There’s so much written about nutrition, and it can seem overwhelming at times. Superfoods! Antioxidants. Gluten? Omega-3s. Amino acids? We care a lot about nutrition at DinnerTime, and are fascinated by emerging science of why certain foods have particular effects on our bodies. But the reality is, knowing what to eat is relatively simple for most people; it’s the behavior — eating what we intend — that is challenging.
Like most people, I want to eat healthy. I know that if I eat a balanced diet with fresh vegetables and proteins, I will have more energy, better skin, and a sunnier attitude. However, I’m easily tempted by anything “carby.” You know — the pastry, pizza and ice cream variety? I joke that I love carbs and carbs love me (they never leave me but take up residence in my thighs!). However, some carbs are good for me, like the ones in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. I know that if I fill up with whole foods including healthy carbs, I will feel full longer, have more energy, and my desire for sugary treats diminishes.
Temptations present themselves all the time, and while I may indulge on occasion, because I am eating healthier, I am able to resist. A recent Cornell study recognizes that we are presented over 200 food choices every day. That’s a lot of decision making! I don’t want to say I will never ever have pastry again. I just say “I’m not going to have it today.” Every year in January, people vow to “get healthier,” but by the 2nd of February, 80% have given up. This year I feel like I am making progress. March is National Nutrition Month, which reminds me to take stock of my healthy intentions’ progress, and assess what is working and where I can improve.
As I thought about what I have done to stick to my healthy intentions, it became clear that there are three key actions I take each week that have helped keep me on track. There are still those times when I lose control or life just interferes, however. When this occurs, I ask myself, Have I done step 1, step 2 and step 3? If I haven’t, I don’t beat myself up. Being aware of my actions helps me get back on track. I know what works, and that gives me the confidence to return to my healthy habits.