Healthy eating is tough. On my journey to a healthy lifestyle I’ve experienced my share of challenges.
I have my derailers – those food situations that don’t seem to have a healthy way out, other than starvation. I’ve chosen the “lesser of two evils” many times only to discover there was an even better solution that never came to mind. I’m happy to say that recently I’ve successfully navigated out of situations that would have led me down a path of compromise in the past.
Here’s a great example of keeping my commitment to healthy eating in a less than ideal situation…
One morning, I got up at 5:45, did my morning stretches then hit the shower so I could attend morning Mass at 6:45. Breakfast before Mass would not be an option since we Catholics abstain from food and drink for an hour before attending Mass. After Mass I would have about 15-20 minutes to spare before hitting the highway for work at 8. Where was I going to find a breakfast with no dairy or grain in it with so little time?
McDonald’s of course!
No, really. Seriously. Why are you laughing? Stop!
Anyway, I jumped into my car after Mass and pulled up McDonald’s on my smartphone. Big Breakfast…ok. What’s in it? Eggs, sausage, biscuit and hash browns. Perfect! Toss the potatoes and bread and I’m good. They even had a calorie breakdown on their site. 740 calories for the whole meal with 1560g of sodium and 51g of carbs. That’s a bit much. But their site allows me to customize my meal and recalculate the calories. I unchecked the hash browns and biscuit. 340 calories, much better. A little high on the sodium and fat but not bad for being in a pinch.
Overcoming Past Healthy Eating Failures
Now I’ve tried this strategy before and not had much luck. Like the day I decided to eat the burger and skip the fries. “Oh, but they look so good – maybe I’ll have one. Ok, maybe another.” You know the rest…
And then there was the day I took half of the bagel off my bagel sandwich. Cuts down the carbs big time. “Man that bagel was good. I’ll just take a small bite of the half I set aside.” Ridiculous…
Could I turn over a new leaf with this Big Breakfast?
Yes! Yes! Yes! (Shout out to the WWE fans in the house.)
The bread and taters went back in the bag and into the back seat. Out of sight, out of mind. Not quite…
Out of sight, yes. Out of smell, hardly. It was touch and go for a minute. BUT I DID IT! The hash browns and biscuit never saw the light of day. They went into the first garbage can I could find.
Who knew a Mickey D’s breakfast could help keep my healthy eating plan on track. But I digress…the point is not to start making fast food a staple of your diet. My message is to think outside the box when you find yourself in these potentially diet-busting situations. There are always alternatives. It’s ok to toss out foods that aren’t healthy. It’s ok to ask for modifications when you’re dine in a restaurant. It might feel weird the first time but it’s ok. It’s your meal.
[reminder]What healthy eating dilemmas have you faced and how have you navigated through them?[/reminder]