I’m often asked how I make time to fit everything in – work, school runs, after school clubs, working out, voluntary work and above all cooking. “You’re very good” they will say, “you always make time for food”.
One of the main things that has struck me during conversations with friends, family and colleagues is how many people seem unable to make time for food. I know that sounds ridiculous – making time for food? What does that even mean? Anyone who has ever made the decision to ‘go on a diet’ or ‘eat healthily’ or even ‘cook a nice meal’ will know that’s it’s time consuming. All that peeling, chopping, preparing and cooking… who’s got time for that?
Many of us are so used to opening a packet, heating and eating and that can be OK. Is it the best food though? I believe that food is fuel so can any pre-created pre-packaged food be the best choice? A jar of pasta sauce – it’s easy to open, heat and pour onto your pasta. But is it that hard to chop and fry an onion, pour in a can of tinned tomatoes and throw in some herbs and garlic? The nutritional content will be much higher and added salt and sugar will be way lower.
If you truly want to improve your diet then it’s important to make a little extra time for food. There’s nothing you can do about the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal or snack but you can control how and when that preparation happens. Plan meals in your mind or make a list. Cooking a roast on Sunday? Leftover meat can be used in lunches or evening meals… think chicken salad, chicken and bacon pasta sauce, chicken curry.
5 mins prep on a weekday evening can mean you can have a delicious and nutritious home made lunch to take to work the following day. I have many lunch ideas to look at on my Instagram page. As the Body Coach says – prep like a boss!
Breakfast is an area where it’s easy to go for a sugar filled unhealthy option due to what we perceive as ‘lack of time’. But how long does it actually take to choose a healthier option? Not that much longer – boiling an egg takes 5 minutes, scrambling one in the microwave even less. Chopping a few nuts into your cereal takes a matter of seconds. Adding a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt to your cereal won’t add any time at all.
If like me you like to work out and keep fit you might find as I did that after a while the workouts won’t seem to shift those stubborn areas of extra weight. But now I know from experience that it’s not until you practice clean eating that you will see the difference in your body. It’s true what they say – Fitness is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition.
So are people unable to make time for food or just unwilling? Food shouldn’t be an afterthought. It shouldn’t be something to shove down your throat and then forget or regret. Every meal should be cherished, thought out, planned and enjoyed. This takes a bit of time and dedication but the benefits are immeasurable.