What’s in your kitchen? Do you keep a supply of healthy food and beverage options readily available for you and your family?
The other day I was visiting at someone’s home. They had a very busy day. Rushing in after a full day at work, they had only a few minutes to spare before heading out to the ball diamond for a game followed by a late supper. Feeling like they couldn’t wait for the late supper they reached for a snack. In what looked like a practiced move they quickly opened a cupboard and pulled out a candy bar, then reached into the fridge for a can drink.
Yikes! These snacks that are high in sugar will provide you with energy in the short term but they are typically providing you with empty calories. By that I mean that you are getting calories but not nutrition. I think the candy bar may have contained nuts so that would provide some protein which is good, but it also contained a lot of sugar which is not good.
Healthy eating requires planning, especially if you have not been in the habit of eating healthy.
You can plan to eat healthy. Start by planning to eat about 5 times each day. Most people will break that down into 3 main meals and 2 snacks – one for mid morning and one in the afternoon. Avoid the evening snack. Your metabolism is in slow mode at night while you sleep so it doesn’t need the extra calories and will just store them as fat – typically in just the place you least want it.
The Canada Food Guide can give you some ideas about the types of foods and portions you should be eating daily.
By planning ahead for healthy eating you can make a shopping list with healthy meals and snacks in mind. Make sure to include healthy convenience foods that are easy to grab when you’re on the go, and stick to the list.
Fruit is nature’s fast food. You could grab a banana or apple just as easily as a candy bar – and you’ll feel better for it. Raw veggies make a great snack too. If you cut them up as soon as you bring them home from the store, they’ll be an easy snack to grab.
A handful of almonds (about 10-15 nuts) together with a fruit or veggie of choice and a bottle of water would make the perfect on the go snack if you want wellness in your life.
Don’t buy pop, candy bars, chips or other snacks that are high in sugar, fat, or salt and low in nutritional value. If they are not in your kitchen they will not become that convenient snack that is so unhealthy for you. These kinds of snacks should be very occasional. By occasional I mean once a week or less.
You deserve wellness and healthy eating is a huge part of wellness. It doesn’t happen by accident though, it takes effort. The good news is its habit forming and gets easier the more you do it.
Do you plan to eat well?