Have you ever thought about how your space and where you are often dictate whether you make healthy food choices, or not so healthy ones. How you prepare your space and is one of the key tips for making the food choices that will make you feel good, energized and more apt to make healthier choices throughout the rest of your day and in the other areas of your day.
Here is my example. I normally do a weekly meal plan and shopping and prepping on Sundays. If you have noticed, there were no meal plans posted here for the past two weeks. Yikes! What has happened to my perfectly planned routine? Well, life happened as it often does and I let other things take over. Of course, that’s just fine and I did re-group later in the week for some quick, healthy meals for the boys, but I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to keep “our space” clean and organized, allowing the best food options to take center stage.
Take a look at my fridge from earlier today . . .
When I open the refrigerator door around 4 pm when I am normally hungry and scrounging around for something to eat, what are my choices here? Hmmmmmm, I don’t really see anything. I know I have some vegetables in the vegetable drawer and some fruit in the fruit drawer. I know there is some hummus somewhere. There seems to be some grapes in that bag to the right. There just isn’t anything popping out at me saying, “Here I am! I’m delicious and healthy and right in front of your nose! Don’t go to that pantry . . . Eat here . . . . ” So then I meander on over to that pantry to look where the healthy options are nuts, seeds and nut butter. Those are all fine and good, but really calorie dense and need to be carefully portioned controlled. And if you are really hungry that’s a bit difficult.
So, I made a grocery list and made the trip to the store with a couple of meal options in my head to get us through he rest of the week. I’m not sure about you, but our weeks lately have been a bit off schedule with Fall Break, travel, and evening school functions. When that happens it makes meal planning a bit trickier, so I try to have options available that work for whoever is around or that can be put away in the freezer until next week. I’m sure you know what I mean! My biggest pet peeve is throwing away perfectly good produce and meats because we didn’t have the opportunity to cook and eat them!
Instead of stuffing the fruit out of sight in the fruit drawer and vegetables in the bin, I cleaned out, organized and put the good stuff right at eye level. Isn’t that the marketing trick they use at the grocery store for all the junk food and candy at checkout? Put it at eye level and you think you just HAVE to have it! So, here’s my refrigerator now . . .
Now, look a there! There are sliced cucumbers, peppers and carrots just waiting when someone wants something crunchy or something to eat with hummus. There are sliced mangoes, grapes, a few figs and blueberries ready to grab. The string cheese isn’t hidden under the lettuce, and the cottage cheese and yogurt is in sight. I had completely forgotten I had sweet potatoes, so I was also able to have one for lunch now that they are out of hiding.
Our space, the refrigerator, is now set up for making the best healthy choices the minute the door is opened. Making these healthy choices for meals and snacks will lead to other healthy choices. Feeling good and energized helps you want to get off the couch, get to the gym, go to the park with your kiddos, walk the dog, and make other good choices. It’s that domino effect. One good thing leads to another.
So, wherever you, whatever your space, and whatever your schedule, making an attempt to setting yourself up makes a difference. I remember a few years ago I took the two olders boys on a road trip of college tours. Before we left I packed a cooler with waters, fruit, yogurt, protein bars and milk for my coffee. I knew we would be eating “road” food and in restaurants so I wanted to make sure I had set myself up for healthy options for the rest of the day. Think about your desk drawer, or office refrigerator. What is there to help you when you are hungry? Take a few minutes and take in some healthy options to set yourself up for your day. It may sound completely dorky, but it can make such a difference in how you approach that snack or lunch. Then your next choice has a better chance to be a healthy one, too. Keep the domino effect going!
What do you do to set up your space? What tips do you have to begin the domino effect? How often do you clean that darn fridge?
Enjoy Your Day!