You know you feel better when you eat better, so why is it always such a challenge?
After counseling clients for years, and thinking about my own life, one of the biggest reasons (of several) people struggle to eat well boils down to: lack of planning.
Do You Feel Busy??
If you are anything like me, your days feel busy. In my own life, I stay home with my 3 little girls (5 years old, 3 years old, and 2 months new!) and each day feels like I’m pulled between putting food on the table, cleaning up spills, refereeing fights over who had the toy dog first, nursing the baby, remembering to change out the laundry, and on.
Maybe your life is busy in a different way: zoom meetings, trying to juggle working from home while homeschooling kids or managing a family member’s ailing health.
Relationship challenges, social media, appointments, holidays, remembering if your kids have enough clean underwear, texting back your friends – the list is endless.
Decision Fatigue Creates Poor Habits
When life gets busy and we are pulled between this thing and that thing, a side effect can be decision fatigue. When we are struggling with decision fatigue the dreaded, “What’s for dinner?” question can make you feel like crawling in a hole. Or just serving frozen pizza again (been there!)
Even though you want to eat healthy food, and in fact, you have healthy food in the house, you can’t think what to make. You keep falling into the same trap of eating processed foods that leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.
Good intentions don’t solve problems. A plan solves problems.– me.
What To Do?
Now let’s discuss what you can do to change this. My best advice is schedule 1 or 2 appointments with yourself every week where you spend a small amount of time writing out some meal and snack ideas. This is an important meeting that you don’t want to break. If you want to do 1 appointment per week, maybe you sit down on the weekend and plan for the whole week. If that seems overwhelming maybe you have a weekend time where you plan for a few days, then a day midweek where you plan for the rest of the week. Here’s some additional tips:
- Your meals don’t have to be fancy. In fact, keeping them simple and the same will be easiest. Perhaps you keep your breakfast and lunch the same all week, and switch up dinners. Example: breakfast is 3 eggs and a pile of leftover/warmed roasted veggies (mmm Brussels sprouts 😊 ) Lunch could be a big salad with some pre-made protein such as shredded or cubed chicken – make sure you add some healthy fats like avocado or olive oil! I also think beans are easy and delicious on a salad. Dinner you can switch it up: Roast one night, soup the next, and the next night why not try this easy Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli.
- Whatever you decided to eat, make sure you have the ingredients on hand so once it’s time to throw it together, you can easily access what you need.
- Place your menu plan somewhere you can easily refer to it as needed.
- do the best you can.
Real life grace talk
Let’s talk about the “P” word: Perfection. Remember that this won’t always go perfect. Perfection really isn’t the standard we are shooting for; it’s a false standard. The goal is to do your best. If it doesn’t happen one week, just gently ask yourself how you could make it happen the next time around? We are all human and in our humanness things can get messy and not go as planned. That’s ok. The point is to keep trying and do the best you can. If one day you just eat frozen pizza and the leftovers off your kids plates, you’re still doing a good job. Don’t give food choices more power over your life then you should. The point is simply to nourish your body the best you can.
If this was helpful to you, please share with your friends and family. Stay tuned as I keep discussing reasons us humans tend to struggle with eating well.
Change your habits to change your health
Hugs to you,