As you go about your busy life, you will understandably be looking for shortcuts – ways to fit everything into your hectic schedule of working, raising a family and caring for your home. It can seem like an easy option to grab a snack for lunch or order a takeaway for dinner. They’re tasty, filling, and you don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning up. That’s precisely why convenience foods were developed, to relieve people of the time and effort involved in preparing a meal from scratch. The problem is that in the pursuit of quick and easy meal options, it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamental importance of a good diet to your health and well-being.
You would have had to have been living on the Moon not to have heard all about how important diet is, and it makes perfect sense. If you put good quality, nutritional foodstuffs into your system in the appropriate quantities, your body will operate more efficiently. You will, in turn, have more energy, feel better, feel happier and not have to worry so much about your weight. Sounds great, but faced with a choice of preparing chicken with asparagus, peas and new potatoes or just grabbing a burger on the way home, it’s all too tempting to opt for the burger. You may justify this to yourself by saying it’s just this once, or a treat never did anyone any harm. No problem with that though, is it can become four or five times a week, meaning it’s no longer a treat, it’s a lifestyle.
Why does it matter so much?
Your body and brain are your life, the support mechanisms for your soul and intellect. If your body fails, you fall ill and ultimately die. Lifespans might be increasing, but if you live into your nineties you’re still bucking the odds, so the time you have to enjoy life and live it to the full is inevitably finite. If you find yourself moaning about aches and pains, not feeling right, having skin problems, digestive problems, or gaining weight, these are all side effects of a poor diet. You can also bring on some serious and life-threatening health conditions if you pay no regard to what you eat, and by living a healthier lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes or cancer isn’t as likely.
If you want to get the most out of your life, you must take care of your body and treat it well. It’s no good existing on a diet of soda, chips and cookies and expecting your body to run at peak efficiency; you’re more likely to be fat, miserable and lethargic. When you’re young, you can eat what you like and because your body is strong and resilient, you don’t notice the effects. As you get older, these become far more obvious, and your quality of life starts to suffer.
What is a good diet?
You’ll have no problem finding information on how to eat healthily, as there are an extraordinary number of websites and books dealing with this topic. Advice does change over time as more research is done and more is known about food and its effects on our bodies. The principles have been broadly the same for years though; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality sources of protein, and moderate levels of carbohydrates, including wholefoods for fiber. Fats can be good or bad, and this has been an area of intense interest in recent years. It has been found that some fats are highly beneficial and essential to our diet, but others are not, and may contribute to obesity and poor nutrition. Avoiding sugar and bad fats are the most important things you can do to improve your health and keep your weight down, and increasing the quantities of fruit and vegetables will give your body a nutritional boost.
You can also add supplements to your diet if you are concerned that something is missing, or if you want to try new ways of improving your health even further. Be careful when buying these products, and check for quality and authenticity. You can buy supplements for almost any condition or to assist any part of your body that you feel is under par, from old remedies like cider apple vinegar to modern health-boosting products like KetoMCT.
Making it easier to stay healthy
If you’re thinking that’s all well and good, but in the real world you still have a hundred things to do every day and finding the time and energy to cook healthy meals is hard, there are a few things you can do to make it less of a hassle. First off, don’t feel like you have to go from one extreme to the other and live on a diet of brown rice and kale. A takeaway once a month isn’t going to be the end of the world as long as you are eating well the rest of the time, so start by planning to cook one or two days, then increase this as you get used to the process and start to enjoy the dishes you’re preparing.
If you have kids, get them involved in the cooking. They can be quite useful, you are spending time with them, and you can have a lot of fun. It also gives them an appreciation for good food and teaches them important life skills. When you’re looking for recipes, go for the simplest ones first, not those that require you to spend four hours sweating over a hot stove. Start by cooking on days when you are off work or aren’t feeling too exhausted. You can cook big batches of food and freeze the excess for use when you are particularly tired or tight for time. If even this seems like too much, you can always turn to pre-prepared potatoes and bagged salads, for example, to accompany a grilled steak you have cooked fresh yourself.
Once you’ve made a start, you will soon start to enjoy the home-cooked, healthy meals you’re preparing, and of course, you’ll feel the benefits in your health and well-being. Do as much as you can to take good care of your body, and you will lead a happier, healthier life.