Healthy Eating When You’re Just Too Busy {Part II}

Healthy Eating When You’re Just Too Busy {Part II}

In part one of this series about beating the stress of healthy living I talked about how I choose to keep things as simple as possible in our home surrounding our meal times, and how I keep new recipes to a minimum, all these things reduce my stress as a mom trying to keep everyone in the house happy and healthy! You can catch up with part one here.

On a personal note, I’ve noticed my appetite decreasing lately as my daughter transitions to eating more solid meals each day and breastfeeds a little less often. Life is always changing, especially when you’re a parent! Little ones also love one kind of food one day, and the next day it’s a total no-go. Does this stress you out like it does me? I always think “great, I just bought a whole bunch of that and now you’re not interested?!” Well, that’s alright. Life is ever changing and we need to be flexible and go along with it.

Then there’s all our own emotions. I don’t know about you, but some days are tougher than others to carry on with gusto. For me, my kryptonite is when my kitchen is empty and I’m hungry. I absolutely NEED to be prepared with healthy ideas at all times. This also means keeping the kitchen absolutely free from foods that are less than optimal. No I don’t get cravings for lunch meat and cheese. Ha! But Oreos? (yes, they’re vegan.) I’m just going to ask that you don’t bring them into my house very often, alright?

Let’s talk about some of the reasons you may be getting stressed out by a healthy diet and lifestyle.

1. It’s Expensive

True, it can get expensive. And I would be lying to you if I told you that this didn’t threaten to stress me out on a regular basis as well. The truth is, I have to make do with what we have. We choose to cut costs in quite a few other areas so that we don’t have to settle for eating mac n cheese every day. We live on very little, actually. It’s a little remarkable how little we find we can live on. But we think in terms of longevity when it comes to making choices about where our money goes. At this point we don’t have a house payment, we rent for a very reasonable amount, drive inexpensive vehicles, have no monthly payments besides the basics, and most of our hobbies are relatively inexpensive. Our health would totally tank if we ate mac n cheese everyday, no matter how comforting that may sound, it comes with a great cost to your body. So let’s think longevity. You may have to make some adjustments, yes. In truth, I first started thinking about plant-based diets because I was desperately trying to find ways to cut costs in our life, yet again, and when I arrived, once again, at groceries, I did find that by not purchasing animal products, I could afford to buy more variety of foods for our health, which is awesome! So keep that in mind as well. High quality animal products can be very expensive, (I emphasize high quality, because if you’re eating animal products it’s very important to purchase high quality ones) and you can fill your diet with a wider variety of micro-nutrient dense foods when you focus on getting your nutrients from plants which is what you need to focus on if you’re looking at longevity. Even eating animal products less often, you’d notice a difference in the budget! You don’t need to include meats in your diet every single day. How do I get enough protein? The ever present question. This article by the Vegetarian Resource Group is a good resource with a list of protein rich foods.  I personally stay away from most soy products because they’re usually genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides and MSG. So no thank you! But there are SO MANY other protein options out there, and we load up on them all, especially greens. (for those of you wondering, too, how we eat so many legumes, there are soaking and preparation methods that are essential to making them more digestible.) I highly recommend THIS ARTICLE! Giving up grains and legumes is a huge fad right now, and while I believe it has credibility, please read this article if you have questions on that. There are many other resources out there on this topic, this one  just lays it out briefly and clearly, I think.

That being said, getting back to grocery budgeting, when we’re in between paychecks and things get a little tight, we’ll have a few extra bowls of oatmeal (refined sugar free, sweetened with organic bananas)! Keep it simple, keep it healthy, it doesn’t have to break the bank. We eat very simply, and if we can afford it, we’ll go for a little something extra special on our days off.

I’m learning all the time, but check out my previous post on Plant-based Goodness: how I shop plant-based on less $$ for some extra tips and tricks. I will be writing another post, or series of posts on affording healthy eating in early 2017 as well! I’ve learned more since this post was published, as always, and an excited to share!

 

2. You’re Shopping More Often

Eating more produce can be an art, because you have to ripen it, enjoy it at its peak, eat all of it so you don’t waste it, and then it’s off to the store again to get more. Well this is somewhat unavoidable. But we find ways to make it work. I purchase a lot of {organic} frozen fruit, especially right now that it’s the winter months and fewer fruits are in season. And I’ll purchase more of the fresh fruits that are in season such as some melons, pomegranates, persimmons, mangoes, the ever faithful banana… And when my bananas are perfectly spotted and ripe, I peel them (peel and quarter, then freeze… easiest thing ever) and freeze them in a large container where I can take them out when I’m ready to use them. Plus, when a banana is frozen, it doesn’t taste as banana-ey. So it can be easier to flavor however I like whether it’s for banana nice cream or throwing into smoothies. Believe it or not, I do not shop more than once per week. Can you believe it!!?? That’s right, I don’t. I am learning the art of planning out my fruit ripening, and learning the life of vegetables, and I have a pretty good no-waste routine going on and I’m pretty happy with it. I do keep a raw greens powder and a raw protein powder on hand. So if I do run out of produce, we’re not left in a lurch without our greens. This has saved me some weeks when I can’t get to the store, but my greens powder is safely stored in the fridge.

3. It’s a Whole New Way of Cooking and Preparing You’re Not Used To

Don’t fret, loves! There’s this little thing called the internet that is filled with lovely souls offering their tips and tricks. Fill up with info… but not so much information you get overwhelmed. My personal favorite (besides blogs!) is you tube… I follow a couple of vegan chefs and oh my… eek, how fun. But there again, I make sure I only try a new recipe once in a while when I have the budget for it and when I have the time. And you, you have friends like me! I’m no expert but I’m working on some valuable resources I’m very excited and eager to share with you. When will they be ready? I can’t really say, but please stay tuned! I’ve got friends I follow on a regular basis, you can find a few of them in my Resources tab in the above menu. I’m adding more resource library often… I don’t list my favorite you tubers on there… I probably should. They’re some of my favorites.

If you’re on instagram, you can also Follow Me! I post usually once a day about what we’re eating, how I prepared it, or general inspiration. On the sidebar here you’ll also see a link to like Restoring The Day’s facebook page where I also share useful tips and articles and information I find particularly helpful or educational!

 

4. I ‘ll Have To Deny Myself Everything I Enjoy

Am I striking any chords with you yet? I have learned to NEVER tell myself “NO, you CAN’T have that.” Because if I ever say that to myself my strong will rises and I respond “Aw heck no! You can’t tell me what I can and can’t have!” And just out of spite, I’ll succumb to indulgence. But I’ve learned that indulgence comes at a great cost and that cost is not one I’m willing to pay. As my relationship with food continues to improve with each year, I no longer seek it out as a fix to my problems. Sure, on a really rough day, I’ll reach for the peanut butter. Straight up. And I am okay with that sometimes. I mean, peanut butter is  delicious. I’m being totally real with you. Truthfully, since transitioning to a whole foods plant based diet I have not craved sweets nearly at all. There’s some science behind this, but I’m not prepared to give you that with confidence quite yet. But my point here is, I have learned to never tell myself “no you cannot today” and instead to ask “what’s in it for me tomorrow?” and this has become habitual, and it’s very easy for me to say “no thank you” when offered things I used to always snatch up. Something about me has changed as well and my thoughts on what is truly delicious has completely changed! I thoroughly enjoy my food, folks. No joke. I have NO desire for cheap thrills. (Can I use that phrase without getting in trouble? Thank you, Sia. Ha!)

 

So let’s let loose a little bit, friends. There’s no need to stress. We are all busy, life moves at a breakneck speed, so we need to take charge of our health in a joyful way and not let it be one more thing to stress us out. That does seem a bit counterproductive, doesn’t it? Just as I quoted Sid Garza Hillman last week in Healthy Eating When You’re Just Too Busy, “No matter how healthily you’re eating, if it’s causing you stress to do so, you’re not eating healthily.” 

On a semi-daily basis you will see me break some kind of dance in my kitchen over my smoothie. My kids are picking up my total white girl moves, and I think we can all be okay with that. If you struggle with any kind of stress or anxiety, like me, one more thing to add stress to your life can seem like you’re living in a prison, it can feel like you’re limiting your freedom. But for me, my lifestyle choices provide the most freedom of any physical decision I have ever made. I can feel “me” coming back into my life. Does that make sense? Adulthood can be a reality check we aren’t ready for. At least it was for me. I lost a little bit of my zest for life. Not to get too deep on you, but there’s a deep connection between the food we eat and the condition of our soul. I think God intended it to be this way. To think that we can ingest whatever we want and carry on with life wondering why we are the way we are is ridiculous. Our food needs to be the first place we look to address issues. Without food, we cannot sustain our life for long. Food is what gives us physical life. So the quality OF OUR LIFE depends on the quality of what’s giving us that life. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

How do you stress less about healthy eating and living? How do you embrace it on a day to day basis so you can stay strong? How do you stay motivated and excited about it?

Share your inspiring words below!



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