Are you a pill popper? No, I don’t mean prescription pills. I’m talking about vitamins and supplements. I admit I take a few. I consider them to be inexpensive health insurance—extra doses of vitamins and nutrients for those days when I don’t eat balanced meals.
Then there are those supplements that promise things: like losing weight or having extra energy or becoming more focused. I confess to having purchased a few of those “magic pills” over the years. I wish I could say they work. Most don’t, and some even have side effects that don’t agree with me.
Now I have a drawer full of bottles of vitamins, supplements, and herbal concoctions, which may or may not be keeping me healthy. My husband thinks I’m crazy. He says eating properly provides all the nutrients your body needs.
Therein lies the rub. How well are we eating? When I see the lines at fast food restaurants, it seems most of us aren’t feeding ourselves very well. I’m sure the reason people fill up on fast food is because it’s easy and quick. It can’t be because the food tastes good because it doesn’t. In fact, most people don’t even taste fast food. They inhale it. It fills them up for the time being, but soon enough that little man in your tummy starts to growl and demand more.
Most of us know that too much fast food is not conducive to good health. But what can we do when we’re hungry and tired and need to eat? Here are some of my favorite tips for avoiding the temptation of fast food.
• Be a banana fan. Bananas are easy to eat and help quell hunger pains. Any fruit for that matter is a good snack when you’re hungry: apples, oranges, even dried fruits are great when you’re on the run.
• Go nuts for nuts. Buy them in bulk and make snack bags to take with you when you are headed to a soccer game or an appointment. Mix in a few raisins or dried cranberries, and you have healthy munchies to get you through to your next meal.
• Unwrap an energy bar. These bars are so handy and offer better nutrition than a burger and fries. Some bars taste better than others, so try a few varieties. Look for those that contain protein, since that’s what helps you feel full. You can also experiment with making your own energy bars at home. It’s not rocket science.
• Grab an egg to go. Cook up some hard-boiled eggs, and take a couple with you for a healthy (and filling) snack. Peel them and put them in a baggie with a couple dashes of salt and pepper. Perfect!
• Buy some fresh veggies and prepare them in advance: wash, peel, cut, and stash in a baggie or a plastic container. My faves are radishes, carrots, and celery. Peter likes jicama!
Dinner is my favorite time of the day. I’m done with work and can spend time in the kitchen smelling, tasting, chopping, and cooking food. Sure, dinner takes a little time to prepare, but the benefits are many: your cooking is infinitely healthier than fast food and you save money by eating at home.
I’ll probably still keep taking my supplements (so far I feel pretty darn good!), but Peter’s right. How healthy we are is due in large part to what we put in our mouths (and how much). I hope you take the time this month to enjoy some healthy slow food.