Do you sometimes feel that you are pulled between two choices: one that satisfies an immediate impulse and one that you know in your heart of hearts will bring you greater benefits, even if you don’t feel the effects immediately? When you feel that internal tug-of-war, ask yourself “What would be the kindest choice?”
Does your social life revolve around happy hours, restaurant dinners, lunch dates, coffee-and-pastry meetups and Sunday brunches? This can interfere with your healthy eating goals—but it doesn’t have to.
If you are making a commitment to eat healthier, that commitment shouldn’t get tossed out the window the minute you experience a change in your daily routine. It’s pretty easy to get in the habit of eating healthy at home and bringing healthy brown bag meals and snacks to work. What’s a bit trickier is extending those good habits to what you eat when traveling upends your normal routine.
If you work outside the home, a huge chunk of your day is spent in the workplace, which makes that your second most important food environment (after your home). It’s also an environment that can be unpredictable in what temptations it sends your way. If your job is stressful, and stress makes you want to eat, that’s one more factor you need to consider.
Why is it important to be master or mistress of your food environment? To begin with, most of us lead busy lives, with multiple demands on our time. If we get hungry, and healthy food isn’t easily accessible, but non-healthy food is, guess what we’re probably going to eat? That’s right, the non-healthy, easy-to-grab food.
It’s a refrain I hear a little too often: “I just need someone to tell me what to eat.” In today’s age of rampant nutrition confusion, I sort of get it—but on another level I don’t get it, not at all. I’m not your boss, I’m not your mother, and I’m definitely not the food police. As adults, we need to be able to make decisions about the things that are important to our health and happiness.