You see pictures of celebrities who look amazing, they talk about their healthy lifestyle.
You read about their healthy eating habits to find tips and nuggets so you can live healthier.
It’s inspirational to proclaim “OK I’m going to eat and live healthy too!”
For me, it was a way of life of choosing to eat and live healthier.
I’m fully aware i’m not going to look anywhere close to Gwyneth Paltrow even if I succeed at living healthier.
Because she works out a minimum of 2 hours a day. That’s completely not happening for me.
For Gwyneth, her healthy eating means no red meat, no diary, no sugar, no white processed carbs.
Do you know HOW DIFFICULT that is when you live in the real world?
(or maybe have issues with self control…)
If you’re attempting to live healthier and finding it close to impossible, know that the rest of us mortals struggle with it too!
You’re not alone. Don’t feel bad because you can’t adhere to your healthy plan.
Celebrities have personal chefs who will conjure up yummy dishes with enough variety to accommodate these dietary limits.
You and I do not have a personal chef to buy the ingredients and whip up yummy meals daily based on such a restrictive diet.
I find the best way to eat healthy, is to prepare and cook fresh food.
That way, I know exactly what goes into the dish.
Every time I try to eat clean or healthy, even if it’s just for a day, I find it challenging and stressful to buy healthy food.
If I’m eating clean or healthy, that means it has to be cooked at that point, not pre-cooked or a frozen vegetarian meal.
That’s filled with chemicals which defeats the purpose.
If you work or look after kids or family with plenty of things to get done throughout the day,
you’ll likely identify with me. We’re pressed for time!
Buying fresh ingredients all the time is time consuming.
Many times, by the time I’m done with the day, the supermarket is closed or
I’m way too tired to haul myself to get fresh food.
After a long day, you still have to cook and wash up. Which easily takes an hour.
And if you have kids or other people you need to take care of, you’ll be even more pressed for time.
Yesterday I was running multiple errands and I didn’t get done till 11pm.
I STILL hadn’t had dinner. I was starving, famished.
The easiest thing to do would have been to open a packet of instant noodles
(which I do enjoy the taste of, probably because of all the chemicals and MSG in there!)
and dump some frozen vegetables into it and call it a meal.
I decided I had to make the effort to eat healthy and put my intention to practice.
Eating healthy takes effort. It takes time. Healthy food doesn’t magically appear!
Chemical ladened instant noodles would not do!
So, I cooked. At 11pm at night.
I abhor eating late at night.
The smart thing to do if you have to eat that late, is to stick to vegetables and proteins and minimize carbs.
I had chicken meat frozen in the freezer, it would have taken too longer to thaw.
I needed to eat NOW.
Next best thing? Pasta. Sigh. Major CARBS!!
So I whipped up Mushroom cream pasta. *gulp*
At least it was vegetarian?
Totally sinful and not even as delicious as what I would have eaten at a restaurant.
By the time I was done cooking and washing up, it was midnight.
Yes, it took an hour to prep the food (dicing, chopping etc), cook, and wash dishes.
I finally ate at midnight.
If I had a personal chef and a huge kitchen well stocked with food,
I’m sure he could have cooked up healthy grilled chicken or a salad.
Well, I don’t have either.
As the night wore on, I got the urge to snack.
My first instincts was Cheetos =)
I spoke sternly to my comforted-by-junk-food self.
“No junk food! Eat healthy!”
I got an apple and ate that.
Which should have been enough.
Except for many of us, part of the challenge in living healthier is changing our habits and leaving our comfort zone.
For many of us, eating is a comfort zone.
It bizarrely makes us feel safe, comforts us.
It makes us feel we can get through the paper or report we are having difficulty writing and is due tomorrow.
Cheetos, Sour Cream & Onion chips, Ice cream, desserts all make me happy.
If i’m working late into the night, feeling stressed,
opening a bag of cheddar chips inexplicably makes me feel safer, that I can get my work done.
Psychologists will tell you it has to do with the reward system wired in our brain such that when we eat junk food or engage in activities we are used to doing, our brain gets used to such behavior and releases dopamine.
Dopamine makes us happy.
If you use drugs like cocaine and weed, you brain releases dopamine too.
That’s what makes you remember how happy you felt and so you repeat the act.
Which means, Junk Food is like the Non-Fatal version of Deadly Drugs.
After I got done with the apple, I was still feeling twitchy.
I didn’t have the comfort dopamine rush of eating chips.
Still, I tried to resist.
I had some cheese puffs from the weekend. So I heated those up and ate them.
At least they were healthier than chips!
Right now, I’m still eying those chips sitting within arm’s reach from me.
Let me tell you how exhausting it is to eat healthy and resist the chips and all the temptations.
Cooking at 11pm, eating healthy snacks, resisting old familiar habits all require a lot of hard work in physical and mental effort.
Eating healthy sounds simple, it isn’t.
It takes A LOT of hard work and effort, especially at the beginning because it involves changing deep-seated habits.
I get very annoyed when people with domestic help, do not work, or are wealthy thump their noses down on the difficulty people with real, everyday lives have in developing a healthy lifestyle.
It greatly annoys me.
I had someone say dismissively,
“It’s easy to eat and live healthy, it’s just whether you want to!
If you don’t, blame yourself.”
People like her do not understand the reality of it.
It pisses me off when wealthy people who do not work tell me how easy it is to get something done.
When you have had a long day, sometimes you come back and it’s too tiring to cook a healthy meal.
If you go out to eat, try finding a dish that has minimal processed food, without pre-made items, or preservatives.
Chances are it’s all been processed in some factory at some point and they are cooking it with a massive amount of cheap oil and too much salt.
Eat at healthy organic, raw food restaurants every day?
Sounds great — if you can afford it.
A meal at such places will easily cost a min of $40 a meal.
That’s $1200 a month just for dinner per person.
The least expensive food options are generally sandwiches or pasta (filled with mayo and cheap filling).
Not exactly filled with healthy protein and vegetables.
Buy organic, sure. It costs a premium.
Cook a proper meal, that’ll be another hour.
When you are living in the real world with pressures and deadlines, who has much time to cook?
So if you’re trying to eat and live healthy, keep trying.
It’s a process for me. I fall off the bandwagon all the time.
Don’t stop trying!
Real life has its demands and financial resources are limited.
Do what you can.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for not being to eat healthy all the time.
If you have tips to eating and living healthy, share your tips with us!
My goal for today, a seemingly simple but tiring one. Avoid the Chips!
Here’s tips on how to keep fit in your 30s, 40s, 50s.
(If you’re in your teens or 20s, you’re incredibly fit, ENJOY LIFE!!!=))