A Lazy Eater’s Guide to Healthy Cooking
In fact, I consider myself a pretty lazy healthy eater: I don’t watch my calorie intake, I don’t add wheat grass to every smoothie, I don’t overexert myself trying to find the best mix of recipes for being in perfect hormonal balance. There are lots of things with regards to healthy eating that I don’t do.
I like it this way. Instead, I listen to what my body needs and wants in the moment and provide it that, without judgment for whether it’s kale or buttery bread. I experiment with how to fulfill these needs, finding delicious, healthier options over time.
For example, say my body is craving sugar. Does my body want licorice or fresh oranges? Sometimes it’s the former, sometimes it’s the latter.
In my world of lazy healthy eating, both of those options are OK. Why? Because it’s what my body needs, and, for me, that automatically makes it OK. And over time, I’ve found healthier, delicious alternatives to what the average person eats (like sugary sweets) and have filled up my cabinets with them.
The first time I found licorice made from all-natural ingredients, I jumped up and down in the food aisle; I was doubly excited when I discovered flavors like coconut-mango. Don’t even get me started on Acai sorbet or coconut milk green tea ice cream. Yum!
While I think everyone needs to find what works best for him or herself, I think many could stand to add a little mindful laziness to their eating routine and be kinder towards their bodies’ desires. The operative word, here, is “mindful”. There’s a big difference between lazy eating and mindful lazy eating.
Lazy eating means eating whatever you can get your hands on, arteries be damned (can I say this here?).
Mindful lazy eating has to do with intentional, gradual change and non-judgment. You listen to your body’s needs and set yourself up to make better eating choices over time.
It’s important here to note that only you and a licensed professional can define what “healthy” means for you.
That being said, if lazy healthy eating sounds intriguing to you, here are my suggestions on getting started:
1) Instead of “no”, say “how about this?” Instead of assuming you can’t fulfill that craving of yours, recognize that there may be an option out there that’s delicious AND good for you, you may just have to dig around to find it. When you find it, though, the research will have been well-worth it.
2) Set yourself up for sustainable change. My cabinet is set with all sorts of scrumptious, good-for-me goodies and easy-to-make healthy dinners. Stocking up like this took me four years, though, with lots of experimenting along the way – which continues, still. Now, however, I’m set for easily making good eating decisions. Healthy eating should be easy; if it’s not, it’s going to be a lot harder to sustain.
3) Be kind towards your body’s gradual adjustment. If a healthy option is not around and I really want a donut, I let myself have it. Why not? Really, what’s one donut going to do? Especially in my world of making gradually better eating choices? Berating myself won’t make me healthier, and neither will forcing myself to go faster than I’m ready to. However, if what would make me feel best is not eating that donut, then I don’t. If I know I won’t feel god eating something, then I don’t.
So, could you eating habits do with a little more mindful laziness? What would lazy healthy eating look like for you?