In 2010, the average US adult spent about 4.5 hours per day watching television (or 30 hours per week) and 2.5 hours per day online (or about 18 hours per week). People make time to work out for many hours each week, get their nails done, go shopping, change the oil in the car, plan parties, etc. Yet it seems there’s no time over the course of week to plan and execute ways to aid in better nutrition and ultimately better health.
It can be as easy as roasting up a few batches of veggies along with bunch of fish and chicken, defrosting a roast, concocting some meatballs, and portioning out celery sticks. All these things can be done to support your choice to opt for healthier options to eat at home, or to grab and go in a hurry.
Think of food as fuel for all those other important things in your life. The fact is, you might be more effective in other aspects of your life if you take the time to eat healthy, and that requires setting aside the time to plan and cook food. It’s not very hard to make such a simple choice and there are no downsides to allocating such a small amount of time to your own health and well-being.
Perhaps the availability of fast, easy “food” and just plain over-scheduling of our time makes it so convenient to forget about the profound effects of what we put in our bodies. But what if the majority of people just don’t realize that what they eat ultimately has consequences which may not appear until there are major symptoms? Oh, that’s right, there’s a PILL for that!
A healthy body is not obtained by getting “medication” from a doctor to cover up symptoms that are usually remedied by eating foods that our bodies need. These include foods that are real, whole and nourishing. If it comes in a box or a bag from a factory and has more ingredients on the label than fingers on one hand, and you cannot identify most of those ingredients, it’s processed and not a good idea to eat.
People often opt for indulgence over nutrition. If you eat several meals out per week, you are making the choice to not know exactly what’s in the food you are eating. And at this time in history, you are most likely eating GMOs, oxidized oils, BPA laden foods from cans, “pink slime”(or some other form of meat scraped off slaughterhouse floors), and pesticide laden fruits and veggies. Most restaurants and food companies do not care about real nutrition in their food, they just want to make it taste good and be addicting so they can make money off the consumer.
Once you get into the habit of preparing some staple proteins and other nutritious foodstuffs during a couple-hour window on Sunday (OR whatever day of the week you carve out), preparing really good healthy meals during the rest of the week becomes much easier … and it is so worth it because the stress level of what to eat is almost non-existent. It also becomes a habit to plan ahead for the week.
Here’s a list of do-ahead things we do with food that work for our needs and make for a less stressful and more enjoyable week:
Make ahead Meatballs (these freeze really well)
Celery (trim ends, wash, make sticks, place in baggies for grab and go, pair with cream cheese)
Grate Organic Cheese (it’s hard to find organic grated, so we do it ourselves for use during the week)
Cucumbers (peeled, sliced, placed in baggie for grab and go)
Sausage (browned & crumbled for omeletes or pre-cook in patties that freeze well)
Bacon (always great to grab and go!)
Hard boiled or hard baked (yes, in the shell) eggs
Extra chicken breasts (great for lunches)
Roasted chicken legs (these freeze well too!)
Roast beef (makes several meals)
Brown 2 lbs ground beef and add Taco seasoning (many uses, freezes well)
Bake up some sweet potatoes (if your body handles the starch relatively well)
You could also pick one different recipe per month or week from the internet or a recipe book to put some variety in your menus. Think of it as stretching your culinary muscles and expanding your repertoire of meals. Even if you don’t know how to prepare and cook, you can learn and take control of your health.
How important is your health to you? How much time do you invest in your health?
If you do not make time to plan for eating things that are truly supporting your body and providing proper nutrition, all those other things in your life will find a way to become more of a priority.