I've been hearing this topic everywhere lately. Overheard in a coffee shop, asked outright by customers and friends, and splashed all over the internet, people are so busy with life that cooking at home isn't even an option anymore. As one of my latest video topics on Livestrong Woman, I couldn't help but comment further on this topic, along with the featured Tabouleh recipe in the video.
Growing up with the house rule of being around the dinner table by 7pm every single night of the week, I'm lucky to say I don't know any different. Eating out is a complete luxury, whether it's passing through the drive thru or sitting down for a fancy 4 course meal, the luxury is all the same for me. The recipes I make every night, however, don't involve hours of preparation nor are ingredients incredibly rich and fattening. It's all about keeping it simple and remembering to have a larger meal at lunchtime and a smaller dish for dinner.
I speak from personal experience here. Within a day or two, you'll notice a difference when you wake up in the morning. You'll feel lighter and start to see a shift in your energy. Now this change alone won't make you feel any sort of drastic change, but combined with healthier choices throughout the day, plus some regular exercise, change is imminent. With any diet and lifestyle change, make sure to consult your doctor first so that you know this is the right new lifestyle for you.
Think about it. At lunchtime, we have many hours left in the day. Most of us have a minimum of 4-5 hours left at work alone, not to mention after work activities, workout sessions, and time to be with your kids and families. That's a ton of energy that needs the right amount of fuel to keep going, so why skimp on having a decent meal to get you through? Two hours after lunch, you find yourself suffering through the afternoon slump and painfully making it through to dinnertime. At which point you'll be lying down and falling asleep, which doesn't nearly require as much energy. So why do Americans have it backwards?
It doesn't need to be a drastic change, start slowly, adopting the switch just one day a week, then two days, and so on. See how you feel and keep it going if you find it works for you. But don't make a rookie mistake, eating a bigger meal doesn't mean eating so much you'd rather take a nap than work 3 more hours. Instead, pack your lunch with protein, whole grains, and veggies, just as you would do for dinner. And nix those ready made frozen lunches, there's way more random stuff in those things than actual food. Not a healthy choice (despite what the packaging tells you).
What have we learned, then? I hope that you have at least considered to start making more of an effort to take care of yourself. Take a few extra minutes (not hours!) to nourish your body in a way that will benefit everyone in your life, not just yourself. I'm willing to bet that over time, you'll start to crave this lifestyle, and seek out additional ways that you can be healthy. Start with simple recipes, with only a handful of ingredients, and items you can find already cleaned and cut to save on prep time. Eating healthy really can be easy, you just need to start.
A votre santé!