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This morning, I read an article about how calcium supplements are actually bad for you.
Then I went to the grocery store and deliberated about whether a gallon of organic milk is really worth $3 more than a gallon of conventional milk.
I lingered in the produce section for a little while trying to figure out which fruits to bring home. Nothing good was on sale.
I bought a box of organic fig bars and a package of whole wheat pretzels. I’d rather feed my kids homemade snacks, but I can only do so much.
I’m already worn out, and it isn’t even noon yet.
Healthy Eating Stress
We all want to feed our families well. We want our children to be healthy and we want to keep ourselves healthy. But choosing the best things to eat isn’t always easy, and it can actually cause a lot of stress for some people.
Food decisions are incessant. They come up several times a day, day after day. When life gets busy, it’s all too easy to grab junk food when we’re hungry.
And sometimes that’s okay. I think the stress of eating healthy can be even more damaging to your health than junk food is.
Minimize the Stress of Healthy Eating
Forming good habits is the best way to minimize the stress of healthy eating. These five tips will help to alleviate the stress and to remind you about what’s important.
Plan your meals.
If you do nothing else, do this one. Seriously. Just having a plan of action to help dictate what you buy at the store and make for dinner will minimize stress. If you’re new to the process, read my post about how to meal plan.
Stock your freezer with homemade food.
I’ve been known to deny my family seconds at dinnertime just so I can squirrel away the leftovers in the freezer. I know how much more that food will mean to me on a desperately busy night than a second bowl of chili will mean at the moment. Lately, I’ve gotten wiser and started putting the freezer stash away before we even eat.
Buy healthy food at the store.
When there’s a cabinet full of junk food in your kitchen, it will be harder to avoid eating it. Stock your cabinets with lots of healthy choices. If you don’t have boxes of cookies sitting around, that’s one less stressor to deal with.
Remember why you’re trying to eat healthy.
Focus on what’s at stake, and this can help calm the stress. My family’s health has improved a great deal since we cut back on processed food. When I remember how often we used to get sick with every cold and stomach bug that passed through my children’s school, it helps me to stay calm and focused. I have a concrete reason to believe that healthy eating is important.
Cut yourself some slack.
I don’t know anybody who feeds her family the best possible food all the time. Find your balance. We take our kids out for donuts after church a couple times a month. It’s completely against my food principles, but that’s partly why I do it. By embracing the occasional donut, we can persevere through the kale chips and lentil soup that we may not be excited about. (Although I do love kale chips and lentil soup. . .)
What stresses you out about eating healthy? Have you found a way to deal with the stress, or are you looking for ideas? Please let us know in the comments.