Drive-thrus and microwavable meals win out over home-cooked food because of the convenience they provide. It is so much easier to grab food on the way home, eat it out of a plastic container, throw that container away, and be done. No hassle, no messy kitchen, and instant gratification. The drawback? This food is not doing our bodies any favors. But, when the day is already full it is also hard to make time for grocery shopping, food preparation, cooking, and cleaning. So, what are we to do? Start with some baby steps.
Choosing to eat healthily can happen quickly, but following through on making healthy choices is another story. If you know that what you’re fueling your body with is not so great and want to make a change, then let’s make a change. One step at a time. By making small changes/additions and sticking to them, you can really change to a healthy lifestyle.
Rather than planning out an entire week, going to the grocery store, and spending the entire weekend meal prepping, let’s start with snack time. If you already have a snack in the afternoons, that is great. If you don’t, then we have good news. We want you to eat a snack in the afternoon. The catch? It should be a vegetable. Grab a few bags of baby carrots and some hummus at the store, throw them in the fridge, and you are good to go. No need to change breakfast, lunch, or dinner because we are starting small. Just choose a veggie for a snack.
Once you get the hang of that, let’s talk about breakfast. It isn’t necessary to change what you eat for breakfast, just add to it. While at the grocery store restocking your snack time veggies, pick up some berries and nuts. That is it. It doesn’t matter if you currently eat eggs for breakfast, cereal, oatmeal, or a McMuffin, just add some berries and nuts to whatever it is.
By making these types of small steps, you will eventually find yourself eating an all-healthy diet. As your confidence grows with the small successes, you will willingly make better choices. Drinking more water throughout the day and cutting other drinks out slowly is another example of change, and a bigger one that will have an equally large impact is eliminating all of the junk from your pantry. Now that you have mastered eating your veggies at snack time, take a minute to rid the house of poor snacking choices like chips, cookies, ice cream, and others. It is easier to eat healthy when unhealthy options are not staring you in the face.
It is rare that choosing to eat healthily happens overnight. It takes time to implement such a big lifestyle change, so take the time you need. Each baby step will grant you some confidence that will help you to keep moving forward.