I don’t know about you guys, but I have a terrible habit of justifying eating crappy foods by referring to them as “comfort food” – this notion of junky food being capable of making my bad day better is really toxic in my mind. Some days I have no self control! Just last night I found myself lying in bed with a terrible stomachache, and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized it was because I ate so much junk yesterday.
So how the heck am I supposed to break the habit of eating such bad food? It all tastes so good…
…and that’s where I stop myself. When I’m walking through my dorm’s dining area, I can smell all of the fried and fatty foods – from chicken strips to mashed potatoes with gravy to mac and cheese to french fries – and it can seem so easy to just walk up and order a meal like that. But I told myself this morning that, after how terrible I felt last night, I needed to eat something nutritive. So I did! My lunch was a salad with lots of lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots, topped with shredded cheese, tuna, and a little ranch dressing; on the side I had an orange. So yummy!
When you are eating, you are performing a function necessary for life. You consume food for the purpose of providing energy for your organs to continue working properly – so when you put good stuff in there, your organs will thank you! However, if you’re eating strictly to appease your nose or your tongue, you’re missing out on a whole mess of awesomeness, and instead are generally left feeling dissatisfied. So before I fix my meal, I try and think – how does each thing I’m putting on my plate benefit my body?
It’s good to have protein, and nutrients from dairy can be helpful. But ultimately, the colorful should outweigh everything else in your diet! If your plate looks like a rainbow (that does NOT include skittles), chances are you’re in for a well-balanced meal. Meat should be a small portion, with some sort of carb(s) for energy and lots of fruits/veggies. The reason I consider my salad healthy was because my lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots were in larger quantity than my tuna, cheese, and dressing; I had a fruit on the side as well, which not only packed vitamin C, but also helped me stay full! One thing I’m bad about when I’m eating a salad as a meal is not eating enough – so I’m left hungry for a snack later on. As long as your meal is quality, eating a full portion size is important. (If you’re eating pizza rolls, however…maybe not so much!) Simply changing the way you look at your food can make a huge difference in your diet.