Ever feel like you are on that hamster wheel of life? You know what I’m talking about. You get up in the morning and race around the house, grab a quick bite, and jump in your car. You speed to the office and begin your day by checking hundreds of emails, many of which are really spam, but you are forced to read anyway, and delete.
After all those emails, then you begin your real work of the day. But you are starving, and down a quick donut or cookie that someone left at the coffee machine. Your intentions were to eat healthy foods all day – but you are starving. You gave into temptation.
And then, at the end of the day, if you remembered to bring your gym clothes with you, you stop at the gym for a quick workout. By the time you get home you are starving, and instead of taking the time to prepare a healthy dinner, you stopped at your favorite Italian or Chinese restaurant and picked up some take-out to gobble down at home.
Just writing this is making my heart pound harder.
That schedule is pretty much what happens to me and my family on a daily basis. And I don’t think we are alone.
A few months ago, as I made my every-few-days food shopping trip to the grocery store, I began to eye those pre-cut fruits and vegetables that my local Ralphs has on display.
Since I don’t have time at 5:30 a.m. to cut up fruits and veggies for me and my daughter Sophia, I have started to buy some of our favorites, already prepared for me.
Clear plastic tubs filled with cut celery and carrots (with water to keep them fresh). Fresh Costa Rican pineapple, hand cut into chunks. Apples cut into slices and packaged in individual serving bags. Bananas at various stages of ripeness. Individual 1 oz. boxes of dried cranberries and raisins.
I have found that I can give my family healthy choices for their morning and afternoon snack times, and for their lunches, by spending a few extra dollars and getting them “cut and ready.”
I know that some consumers may prefer to save the money, and buy whole fruits and veggies to cut up when they get home, but for the time-deprived working moms and dads, I say that it’s worth it to buy pre-cuts.
What’s the trade off? I think our health is the trade off.
Since I asked my 17-year-old daughter what fruits and vegetables she wants packed in her lunch, and we searched the produce department together to find them already prepped for us, her diet (and mine) has changed completely. Each day, we both take a total of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables with us when we leave in the morning.
No more temptation from donuts, cookies and flavored drinks at the office or at the school. We are both eating healthier.
As you are trying to figure out how you can improve your eating habits, and balancing your concern for eating healthy, with the limited amount of time you have, consider spending a little extra and purchase pre-prepped fruits and veggies at your local store.
Oh, one more benefit. Since I buy almost all my produce pre-prepped, I find that I am throwing out far less. My refrigerator is no longer the rotting drawer.
Try it yourself!