I’m completely convinced that the one thing that makes eating healthy and clean is the lack of convenience. Add in a gluten free, dairy free, or grain free diet on top of that and the pickings are less than slim.
I have always known that we are a culture revolving around what is easiest, fastest, and less work. Our time is valuable, and often limited, thanks to a plethora of activities that consume us, and we just want to get in and get out. It’s what makes me drive that 10 minutes out of the way to the Starbucks that has the drive through, even though it ends up taking me longer to get my cup of joe. I even don’t care because I don’t have to get out of my car.
I didn’t realize just how amazing a drive through was until I had a kid. A parent with a child (or children) of any age will always opt for the path of least resistance, because you basically need a 10 week course in cattle wrangling to feel like you even have a handle on things. Your arms are full, you’re carrying a ton of extra crap, and those little buggars are fast! Mine is just barely walking and he moves like a ninja.
All that to say, as I continue to walk through my 120-day challenge, I am noticing all the ways I’ve used convenience and it’s lightening speed to my advantage. Often times this is to my detriment. I have spent significantly more time actually cooking in these last 6 weeks, and though I have not found it a chore, there are those times that I pine for that quick box of cereal or Luna bar.
At the beginning of each week, I boil a dozen eggs all at once, peel them, and then Gladlock them into my fridge for quick snacks when I need them. There are also more jars of pickles than are probably considered “normal” gracing those same shelves, and I have at least 3 containers of cottage cheese squeezed in beside the pickles. (And no, I’m not pregnant.) These are just some of the foods that I’m allowed to have, and they are easy to grab.
I have had to retrain my brain to not rely on boxed, pre-packaged, and drive through items in order to eat healthier. And let me tell you…it’s not been an easy task. I have, on at least 1 occasion, found myself driving into the Chick-Fil-A parking lot only to have to drive right back out like a crazy person.
We have them.
Lots of them.
And they are so hard to break.
But I’m so glad that I realized this about myself.
You know why?
Because now every time I whine about not being able to pour, unwrap, or “just add milk”, I will remember that what I have put in my body in the last 6 weeks has made me clearer, stronger, and healthier. It has less drain on my energy, and taking 5 minutes to cook eggs and veggies for breakfast is actually less time than if I try to decide on the 5 boxes of cereal and the 3 types of milk we have in this house. Besides, in forcing myself away from the convenience of food and drink, I force myself out of the convenience in other things.
I make fewer excuses.
Please don’t think that I am dogging all things convenient. I definitely hard boil eggs each Sunday night out of convenience for the rest of the week. And I have no problem with microwaves (even though I use them sparingly). I just don’t revolve my life around them or use them mindlessly.
The question for you is what could you spend more time on? What could you be more intentional about and less habitual about? What do you do for the sake of convenience, even though it may be harming you or your kids in the long run? I don’t know what any of those things for you might be, but at the bare minimum, we need to snap out of it and get to living better lives…even if it takes a little longer!