In my health coaching business the most common thing I hear is that people do not have time. Time to workout, time to cook, time to eat breakfast, time to pack a lunch, etc. So for me, the quickest way to get someone eating healthier is to save them time.
Time is a necessary part of health. You can spend more of it prepping food or you can spend more of it on medication. You can spend it shopping for groceries or waiting in doctor's offices. It's really not avoidable, it's just where you want to spend it.
I get that some people are overweight, horribly unhealthy, and live to be a hundred. They are the exception, not the rule. I'm going to assume you and I are the rule.
So if we want to stay out of the health care system as much as possible, we may have to spend some of our very precious time with our food and the whole process of creating food.
We can really streamline our efforts with a few valuable tactics. These are methods I implement myself and encourage my health coaching clients to do as well. It works wonders to improving your power over your food and health.
The first and most important part of my week is a food day. A day where I plan my week of eating, get my groceries for that week, and prepare anything ahead of time that I can. For me this is Sunday. I do not wonder what I'm having for lunch on Tuesday, I know. I do not wish I was not eating McDonald's on Wednesday night, I know I will not because dinner is already made. I call this my Food Day. I recommend it for everyone who does not want to be at the grocery store 4 times a week, in a drive through, or hungry at lunch.
Second, I find that big batch productions make my life much more efficient. I do not make taco meat for one meal. I make taco meat for all five of my lunches. When it comes down to it, I do not want to rethink lunch every day of my life. I'd rather think about it once, make it once, and eat it all week. With this same mentality I make double dinners. What we have Monday night is pretty close to what we have Wednesday night. And what I eat for Tuesday's dinner is pretty much what I have for Thursday's dinner. In other words, if I'm going to peel potatoes, steam a bunch of fresh veggies, and make meatloaf for 30 minutes, I'm going to get twice the bang for my buck. It only makes sense to get more from my efforts!
Finally, I stopped worrying about my food looking interesting or about having a choice with my food. If every night dwindles down to what sounds good, I'm going to be eating out constantly. On the other hand, if every night dwindles down to what is prepared and what is in the fridge, I eat it and move on. I reserve specific eating for special occasions or Friday nights. Not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. For me, my week is built around utility. So my meals are simple, real food meals, made from scratch with a variety of nutrients. No need to supplement with Wendy's.
If you want to eat better, work smarter not harder. There is a way to be healthy and feel better without becoming a chef. You can do this, but it will take a little bit of your time. Consider it an investment!