Life comes with many challenges. When it comes to a lifestyle of eating whole foods we typically face three challenges. These include:
- Eating Out
It can be tough to live a whole foods lifestyle in the midst of crazy schedules and deadlines, while on the road for days or weeks, and even when we venture to the nearby restaurant. Sometimes it might feel easier to just give in to the convenience machine at work when we are tired and hungry. The machine is called “convenience machine” for a reason. Trust me, we understand this all too well. Life gets crazy for us all, and it’s super easy to reach for quick processed nutrient poor foods in the midst of the chaos, but we want to share some helpful tips today to arm you with all the knowledge you can have to start making this lifestyle work.
Time Saving Tips
- Keep a variety of fresh raw vegetables and fruit in the fridge to have on hand at any time. When you come home from the grocery store with these items go ahead and give them a quick rinse and chop them up before moving to the refrigerator. The next time you go to open the fridge and you see all your nice snack sized produce waiting for you it will be much more appealing to eat them. They will make for quick and easy sides to either cook with your meals or to take raw for lunches. This step is going to make your life so much easier!
- We talked about grocery shopping and the importance of planning meals here, but keep this in mind too. Most people who live this lifestyle well will tell you that preparation is key. The more time you spend prepping for the week the less time you spend stressing over meals and time and choices. If you can carve out some time just one day you can cook several meals all at once then simply freeze them in smaller quantities (just make sure your freezer has room). Cook bigger portions and freeze in smaller quantities. This really works great with soups! Remember that it takes less time to double a recipe than it does to cook the meal again later in the week.
- Never underestimate the crockpot. It might seem outdated, but trust me it’s rad! Place your meat in the bottom, top with veggies, place your liquid and seasonings in and set it to cook all day. Ready for dinner!
- Dinner is the meal most of us get caught up with, but it does not have to be a huge over the top meal. If you are eating whole foods at your other meals and choosing healthy snacks then a big dinner might not even be needed. It’s actually better to eat larger portions at your first meal of the day since our bodies are winding down in the evening. It is not good to overwhelm the digestive process right before bed. So don’t stress, dinner does not have to be that tricky.
- Smoothies at breakfast have saved this girl here a lot of time before. Smoothies are so quick and are an excellent way to get a powerful nutrient boost!
- Eat meals that can be assembled rather than cooked. Salads are wholesome and you can get creative! It’s ok to simplify your meals!
- Also, do not forget about the frozen section for quick vegetables to use as sides.
- Your snacks can be your meal! Pack some nuts, fresh fruit, jerky, cheese, dried fruits, trail mix, fruit bars or nut bars, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna, organic deli-meat.
- Always have some water in your arsenal.
- Check with the airline for any special diet options if available (gluten free, etc).
- Staying in a hotel for a few days? If you have a refrigerator in your room head to the grocery store once you arrive and pick up items that you can store and that will require little prep.
- Pack lightweight plates and utensils, because there is nothing worse than needing a knife and something to sit your banana and almond butter on.
- Do your restaurant investigating before you leave home. Get online and see what is around you. Look over the menu and you can even call ahead to see if the restaurant offers gluten free options if desired.
Eating Out Tips
- Do not be afraid to ask for what you want at a restaurant. Substitute sides or ask the waiter to leave off certain items.
- Do an online search to see if any restaurants in the area serve whole foods, or organic sustainable foods.
- Ethnic restaurants tend to have a better selection of whole food options on the menu. Think japanese, thai, latin.
- If you are eating at a chain restaurant go for broth based soups, salads, or a meat entree with vegetables for the sides.
- Skip the bread baskets. Avoid breaded and sugary options.
- Replace salad dressings loaded with sugar and chemicals by asking the waiter for olive oil and vinegar instead.
Remember, eating this way is not about perfection. It is all about progress and moving forward each day. With each day the whole process gets easier and easier. It’s also important to remember that if you do stray slightly from your eating habits while traveling or eating out it is just temporary. It usually only takes a couple of unhealthy meals to remind us of why we eat this way in the first place! Do you all find any of these tips helpful? Do you have any more tips to share with us?