Last week I had a new client come in and during the course of our appointment and talking about food he posed the question, “When did the main focus of our food become entertainment and not on what's actually good for us?” Great question. Don't get me wrong, by no means am I implying that food should be dull, boring and tasteless, far from it. But as my client's question alluded to, there has definitely been a shift over the past few generations where the number one criteria that must be met before we put anything into our mouths is fun.
Take out, drive through, order in, super-sized, 2 for 1, coupon for a free dessert or sugary beverage, must-have sauces and dips, free toy and/or play area for kids, and so on means we don't have to cook, there's very little clean up, it's ready in a flash, kids are occupied, what's not to love about that? Human beings are inherently lazy. It's a fact. When an easier option presents itself, most are likely to take it without much in the way of second thoughts.
The whole “work smarter not harder” mantra many millennials have brought to the workplace is also being adopted by all age demographics in the kitchen as well. What's wrong with doing fewer dishes and having someone do the cooking for you? Nothing, if that someone's focus is health. Only then can we afford the luxury of constant convenience and fun when it comes to our food. The problem is that what's fun in the moment was designed for taste and convenience only, typically doing very little at best to nourish our bodies and create health. You may spend fewer hours in the kitchen now, but chances are you'll end up spending massive amounts of time and money years down the road trying to restore health, reverse disease and recreate healthy habits.
Now I'm not asking you give up all fun and convenience, move to a farm, plant a vegetable garden and never eat out again. I am however reminding you that when it comes right down to it, food is a business. If you read my last article you know exactly what I'm talking about. For those who missed it, suffice it to say that food companies are in business to generate revenue, not health. Bottom line, adding certain ingredients to foods to make it taste better or even become addictive, look more appealing, and extend shelf life, increases sales. And, using low-quality, nutrient deficient ingredients decreases expenses. When you put the two together, food companies stay in the black while our health is headed for red.
So, just how much convenience is convenient for our health? Ask yourself these questions to determine where you 1) Do I eat more meals out every week than I prepare at home? 2) Are fast and cheap the main criteria when ordering in or choosing a restaurant? 3) Do I pour a glass of wine or have a drink to unwind before dinner? 4) At home, do I prepare meals from a package more often than fresh? 5) Do I eat out for lunch more often than bringing one from home? 6) On extended vacations do I indulge as if it were a one or two week vacation? If you've answered yes to most of these questions, health has definitely been made to take a back seat to convenience.
The good news, is that for the most part, the health we are currently enjoying or suffering with is the sum total of the accumulation of our choices up to today. If those six questions had you feeling a little uncomfortable and your health is not where you'd like it to be, or even if you're just looking to be proactive in creating better health, it's time to make better choices. As long as people continue to give equal weight to “I want” and “I need” when it comes to their food choices, lifestyle diseases will continue to increase. Life, or lifestyle disease, it's all a choice.
If you're ready to start making some positive changes and Transform Your Health, go to www.fuelignitethrive.com For free tips, recipes and coaching videos, like and follow FIT Nutrition and join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.