Can eating healthfully be both simple AND easy?
And, of course, delicious too?
We wholeheartedly believe the answer is YES! And, this will continue to be part of our mission as we head into 2018.
There is a huge, surging flood out there that keeps it from being easy.
The flood of unhealthy convenience foods. The flood of activities that occupy our time and zap our energy, preventing us from preparing meals using REAL ingredients. The flood of fad diets that promise quick results to lose weight and increase energy. The flood of studies that create mass confusion about what is healthy and what is not. This flood surrounds you from everywhere! We could go on and on, but you get the point, right?!
On the flip-side, what about unhealthy foods?
Scientists and factories are required to produce these foods, specially formulated to allow us to eat them out of a box or cook them in the microwave. Many restaurants rely on processed food due to logistical issues and skills of the kitchen staff.
These foods require all kinds of additives and preservatives to make them taste "good," to have the right color and allow them to sit on the shelf for weeks or months.
None of this is simple. But, for us, it sure is easy.
They are in grocery stores, convenience stores, and checkout lines (even at our home improvement and craft stores). They are in the concession stands, movie theaters, cafeterias, our kids' classrooms and even our church gatherings. They are in our restaurants or are simply a phone call (or click) away from arriving at your door in under 30 minutes.
Now, that is easy.
So, the challenge becomes...how do we make eating healthfully easy?
He found that people have great intentions, but have limited willpower and don't always act in their best interests. (Can't we all relate to that?!)
People may want to stop smoking or save more for retirement or eat healthy, but find themselves unable to do so, often because the environment we are in. His conclusion? You have to "make it easy" and provide a "nudge" for people to make good decisions. For example, by making it automatic for people to be organ donors (unless they opt out), the rate of organ donation increases significantly. Making it automatic for people to contribute to their 401K - unless they opt out - significantly increases the amounts that people are saving for retirement.
What can you do to "make it easy" to eat healthfully?
What is your "nudge"?
- Evaluate your kitchen - use our Pantry Staple List to get started. Do your counters, pantry and refrigerator make healthy choices the EASY choice?
- Arm yourself with great tasting healthy snacks -- there is nothing worse than getting stuck with unhealthy choices when hunger strikes!
- Slow cooker magic -- let the slow cooker work its magic to help relieve dinnertime stress. Assign at least one day every week to produce not one, but two delicious meals!
- Assign one night a week to stir-fry. You'll be doing the v-8 head slap saying "why haven't we been doing this before?"
- Assign one night every week to be "baked potato" bar (or better yet, sweet potato bar) night and use your crockpot or microwave to cook the potatoes.
- Grab and go breakfast -- with a little bit of planning and prep the night before, your overnight oatmeal will make you feel like a rockstar! Plus, there are so many other breakfast ideas worth waking up for!
- Rethink your home organization to make the healthy options the easy options! Clean and cut fresh carrots, celery, radishes and cucumbers so they are finger-ready, attractively presented in a clear container in the fridge for instant snacks. Regularly keep ingredients on hand to quickly throw together a delicious salad. Make fresh fruit a centerpiece of your kitchen in an attractive fruit bowl so it begs to be snacked from. Use the weekend for planning the menu for the week, shopping, and pre-making at least one snack, dinner or breakfast.
- For inspiration, check out our other coaching tips on planning and making healthy eating easy and delicious! Some of our favorites are: One Meal at a Time, Don't Believe Everything You Think, Destress Dinnertime, Doing This Will Change Your Life.
Here are just some of the resources Eat REAL America is planning to provide in 2018:
- Zonya and Krista's Eat REAL Cookbook will be available in 2018!
- Enhancements to add even more useful features to the website.
- Many more tips and ideas on how to sustain a healthy lifestyle!
What would you like to see from Eat REAL America in 2018?
- Would you like to see side suggestions with each of the entrees?
- Would you like to have a customizable printable weekly menu, allowing you to select certain recipes for certain days of the week?
- Would you like audio versions of the weekly coaching tips?
- Would you like periodic live-streaming cooking demos?
- What else you would like to see?
We would love to have your feedback!
We want to continue to make healthy, delicious meals as simple AND easy as possible!