Cramming a good diet into a busy life

Having recently joined the millions as another employed, less than cohesive to reality, because I’m now part of a bubble-within-a-bubble, club of sorts, time has become undoubtedly valuable. And that lends me to a) I have really missed blogging b) when I have time to blog, I’m intellectually dilapidated to the point that words are  a bizarre concept to me and c) I wishfully and strive to maintain eating healthy meals. Meals that, suffice to say, are also  packed with energy to pull me through a 10 hour work day (drive time should be inclusive to standard working hours).

The idea of falling into a black-hole of scarfing something… anything down… to pin the rumbling in my stomach has me committed to a few tactics, while I juggle work and home life. Albeit, I’m not the wondrous green-juicing, self-harvesting, health maniac – I do ponder long enough to hold back on products with dubious ingredients and purposefully stock up on well-needed greens.

So, as busy as one might get, I find the following steps promising even when life is seemingly going haywire:

Know what I’m eating. I am, by no means, a nutritional expert. But over the years, with my husband shelling out insider info about the food industry, and having to pay attention to food labels because my children had various food allergies, I now see packaged foods for what they really are. For instance a tub of ice cream or a box of cookies… manifests into a goop of corn syrup in front of my eyes… sticky ugliness that will hug my thighs or my teeth and help my body rot. Egregious, I know, but it’s literally suppressed my inclination for junk food and made natural foods more enticing.

There’s also sufficient talk about how certain ingredients, such as the aforementioned, desensitize our taste buds, leading to us crave more unnatural ingredients.

Planning my weekly meals. I am a busy mom, home-body, and community member. My weekends are never really mine. So yes, planning meals is over-the-top, painful. But I adhere to one principle: keep it simple. I know my body needs protein and high-fiber and hydration. So, I shop for exactly that. I can literally eat the same thing for 5 days in a row for lunch, if need be. Usually a large salad with meat or beans. Based on your nutritional needs you may require other staples. I stock my refrigerator and pantry with enough to last me the whole week and even prep meals on Sundays.

I cook. I love eating a variety of foods. I love eating out. But that is one of the leading fall outs of a good diet. Bringing home natural ingredients and fixing a meal lets you decide what you’re dispensing into your body. Compared to the alternative I’d say you’ll have better luck staying healthy.

Snack on fruits and vegetables. I pack 5 lunches every morning. Aside from snacks for my children, I offer myself a variety of sides which almost always consist of fruits and vegetables. Items like olives, carrots, apples and oranges are filling and guilt-free. But I also regularly include other varieties like dates, almonds, homemade stovetop popcorn, and hummus. Dates are officially my dessert alternative. They are sweet and satisfying.

Drink, drink, drink. Hydration is incumbent during a full-day. Although, water alone is not enough to keep me going, I find myself spent without it by mid-day. I honestly don’t consider juices or other drinks an adequate replacement for hydration – but they can be a source of other nutrients.

Take a little time to know the world of food. The food packaging industry has emaciated our connection with actual food and food production. Considering the source of pantry staples and even produce enlists us to be more ethical about food consumption. Awareness helps control how much we eat, promotes eating the right kinds of foods and forces industry leaders to evolve their practices to meet more natural/ healthier standards.

Moderation is key. One of the benefits of eating before your body enters starvation mode, is controlling how fast you chew and how much you scarf down. Moderate your meal size and drink water to offset the lingering feeling of wanting to eat more.

Be thankful. Famine, strife, is all too common a headline in today’s news. Despite the sensational struggles our lives are impacted with, someone else, somewhere else has less than you or I. Intentionally storing less food can prevent waste and assure that we are respecting and acknowledging that food is a blessing. Take time to enjoy your meal. Sit down, impose peace and serenity. Pay attention to your food.

All in all, these are the trends I’ve resorted to for the last few months Before I check out I wanted to share a few specifics on foods I avoid altogether and have incorporated in my diet throughout the past few years, which may benefit you as well…

Something I kicked out of my diet years ago…. Soda. Every kind, even carbonated juices and water.

Something I’ve reduced considerably… sugar… it is a blessing in disguise I tell you!

Something I’ve never had and pray I never do…. Energy drinks. It just feels wrong to attack my innards like that.

Something I’m getting used to… kale… close my eyes and pray to God I continue.

Something I’m so glad I have in my life… olives… especially helpful during these dry, cold months.

Something I’ve continued to eat since I was a child… apples… an apple a day keeps the doctor away.. I have grown up with that engraved in my head.. Thanks Mom.

Something I never go without in my cooking… turmeric powder. Almost never.

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