Too Busy to Eat Healthy? Then, You Are Too Busy
You have heard the arguments regarding the importance of a nutritious diet and living a healthy lifestyle. This is an additional alert to help you understand that good nutrition is essential for busy people in order to live long, healthy lives. In the rush of living and getting everything done, that is often the last thing on their minds.
You rush in the morning to get everything organized before you jump in the car and go to the office – often skipping breakfast, or grabbing a strong coffee latte and doughnut on the way to work.
You scramble through the day, grabbing a Danish and another coffee mid-morning, and a little later, you spend a quick 30 minutes to grab a hamburger and fries at the nearest fast-food establishment or local diner for lunch.
Then, it’s back to the office to work diligently until the mid-afternoon slump hits a couple of hours later. You guzzle down another cup of coffee, a cola, or the Monster drink you brought from home, and a candy bar from the vending machine – just to keep you going. With all that sugar and caffeine running through your system, it is no wonder that you have trouble sleeping at night.
Finally, the day is over. It is time to pick up the children from school and try to figure out what to serve for dinner – often it is order-in Chinese, a couple of large pizzas, a quick-stop at the nearest drive-thru, or prepackaged/frozen dinners that can be prepared and served in a matter of minutes. Everyone wolfs down the food and then collapse in front of the TV until it is time to fall into bed completely exhausted.
This scenario, with a few variations, is the average weekday for a majority of the working class in the United States. If you stop to analyze the eating habits specifically, it should not be surprising that we are a nation of exhausted, overweight, and unhealthy individuals – rearing overweight and unhealthy children.
Taking it a step further, people seem to be completely unaware, confused, or simply disinterested in what actually constitutes a healthy meal. As a result, even though there are healthy options available, people either choose to remain uninformed or ignore what they know to be true, because ease and convenience are their highest priorities.
On the other hand, there others who actually have no idea that their eating habits are hurting them and believe that as long as they eat regularly, they are OK, with little thought about what they are eating.
One fact that busy people do not consider is that the busier they are, the more important good nutrition becomes.
When you spend your entire day running from one responsibility to another, your body must have the proper fuel to sustain the effort and stay healthy. When you do not feed your body foods filled with the necessary nutrients, it will eventually begin to break down.
Any (or all) of the following can happen: you feel tired all the time, have trouble sleeping, experience the jitters, become short-tempered, and you catch every bug that comes around. Your amazing body can only take the mistreatment for so long and as it steadily weakens from the lack of nutritious food, you can develop serious chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, and heart problems – plus increase your risk for contracting many other diseases. Your body cannot protect you if it is denied the nutrition it needs to do its job.
The real problem is that on some level people believe that if they are eating (anything) they are fueling their body. As a result, when they get hungry, very busy people tend to fuel their bodies with foods that are high in calories, high in unhealthy fats and refined sugar, and loaded with caffeine, sodium, and additives. The bottom line is they are ingesting an excessive number of calories and receiving practically no nutrient value what-so-ever.
Start the Challenge by Making the Time to Eat a Healthy Breakfast
People get into the habit of thinking that they do not have the time to eat a good breakfast, or to pack a healthy lunch. The reality is that their health is not important enough to get up 15-20 minutes earlier every day to make the time. Those few minutes will make it possible even with the morning rush to sit down to scrambled eggs and a whole-grain bagel with almond butter, rather than grabbing a Mountain Dew and Pop-tart as you run out the door. You will even have a few minutes to pack a healthy sandwich and fruit for lunch.
If that 15 minutes of sleep is a problem, go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier in the evening.
Taking the time to start the day with a healthy breakfast is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of your family. Remember, the habits that you teach your children are the habits that they will take with them to adulthood.