Salads are so customizable; you can make it anyway you want. A simple salad can account for half your daily veg intake! You should also get fruit on board by adding grapes or strawberries. Yum.
Make your plate half veggies. The goal here, as with staying healthy in general, is that you have to do it your way. You can incorporate vegetables with dinner in so many ways:
- Corn on the cob
- Broccoli and rice
- Cous Cous salad
And SO many more. You can choose any vegetables you like, and bring your dinner up a level. When preparing your veggies, though, consider how you’re cooking them. Some veggies can lose nutrients when cooked.
If you’re like me, you need something sweet to cap off the meal. I purposely don’t buy food that will tempt me for exactly this reason! Still, we have to satisfy our sweet tooth. You should try:
- Chocolate covered fruit. If you buy a bar of 60% dark chocolate, all you have to do is melt, dip and wait. You can do it with berries, bananas, oranges.. literally any fruit.
- Cinnamon baked fruit. Cinnamon is a really delicious way to get sweetness and stay healthy. While you can simply sprinkle it on raw fruit, you can also bake cinnamon coated fruit for a warm dessert.
Most importantly, I’ve found it’s best to listen to what your body really wants. If you are snacking a lot, consider that your body can feel as though it’s hungry for various reasons, and it’s not always because you actually want food. Seeing, smelling or thinking about it can create an immediate craving.
Wait another 5 minutes. If then you’re stomache is still growling, go for it. There is nothing wrong with snacking, and in fact it’s better for you, just make sure you really WANT the snack first.
When it comes down to making healthy food decisions, staying on track isn’t always easy. Between happy hour and Sunday afternoons on the couch, I’m always wanting to get my hands on something delicious. The best way for me to have a healthy relationship with food, is to not buy tempting choices to begin with.
A few years ago, I learned of a photography project that set out to take a picture of all different refrigerators. Large color photos, accompanied by brief information about the fridge’s owner, told an awesome story. Ever since, I always want to be proud of whats in my refridgerator, which has always lead to smarter food decisions.