You wake up at 6:30AM to a buzzing alarm clock after a restless sleep. You hit the snooze button and accidentally rest for 30 minutes too long. You get out of bed and realize there’s not enough time to make breakfast. After brushing your teeth and getting changed, you head out the door and hop on the bus or get in to your car. You stop at a coffee shop to get a coffee and a muffin. The morning is busy and you’re feeling tense and rushed. Lunch time arrives and you’re very hungry. There’s a shop near by, so you buy a sandwich, a cookie and a coffee for the afternoon. You hastily move through the rest of your day and run errands before getting home a little too late to cook a proper dinner. You pop a pizza in the oven and eat it while watching the evening news.
Does this scenario sound familiar? With all the demands of daily life, making time to cook and eat nutritious foods can quickly slip to the bottom of our to-do lists. Meeting the needs of our loved ones and our responsibilities at work can feel more important and urgent than consuming healthy foods. While it’s understandable that eating well falls off our radar when life gets hectic, it could what helps us cope and stay calm in the midst of it all.
Eating well can help you to boost energy, calm your mind, fight disease, improve brain function and maintain a healthy weight. All of these benefits help us to be present for our loved ones and kinder to ourselves.
So, what does it mean to eat well? In an age when we’re constantly being introduced to new diets that promise so much, it’s can be challenging to figure out what’s best for our bodies and minds. Daily Medical News tells us, “The crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet. A balanced diet – or a good diet – means consuming from all the different food groups in the right quantities. Nutritionists say there are five main food groups – whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein, diary, and fat & sugar.” When we don’t take the time to think about and make the foods we’re eating, we often miss foods from these different food groups. Most restaurants focus on making a profit and choose to leave out high-quality, healthy foods to ensure they do. If we are getting most of our meals from restaurants, we could be missing some nutrients from the five food groups that could contribute to our well-being. Another aspect of eating well is being mindful of the ways we’re cooking and eating. This will be discussed further in a later blog post!
This is a complicated issue and it’s important to be kind to yourself if you feel like the opening scenario is very familiar to you. Below are a few links to websites that offer quick, healthy recipes for meals that don’t require a lot of preparation.
Have you struggled with eating well while trying to maintain a busy life? Have you found ways to ensure you regularly eat from the five food groups? What are some resources/websites you’ve used to help you plan your meals? We’d love to hear from you!
Words and photos by Cassandra Van Dyck