Good nutrition. Smart nutrition. It’s a topic that comes up a lot and it’s a topic I’ve fielded not only for myself, but talking with others who desire to live a healthier lifestyle in regards to foods.
Add to that, for most of us, we have busy lives and schedules and food sometimes is well, an afterthought.
There could be a tendency to grab just whatever is convenient or at hand because we’re tired or worse yet, our hunger is on full blown overdrive.
I am notorious some days for being hungry, yet feeling to lazy to make myself something. This is especially dangerous when it’s been a day I’ve trained hard and my body is wanting some good quality nutrition for all it’s work that morning.
Someone, please admit, there are days you feel like that too. Hungry yet the idea of making food or even putting something together seems like to much trouble so you just skate by.
Not ideal, I know. There are some days I admittedly feel that way.
I’m smart enough to know my body needs proper fuel not just post workout, but also for a busy day of activities.
Yours does too.
Smart nutrition where does it start?
I’ve had friends jokingly ask if I’d follow them around and slap wrong foods out of their hands or tell them they’ve had enough at the dinner table.
It always makes me laugh. Maybe, we all want someone like that. This tough love accountability person who snatches a donut from us or reminds us we don’t really need that big Mexican platter for lunch. This person would simply follow us around like some muscular side kick directing our food choices.
I hate to break the news but smart nutrition, well, that starts with you.
It has to start with you because really, ultimately you are the only one making the choices.
Maybe you want to blame the co-worker for stocking piling donuts in the break room or use the reason you’re to tired to not make healthy foods so you stop at the fast food drive thru.
I’ve been helping my son at his shop this week. I ran out to do some errands for him and drove through a local fast food place for lunch to take back with me.
No. Not burgers and fries.
Although, I will admit, fries are at the top of my most favorite non- necessary food items.
However, they happen to make some amazing salads and that’s what I was after. I love salads, not as a “diet” food but as a “healthy, nutritious good for my body” food.
Eating it leaves me feeling satisifed, yet also energetic and not sluggish like I’d feel from a meal heavy in more simple carbs. I’ve eaten like this long enough that it’s a no brainer for me to go for healthier choices.
Although… why… why can’t salads smell as good on the wind as the smell of greasy foods??? hahaha
We encounter choices each day in how we eat. There can be an endless list to reasons why we don’t make smarter, healthier choices in our nutrition each day.
But when it comes down to what we put in our mouths, no one is standing there shoveling it in but us.
We are responsible for our own nutrition, good or bad.
Well where do I start?
No one understands better than I do that you just don’t magically develop good nutritional habits over night.
You just don’t.
You don’t undo or change a life time or years of eating certain ways without some determination and discipline to see it through. If you’re reading this I may assume you are wanting to eat nutritionally smarter.
Getting started requires a bit of a mental shift in your thinking. The foods or snacks you reach for. Your beverage choices. How much you eat. When you eat. It all takes some time and planning.
Oh yeah… planning helps. Some tips and tricks…
we live busy lives. Planning somewhat is crucial to success in developing smart nutrition habits.
Sitting down and thinking about meals and snacks and ingredients needed when you aren’t hungry is the best place to start. Once you’ve developed a plan and utilized it for awhile you won’t have to think so much about what you’re doing.
Consider your lifestyle. Do you work? Do you need healthy easy meals that won’t take much time to prepare or could be prepped in advance? Crock pots and one pan dinners are at the top of my healthy recipe ideas. If you need creative ideas, Pinterest is loaded with them.
You would need to consider your work meals. Maybe you don’t take a lunch but really, it’s the best way to ensure you are eating foods that you’ve chosen and aren’t going to be subject to grabbing whatever is easy in the work cafeteria.
Food prep. Ok I’m not really into that. I know what I like and what works for me so I don’t make containers of food to keep in ‘fridge. I’m also at home so it’s easy enough for me to make my meals based on what I want.
However, making and prepping things like fruits and veggies in advance will make it easier to grab it for lunch or to make up a easy salad if you don’t have to chop a lot of stuff, I sometimes will buy already cut and prepped veggies because I appreciate the convenience of it ( like broccoli )
Hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, or sliced lean meats will make lunch prep quick and easy.
Try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. ( fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc) the more colorful, the better.
Cheetos don’t count by the way 😉
Learning to swap out high calorie or less nutritious foods is another way to being smart in making a healthy change. For example, swapping chips for crunchy veggies with ranch dip made with Greek yogurt is a way to not only cut calories, you get a little protein in with the yogurt. Greek yogurt is very high in protein and all I eat now days. I buy the non-fat plain and add my own fruit, nuts etc. or use it as a base for dips and cooking that requires sour cream.
Don’t forget your drinks. Sugary drinks contribute to your daily calories and are not a part of a smart nutrition plan.
becoming smarter in nutritional choices takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you make choices you think you’ve “failed” in.
Really, an awareness shows you that you are trying and are aware of choices so that’s a good thing!
Take each day at a time, try to make wise choices in that day, celebrate your victories and learn from your mistakes.
Each day makes you smarter in your nutrition habits and leads to a healthier body and lifestyle.
Tell me… what tips or ideas work for you in regards to smart nutrition ?