While there are many challenges that come with the territory of healthy eating and wellness, there are also many solutions and tools to help you achieve your goals. One of the best ways you can take the stress out of eating and make better choices is simply by planning. If you plan in advance, eating is actually easier- not harder. Even during the current health crisis, as restaurants and other businesses start to open up again, it’s a good time to come with a plan to guide you through the transition. Planning takes the guesswork out of mealtime so you know what you are doing today, tomorrow and the day after that. There are multiple benefits of planning to consider.
After an unprecedented spring season, compliments of Covid-19, the month of June is a more than welcome arrival. Several months of social distancing and being cooped up inside allows us to enjoy the fresh air and warmer weather even more than you typically may this time of year. Hiking, biking and swimming are welcomed activities that ultimately will benefit our health and wellness. As we begin to participate in some of these outdoor pursuits and limited social engagements, we have to keep in mind that we cannot let our guard down. Especially not now.
A trip to the grocery store is an activity many people typically don’t look forward to. Given the unique situation of things today, we certainly didn’t know how good we had it just a few months ago. Instead of just the task of planning your meals for the week and getting to the store and back, we now have additional challenges to work though created by the breakout of Covid-19. Today, we need to think about things like wearing a mask and sanitizing frequently throughout your trip to the store in order to manage a safe shopping experience. It also helps to be extra strategic with your list so you spend as little time in the store as possible. There are many new aspects of shopping that are becoming routine as we live out the “new normal” for now.
Let’s face it – living in a world facing a pandemic such as Covid-19 has more than its share of stress and challenges. We are taking many safety precautions such as extra home cleaning, handwashing and social distancing, which result in myriad other challenges that impact our life on a daily basis. As part of social distancing, most of us are confined to our homes. This alone can open up a bigger list of challenges. First of all, maybe you are not practicing social distancing from the refrigerator or cookie jar. Or perhaps, another member of your household does the grocery store shopping and returns with things you don’t usually have in your home such as comfort or junk food. Just the mere proximity of yourself to these foods can cause stress and the home confinement can lead to a boredom you are not used to and therefore, you find yourself exploring the kitchen more often than you should.
Multitasking can be a great thing. You can cut weekly coupons out of the paper while catching up on the daily news or, perhaps prep lunches for the week while you are cooking dinner. However, there is no place for multitasking while you are eating. Being mindful while you eat is an important practice for a healthy lifestyle. It means bringing awareness to your eating. Engaging with other activities while you eat does the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. You may think you are saving time but in reality, you are removing your enjoyment from eating and not saving anything at all.
When you think of eating healthy, does your mind automatically think of foods labeled low fat, low carb, keto, paleo, or any of the other latest fad words? Many people relate healthy eating to foods that fall into these categories. Did you ever think that maybe there is a better approach to eating healthy where you don’t ever have to worry about the foods you eat? The truth is that there is a psychology to eating and it’s not about what you eat, but how you eat it. Eating is a psychological activity, not a physical one. In other words, it is not about the type or amount of food you place on the fork, but what is in your mind and how your thoughts lead you to different choices.