5 Secrets to Eating Better

Ok, full disclosure.  I lied to you right in the headline, because, truth be told, there really are no secrets. But wait…don’t stop reading.  Why? Because there are (at least) five common reasons that are related to why you may not be so great in terms of eating.  Read, on, dear reader.  I think I’ve got your number…

  1. Grocery shopping takes time. Yep. No getting around it. Whether you shop online or in a store, there’s no magical way to get this done. So change your thinking. Have fun with it. I am a self-proclaimed grocery geek and there are still days I don’t want to go.  I live in Chicago where the weather in winter is not conducive to leaving the house.  But yet, I still go.  Why?  Because it’s fun to cook at home when the weather is bad, I like to know what I am choosing to put into my mouth to fuel my body, and ha ha, we die if we don’t eat (so that’s not actually funny but it is true).  See you in the aisles…oh and PS:
    • Organize your pantry, freezer, and fridge so at a glance you can see what you already have.
    • Take pictures or save favorite meal ideas or recipes (you can use Pinterest if you like) so they’re on your phone if you find yourself at the store.
    • Make a list of your favorite things to eat. Keep these things in the house, at school, at work.
    • Get a cart and go up and down the aisles. No list? No problem. Look for sale signs and buy food that you will actually eat.
  2. Planning meals takes thinking. Yep. How much time do you spend getting ready (showered, dressed, hair, etc.)? Spend at least that same amount of time thinking about what you are going to eat that day.  In fact, multitask and use your get ready time to plan your meals.  No extra time needed, just better using the time you already have.

 

  1. Cooking skills are limited. That’s true for many people, so no worries here. You don’t have to know how to cook to eat a salad, cheese, nuts, or fruit. And if you use canned beans and premade broth, even better in terms of easy. Work with what you have/know, and choose foods that you feel confident with.  In summer/hot weather, make salads and sandwiches your foundation.  In winter, try soup.  You kind of can’t mess these things up.  Then focus on having at least two or three food groups (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and protein) at a time.
    • Salad: lettuce and other random veggies, sunflower seeds, beans and/or nuts, shredded cheese, dried fruit. Splash of vinegar, splash of oil. Done.
    • Soup: broth of your choice, bag of frozen veggies, rice, shredded cheese, beans, or precooked chicken or meat. Done.
    • Sandwich: Whole grain bread or wrap, veggies of your choice, meat and/or cheese (or peanut butter and fruit). Done.
  2. Balanced meals look a certain way. Nope. Healthful eating does not have a formula, other than making sure you eat a variety of foods from each food group.  Of course our bodies need certain nutrients and calories to maintain health, but what that looks like depends on you.  What do you like? What fruits and veggies are in season?  Where are you getting your protein?  Be brave. Be creative. Have fun. And find someone who actually has a degree in nutrition to help you get a tad more detailed.
  3. Cleaning the kitchen is not a fun chore. Exactly. No one likes clean up duty. But don’t we still throw parties, have house guests, and own or rent a home? I made dinner last night and splashed all over the stove. It was delicious. Clean up was boring. I turned on some great tunes and made a thing of it.  You can do it, too.  What’s your cleanup playlist going to be?
Mixing fruits and veggies can layer flavor in an unexpected way!
Mixing fruits and veggies can layer flavor in an unexpected way!

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