Most people know they should be eating better but are stuck in this spiral of not feeling good, and then not wanting to cook. So, what do they do? They turn to fast food and eating junk, then that makes them feel worse so this pattern continues. The vicious cycle. Soon, they are in so deep that they do not feelgood enough to crawl out of this hole. Sometimes, it is just because you are feeling run down; other times it is because you are dealing with other health issues that keep you feeling so bad that you cannot fathom doing the work to get healthy.
This is a sucky situation to be in. It is a struggle, and you feel like no one understands that you just don't feel good enough to even care that much about what you are eating. The catch is you have to be eating better to feel better, but until you feel better you do not feel like doing any sort of cooking or planning. So what do you do? How do you start?
First things first, you need some easy solutions for how you can start getting your nutrition back on track. The simplest thing you can do is get some precooked healthier foods.
- Rotisserie chicken is delicious and already cooked and hot. Most grocery stores carry it. You just cut off your chunk of meat, toss it with a vegetable and you have a meal!
- Precooked meats and side dishes from your deli are also readily available. They usually have a variety of cooked meats and side dishes ready to go.
- Prepared frozen meals can be an easy option such as: Kashi meals, Healthy Choice, Amy’s, Organic Bistro... the list goes on and on. Basically, find something that looks like it has good ingredients and has protein, carbs and veggies. You do not want frozen dinners that are just pasta. This will not be a balanced meal. Instead stick to well-rounded meals. You can also buy frozen precooked meats, veggies and rice separately. There are a lot of choices when it comes to this. All you do is heat them all up and you’re good to go.
- Keep soups on hand. Talk about an easy and soothing meal. You can get a chicken and rice soup and be doing something tasty, healthy, and easy.
Pre-make Meals When You Have a Good Day
I know that when you are run down or not feeling well, good days can be hard to come by, but when you are having a day that you are feeling a bit better take advantage of it. Prep a few meals. It could be as simple as a stir fry that you freeze for later, or a burrito filled with lean protein. On the days that you are not feeling like you can do much, you can be searching for easy meal and recipe ideas so that you have that step done so you are ready to go on the good days.
But What if You are Craving Comfort Food?
Most people turn to carbs when they want comfort foods. Don't stress about it being perfect. Just make it a little bit better. Make sure you have at least a little bit of protein with it and some vegetables.
For example, if you absolutely have to have macaroni and cheese, can you toss some cooked chicken and broccoli in? It is not a "perfect meal," but it is a heck of a lot better than just carbs and cheese.
If a grilled cheese is what sounds good, then add a little meat in the middle. Add some broccoli with ranch on the side as well. Is this the best possible meal choice? No, but at least you will be getting some protein and vegetables. When you are not feeling well, the most important thing is to get more nutrients in your diet. Don't worry like crazy if it is super lean. Just get protein and veggies in with your carb-tastic meal. When you feel run down, ill, and stressed and are craving comfort food, you must first give your body some nutrition so it can start to climb out of the hole you are in.
Supplements may help give you the extra boost you need to get back in the game. Talk to your doctor about what they would recommend. There are many supplements that may help especially depending on what health challenges you are facing. For general energy and health, some things that have helped many people are:
- Multi Vitamins - A good multiple vitamin can go a long way, especially if you are getting sub part nutrition from your current meals. You can go to a supplement shop and find some good ones.
- B Complex – A good B Complex can give a much needed boost to your low energy levels.
- Green Drinks - Green drinks are especially good when you are not wanting to eat your veggies or just not having the energy to make them. You can get a whole serving of vegetables and sometimes fruit as well in a good green drink. Look at the ones available, some taste great and some taste very...green. When you go to your local health food or vitamin shop you can ask them for the best tasting one, and they will usually point you in the right direction.
Do what you can, but do not stress out too much either. The stress will just cause more complications when you are already dealing with health concerns. I know this can be a hard move to make when you are dealing with other health concerns, but it is also vital for you to get healthy. Start doing what you can to make these changes. If all you can manage are very small steps, then that is okay. You are headed in the right direction. Eventually, you will achieve the health you are working towards.