I hope you took the first action in our #KeepItSimpleSept series. What have you learned from tracking and documenting what you eat? What is your balance between -, + and N foods? I bet most of you do not like seeing -‘s on your sheet! (you can even write these in red or highlight them to make them stand out even more!). Are you noticing that you are making better choices because you know whatever you choose needs to be written down and categorized? I hope so! Keep up the tracking, we will continue to refer back to your results and how/if they are motivating to you.
Today, I am introducing step two of #KeepItSimpleSept — Make Healthy Convenient. Why do you grab the pre-packaged granola bar or 100-calorie snack rather than veggies and homemade hummus? Why do you stop for take-out on your way home knowing that you have a refrigerator full of fresh food at home? The answer is the convenience! Your mind will always take the path of least resistance, and processed food manufacturers leverage this by making (or at least convincing you that) their products as convenient as possible.
So how do you avoid these “convenience” traps and stay on course? YOU MAKE HEALTHY CONVENIENT! The reason you do not grab the veggies and dip is probably that the vegetables are still in the produce bags in the refrigerator crisper drawer and the hummus (which you so diligently prepared during your meal prep session on Sunday) is one big container that has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator. And the sad truth is you will probably throw all of it out in a few days.
How do you turn this situation around? You take the vegetables and prep them (wash, peel, cut into desired shapes) and portion into INDIVIDUAL containers along with a single portion of the hummus. Now when you are in search of a snack and open the refrigerator the veggies/hummus is ready to go! (FYI, this works best if you invest in a set of uniform containers preferably with clear bottoms and bright lids.)
Another example — you like to take yogurt with you in the morning for a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack. You bought a container of “clean” plain Greek yogurt, some fresh berries and flaxseed. You have every intention on taking that combination with you in the morning, but your alarm was late, the dog made a mess or some other “emergency” happened. Like the vegetable example, you need to individual package the yogurt at the beginning of the week. Invest in 8-ounce mason jars and plastic lids. Portion your yogurt, top with washed berries and sprinkle on the ground flax (don’t mix). Then no matter what happens all you have to do is grab a jar on your way out the door! (If you think you will forget, put your keys in the refrigerator right on top of the jar ?).
I think you get the idea. Your action step is to figure out as many ways to make “healthy convenient” in your life and put them into action! Your mind will take the path of least obstacles. Isn’t it time you design the path rather than food manufacturers?
I would love to hear how you are “making healthy convenient”!
Until Next Time,