People generally believe that they require more time in order to be healthy. A recent study on consumer health trends showed that the top 2 health concerns for consumers were:
1. The easiest choices aren't healthy ones.
2. Preparing and purchasing healthy food takes more time.
If you have this mindset then I would like to challenge you to consider changing it!
Our beliefs are greatly influenced by the society we live in and the circumstances we are exposed to. Most of the beliefs we have are a reflection of what others around us are thinking and it is a long chain of imitation. When it comes to food, we are led to believe that it needs to be entertaining. We believe that it needs to be tasty, colorful, elegant, vibrant, and we want great ambiance around it.
Even though we are used to this mindset, we have to remember that food is not primarily meant to be entertaining, but rather it is meant to fuel our body. That being said, I don’t mean to imply that healthy food cannot be delicious. Yes! Healthy food can be very delicious and that is always a bonus. But if we have a health or weight issue, we have to remember that although taste and ambiance are great, using food to fuel our body for health and energy is even better!
We live in a world of consumerism and food is heavily commercialized. When we go to a grocery store we see all these colorful options around us to choose from. Similarly, when we go to a restaurant, the menu contains items from a wide range of cuisines and again there is a lot to choose from. And, we have to recognize that in the midst of all of the choices, there are both healthy and unhealthy options right next to each other! You get to choose every time which one to go with and time constraints don't have anything to do with it. When you go to a store, they have whole foods available along with the processed foods! Similarly, when you go to a restaurant, they are serving salads on their menu as well. So, choosing healthy food is always up to you and it is available within the same timeframe.
Here are some tips which will help you in sticking to healthy choices,
1. Have a protocol or plan already in place when you decide to visit a grocery store. It doesn't need to be complex, it can be as simple as, "I am going to increase my vegetable intake." After that stick to your plan! This will limit your options hence making it easier for you to make your choice in the moment.
2. Stay in the outer section of the grocery stores. Most grocery stores have processed foods in the inner sections which are packaged in colorful wrappings for attracting consumers. While the fruits and vegetables are placed in the outer sections. So, by staying on the perimeter, it will be easier to not get distracted and stick to your healthy choices.
3. Give up on snacks. Snacking is an integral part of our food culture and we do it quite frequently. We have been led to believe that snacking is normal. I'd like you to consider cutting out all snacks and just sticking to meals. Guess what that will give you? More time! You won't have to purchase the snack, go get the snack, or eat the snack! Giving up snacks will allow you to practice healthy choices and it will help in changing your mindset that healthy takes more time. (If you feel like you need to snack, make the snack basic & bland, not entertaining! You will quickly see if you need it or not!)
There is another misconception that healthy food is difficult to cook and takes more time. That is also just not true. Salads, vegetables, and lean proteins are just as easy to cook if not easier!. If you do not know how to cook meals based on these food items then you needn't worry. I co-wrote a book with Judith Scharman who has a lot of healthy recipes available on her site and you can check them out here. There are MANY healthy options that are simple and easy to prepare.
So, as you can see, being healthy really doesn't take any more time. We have so many options (that are even tasty and entertaining!) that literally do not take more time. And, I fully recognize that as we begin to open our minds to the realization that it doesn't take more time, we begin to see what is really going on. Perhaps it is just that we don't want to eat healthfully, or take the ENERGY to change a hahabit or that we are just not willing to be uncomfortable and feel like we "deserve" a treat. When we get to that truth-then we can begin to approach being healthy in a new way - in a way that is based in truth...which is always a great place to start.
If you are struggling with making a health plan or can’t manage to stick with your healthy choices, please checkout my Healthy leader Audio Program where you can learn on your own time. Or, if you have any further queries or if you would like to schedule a session then feel free to contact me.
That’s it for now, Go Create a Healthy Day!