Local Triathlete Caught at Drive-Thru
True Story. Well, mostly true. In a quest for a healthy life, activity has to be part of the equation. In my case, I have been lucky to find a sport that I love: triathlon.
So, onto my story. It was about 9:30 pm on a Tuesday night and I was just driving home from work...we had a special event in the evening that extended my work day by about 4 hours. I'm driving home and I'm hungry! I haven't had dinner yet, I'm tired and I realize that I left absolutely nothing out to defrost for when I got home...not that I was much in the mood to cook anyway. What's a tired, hungry girl to do? Well, I saw the golden arches. My husband happened to be on his way home too. I called him on the cell....and made him go through the drive thru to get me dinner. So, no I didn't get caught at the drive thru but that's only because I made my husband do the dirty work. Here I am talking about minimizing processed food consumption...as I lick the sweet and sour sauce of that last french fry.
I want to be clear here- I firmly believe that life is too short to not indulge from time to time; however, I think there is a big difference between making a planned, proactive decision to enjoy a food that you truly think tastes great versus a tired, stressed reaction to just fill the hole in your stomach. On that Tuesday night, I was totally reacting and it got me thinking.
Eating healthy requires organization. When I'm on my game, it's great. Food is planned. Meals are ready to go. Healthy snacks are within reach. Unfortunately, every now and then there are those weeks where life takes over and the organization slips....you get tired....cranky....you missed grocery night....you forgot to leave that chicken out to defrost. These days, people are leaving their houses early in the mornings and returning late in the evenings to a pile of chores to help get the family ready for the next day. I firmly believe that proper fuel and nutrition are essential to keep the pace! So, when I am on my game, these are some of the things that have worked great for me.
1) Frozen veggies- during my trips to Trader Joes, I stock up on frozen, organic veggies. I throw them in the freezer and don't have to worry about them going off or being wasted. They are like "on-call" nutrition, ready to go whenever you need them. They have been particularly helpful for baby food over the last year.
2) The whole chicken- Purchase an organic, free-range chicken for roasting. I find that the chicken gives me healthy meals for 2-3 nights. The first evening, we have roast chicken, potatoes and veggies. For the next 1-2 evenings, there are a lot of different options such as healthy chicken soft tacos, stir fry curry chicken with brown rice and veggies and don't forget about sandwiches!
3) Bake a healthy dessert once a week- if you are like me, you have a vicious sweet tooth. There is nothing worse than a sweet tooth and not being prepared to handle it when it acts up! Life is too short to not eat dessert. When you have some time at the weekend, whip up a batch of healthy, protein packed brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Keep them in the fridge and you will have portion controlled, sweet bliss at your fingertips for when that sweet tooth acts up...instead of running to the convenience store for a pint of ice cream.
4) Have a "No-Cook" night once a week- it seems that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we need to give ourselves a break sometimes. So, once per week don't cook! This could be an evening where you order in. It could be an evening where you enjoy food such as salads, sandwiches or even sushi from the local market.
My goal is to stay on my game as much as possible. It's important for me and my family. There will definitely be more on this issue to come....and I would LOVE to hear any ideas you have. Got a recipe? Time saving tip? Let's hear it so we can make the healthiest food possible for our families!