One of the biggest issues that I hear preventing people from making healthy choices is that they don’t have enough time. There isn’t enough time to prepare food or plan for meals when it isn’t a priority. I understand that developing new habits can be daunting and requires much practice before becoming seamless in day to day life. However, a path needs to be created that works with one’s lifestyle in order to make healthy habits a nonnegotiable on a daily basis. If we imagine what how our ancestors lived, the most important thing that they did was to secure food for themselves. Without nourishing food, they weren’t able to survive. Our culture has gotten so far away from our lives being centered around food, I have a few clients who say they don’t even have time for lunch. It doesn’t take a lot of time to eat well, but it does require organization and some forethought.
Baby steps need to be taken. Look for hidden time. When you are on the phone, put the headset on and start chopping vegetables or throwing some ingredients in the slow cooker. Make one grocery list for the week, having planned out what you are going to eat and repeat the same list on a weekly basis. You can still change the taste of what you are eating by using different vegetables or spices or cooking methods and your pantry and fridge will be stocked. While you are eating dinner or driving in the car, think about (or discuss with your partner) what you will be eating for the next day. Anticipate those truly busy days when you can have food packed, ready to eat on the go or to be reheated for a meal.
One household I know has decided that making dinner each night is a party. It is a way for the couple to reconnect after the day, and they each have a glass of wine and unwind while chopping and prepping food. Then they get to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal together, maybe even trying out a new recipe. This would also be a great time to cook once and have multiple meals prepared.
Make time for yourself. You are worth the investment.