Sometimes I Get Tired of Eating Healthy
I remember the weekend I decided I’d had enough of eating real food.
I’d been on my real food journey for about eight months. The week before I began a new job, carted my son to soccer camp every day, and wrote research papers and took final exams for my Master’s degree.
In between I did a million little things like blog work, soccer team manager tasks, and everyday parenting duties.
I was toast! All I wanted was to eat a meal without having to think and do so much to get it on the table.
It was the first time I admitted to myself that sometimes I get tired of eating healthy.
Over the years I’ve been able to get through those days when I’m tired of healthy eating without completely falling off the wagon. Read on for my best tips for when you, inevitably, get tired of eating healthy.
Truth: Eating a Real Food Diet Takes A lot of Work
We’re all busy right? Sometimes we can do things to lessen our load and sometimes, especially as parents, we simply can’t avoid a busy life.
The truth is when you don’t have a freezer full of frozen boxes and bags with food waiting to be nuked in the microwave you have to work a little harder for your meals.
If my family is gonna eat, I’ve gotta get cookin’. From scratch.
Cooking every meal and most snacks (these are my favorite healthy packaged snacks) takes a lot of planning and preparation.
I Hit a Healthy Eating Wall
Back to that weekend when I decided I was tired of eating healthy food . . .
Sunday morning I woke up after my first full night of sleep all week and was excited to be making soaked pancakes.
I was kinda over how much time it took to make this nourishing, slow food recipe, but at the time sprouted flour didn’t fit in our tight food budget. Soaking was the best way to make wheat products more easily digestible.
The bulk section of the health food store had been out of white wheat flour, so I used whole wheat instead.
It was a disaster. The pancakes were turning out tough, thick and . . . blech. I actually stopped making the pancakes halfway through (I make a quadruple batch to freeze in order to save time in the future) because they were turning out so . . . well . . . not tasty.
Now, if you are a traditional, real food cook you know that each batch of a traditional food recipe may turn out a bit differently than the one before. There is a wide range of normal for some dishes, but these pancakes were truly horrible.
There I stood in my kitchen on a quiet Sunday morning knowing there was no way I would be serving these awful pancakes to my family. I was suddenly so tired of the hassle of healthy eating.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up. I wanted to suggest IHOP for breakfast. I wanted to go to the store and stroll down the inner aisles, tossing into my cart anything that looked delicious and quick and easy.
Instead, I dug in the freezer and found a batch of soaked muffins to serve my family. I was grateful that I’d made an extra batch so we could still eat healthy, but I was sad that my real food diet had ‘gotten real’ all of sudden.
Over the years, as the seasons of life ebb and flow, I’ve occasionally wanted to ditch healthy eating for one reason or another. When I’m too busy, when I’m stressed, when I’m craving the unhealthy foods I used to love so much, I sometimes think healthy eating is boring or tiresome.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to climb back on the wagon each time and continue to make real food and healthy eating a priority for my family. I’m happy to share my tips with you for the next time you get tired of eating healthy.
What To Do When You Get Tired of Eating Healthy
Remember That Healthy Eating is All About 80/20
Healthy eating isn’t an all or nothing thing. If you’re eating well 80 percent of the time your body can handle 20 percent of less-than-ideal food.
Most days you’ll hit 100% real food and some days you won’t. It’s okay. It’s all about balance.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Speaking of balance . . . health and perfectionism don’t belong together. Trying to eat a perfect diet is bad for your emotional health. If you’re not mentally and emotionally healthy your physical health will also suffer.
Repeat after me . . . 80/20, 80/20, 80/20 . . .
Give Yourself Some Slack
You can call it slack, you can call it excuses. I don’t care what you call it as long as you’re gentle with yourself.
When you know life will be busy or when life surprises you – like it does – these next three tips are important.
Your job is go with the flow and banish the guilt.
Eat a Meal Out
Whether you do it because you’re busy or because you’re bored with healthy food, plan that 20% portion of your diet and enjoy the heck out of it!
Make a regular plan to eat out if your budget allows for it. Regular doesn’t mean daily, of course. It could mean monthly or even weekly. It might mean every other month for you. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s within your 20%, within your budget, and it gives you something to look forward to.
Planning a meal out now and then helps me to stay on track the rest of the time. You may call it rewarding myself with food, I call it enjoying life.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up For Serving Convenience Food
I’m talking to you, moms. Hey, sometimes the kids want boxed macaroni and cheese. If it’s part of their 20% and it’s making you a more patient and loving mom . . . feed them the mac and cheese!
It’s a good idea to keep some healthier convenient options on hand for those crazy times when you’re too busy to cook or your family wants ‘fun food’.
Plan Ahead When Possible
Do yourself a favor. Make double and triple batches of your family’s favorites so you can easily pull from your stock when you are too tired or too busy to cook.
This is the number one way I stay on the real food train when I’m tired of eating healthy.