You've Been Lied To
You've been lied to.
You don't have to make every meal from scratch to be healthy.
Nutrition on the go is VERY possible.
We don't need more impossible and downright ridiculous standards to live up to, we just need to learn how to make good choices while super busy. I don't like it when people feel bad for not cooking from scratch every single night after a super long day, like we don't need two full-time jobs do we? We absolutely don't.
We can navigate the world while we are busy and make good choices on the go and plan ahead. It doesn't have to be complicated and from scratch. That doesn't compute well with my ADHD brain and it probably doesn't compute well with your busy lifestyle either - and it doesn't have to!
We need to work our nutrition alongside our lives, not against it. Adapt it accordingly without feeling overwhelmed.
By being proactive instead of reactive, you can rock those work trips, vacations, and restaurant outings while keeping your health goals intact. Trust me, the more you know about your options and plan ahead, the better results you'll achieve.
Sure, it requires some initial effort, but it becomes second nature as you turn it into a habit. Take a leaf out of the book of health-savvy individuals who never embark on a work week without a solid plan for their meals. No more indecisiveness at the restaurant counter—you've got it covered! The same rule applies to any situation outside of your home. When dining out, always do your homework and know what kind of food the restaurant serves in advance.
Since most of us have work commitments, it's wise to prioritize meal preparation for the week. You can save time and energy by prepping some or all of your workweek meals ahead of time and storing them in convenient lunch boxes in the fridge. Think of it as an investment in your health, not a tedious chore. Plus, it's a fantastic way to avoid unnecessary temptations since you'll already have a healthy meal ready to go.
Now, let's tackle the tricky topic of eating on trips. We understand that it can be a bit challenging to plan ahead when you don't have all the details.
The nature of your trip plays a significant role here.
If you're traveling by car, you can make pit stops at gas stations and choose from the available options. When flying or taking the train, the choices might be more limited, but fear not! You'll always find some excellent alternatives. The golden rule is to opt for natural foods rather than processed ones if possible (but as-natural-as-possible jerky is not a bad option as some protein is better than none). Hot dog or salad with protein? Likely the latter, unless the "fun" food fits your macros (if you count calories and you can fit in a treat, why not, but overall, still have the fibre-rich and protein-rich option 80-90% of the time because IIFYM - if it fits your macros - is not a free-for-all or an encouragement to clog your arteries).
Another key principle is to include a quality protein source with every meal, whether you're grabbing takeaway, stopping at a gas station, or visiting a grocery store. When getting a salad from a salad bar, add some boiled eggs, chicken, fish, tofu, or any protein that suits your eating style/ dietary restrictions to your bowl.
Of course, there will be times when your options are limited, such as on extended car trips where civilization feels far away. That's when protein bars, nuts, seeds, various fruits, jerky, pepperoni sticks, protein drinks, and other nutritious snacks come to the rescue. And don't forget to stay hydrated with a refreshing beverage, like water or sparkling water!
Now, let's talk about ordering food at restaurants or other food joints. The principles remain similar to those mentioned above (but these situations may require stopping at a grocery store before the trip to grab healthier prepared meals like high protein yogurts, bars, pre-cut fruit and so on), of course... except for those delightful moments when you want to let loose and savor some guilty pleasures in a conscious manner.
Last but not least, remember that the most important thing is to always (as best as possible) include protein in every meal and snack (high protein diets are suitable for those without pre-existing kidney issues).
With adequate planning and forethought, anything is possible. You hold the reins to your health journey—so take charge and be the driver!
Don't let life simply happen to you. Remember, you are the main character, and you get to write the script.
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