Reevaluate Your Eating Habits

June 14, 2015

    You get up in the morning and lay out your jogging clothes in preparation for your commitment to exercising daily. Imagine what could happen if you prepared some of your food choices in the same way--a visual reminder that these are the items you will be eating later. 

    I recently stayed in a B&B and the hostess displayed an array of grab and go food items on her counter. They included healthy nut bars, fresh fruit, small water bottles on ice and raw almonds.

    Her refrigerator had fresh cut vegetables with hummus ready to dip into at any moment. This attractive display on her counter and ready to eat veggie dish could make the difference in meeting a 5-a-day goal. 

    Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. 

    A recent Cornell University analysis of 112 studies collected information about healthy eating behaviors. The study found that most healthy eaters did so because a restaurant, grocery store, school cafeteria, or spouse made foods like fruits and vegetables visible and easy to reach (Convenient), enticingly displayed (Attractive), and appear like an obvious choice (Normal). You "CAN" make some easy changes in your daily activities that will help with your good eating habits.

Conveince - by having foods readily available and prepared ahead of time you can eliminate the quickly prepackaged food dilemma. Cut fresh vegetables and small tomatoes and place them on a serving tray in your refrigerator next to a small container of hummus or lite dressing or have small go-to containers of yogurt, cottage cheese, cut up fruits or fresh berries in front and handy. When you reach in to grab that quick bite of something it will be ready for your immediate consumption.

Attractive - a brightly colored bowl of fresh fruit on the counter always entices me to take just one bite. A study, published in Psychology and Marketing, by Brian Wansink director of the Cornell food and brand lab shows that when fruit is put in a nice bowl next to your car keys – or when a cafeteria puts it next to a well-lit cash register -- it becomes more convenient and attractive.

 Normal - grabbing a banana rather than the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the far back corner of the freezer.

    These three principles I believe can help us all continue our quest for healthy eating.