Hey, hey, hey and welcome to lucky lesson 8, one of my favorites, because here we address the challenges involved in adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
As you try to adopt a habit, you can bet there will be obstacles along the way. That’s just life. Let’s take a look at a few lifestyle change realities that might present.
I’m Not a Great Cook!
For the most part, food is healthier when you cook it at home because you control the oil, butter, and salt that are used. When you eat out, you really never know what the chef is adding to a dish to make it taste so yummy (and sometimes it is—gasp—a generous helping of butter). Dishes you cook at home can taste great sans butter, it just requires a little effort and education.
Newsflash: You can learn to cook healthy foods at home. Anyone who can read and follow directions can cook. All it takes is practice and you will get better. At least try it for a couple of weeks. Some websites to visit for recipes are forksoverknives.com or epicurious.com. Or try a service like HelloFresh that supplies ready-to-cook meal kits that are a snap to prepare.
But say you’ve given cooking a shot and you just don’t like it. Although I enjoy it, I certainly understand that not everyone does. If you are averse to cooking for this reason, it is time to explore your options. Some grocery stores offer healthy-ish, gourmet take-out like kale salads and sriracha Brussels sprouts. If the offerings are tasty, work within your budget, and get you eating healthier, I say stock up on the your local market’s grilled lean protein, vegetables, beans, and whole grain dishes. Also, look into storefronts that stock fresh precooked meals.
The Mental Game
When food tastes good, it is more satisfying. I feel great when I eat a ton a vegetables. I feel like I can see it in my skin, attitude, and body. I feel strong and alert when I eat an amazing salad topped with a piece of salmon.
Inevitably, though, a week or so after being “good” and enjoying a healthy lifestyle, I begin to crave something sweet. For me, it is typically a good chocolate chip cookie OR a really amazing piece of cake. What to do when craving strikes? Lean in!
The great news is that the flexitarian lifestyle is all about—altogether now—flexibility. When craving strikes, experts recommend distracting yourself with a book, movie, or by keeping busy to see if the craving goes away. If it does, great. If not, then embrace the craving.
Go get the yummiest, best cookie you can find. Just get one, though. Don’t make an entire batch, because that will encourage unhealthy eating and sabotage your good habits. Eat the cookie, savor it, and really ENJOY it. Don’t give yourself a hard time about it. Finally, move on and get back on track.
Tomorrow: I look forward to discussing tools and tips for eating in and out.
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