Despite our best efforts, we are not always, 100 percent of the time, prepared with perfect, pre-portioned meals rich in nutrients and high in quality. Huh. Imagine that!
Sometimes, we just gotta make do with what we’ve got.
Maybe you’re at a less-than-ideal restaurant. Maybe you’re traveling. Maybe you’ve just had a really busy week. Whatever the reason is, it’s important you remember you’re not failing and you don’t have to ditch all your healthy eating efforts because you’ve hit a little bump in the road.
When ‘life stuff’ strikes (and it will), we recommend asking yourself the following question: what food option available to me right now would be just slightly better?
For example, if you’re at an Italian restaurant, think about swapping the spaghetti and meatballs for a chicken dish with marinara sauce instead. If you’re at a burger joint, think about going sans bun and milkshake but still saying “sure!” to the sweet potato fries. Maybe you can even sneak in a side salad and eat that first. Rather than going all-or-nothing on your diet, look at your food choices on a spectrum where your choices vary only in degree of helpfulness, but they’re not coded as success or fail.
This decision-making process — determining what’s just “slightly better” — can be employed just about anywhere. Even if your only option for sustenance is at a gas station, I’ll bet you can still find hard-boiled eggs, carrot sticks, a fresh fruit, and some water. And if those options aren’t available, choose the next slightly better option. Maybe that’s a protein bar, string cheese or beef jerky, some dried fruit, and…well, alright, you can probably still find water. And if those options aren’t available, keep going down the list from YAY! to COOL to FINE to IT’LL DO until you find something that works for you.
If you tuned in last week, you’ll recall that this isn’t the best strategy to use 24/7/365. But, if you find yourself in a bind and yet you’re still committed to making the healthiest choice available to you, then give this little question a try: What would be just slightly better?