Balancing Life and Work for Better Health
It’s a fact: life is crazy. Typical Americans are spending 9 to 10 hours at work, with an extra hour spent while stuck in traffic (for some, it is more than that), then you have to factor in the huge responsibility of caring for your kids, so being able to dedicate time for going to the gym and cooking healthy meals is a lot to ask from many individuals. In addition to that, socioeconomic factors play a major role, as well. While, I do not have the one solution that can solve the obesity epidemic affecting this country, but here are a couple ideas that may help.
For starters, there is quite a bit of truth when people say, “abs are made in the kitchen”. Unfortunately, studies have reported that only 40% of homes in America cook at least one meal per day and approximately 25% cook less than one meal per day. These statistics are indicative of a sort of “take-out” culture becoming widespread in this country. While it is very possible that one can get healthy meals from restaurants, in my opinion, the best way to truly KNOW what it is you are putting into your body is by cooking the food yourself.
However, there is also the phrase “time is money”. When calculating the amount of time it takes to buy food at the store, prepare it for cooking, cooking the food and the clean-up afterwards, expect it to add up in excess of an hour. Also, after a long day at work, chopping up vegetables, cooking and washing the dishes does not sound too appealing. One tip is to chop up the vegetables and store them in the refrigerator until it is time to use them. Additionally, for the parents out there, assuming your kids are old enough, turn meal preps into a family experience by employing their assistance, such as seasoning the chicken or washing the vegetables. Another tip, you can cook foods for a couple days in advance (I typically recommend no more than three days); this way, all you would have to do is reheat your meals, thereby, actually saving more time than going through the drive-thru.
With pre-planning and a little ingenuity, reliance on take-out meals can be greatly reduced, which also means more money in your pocket and a healthier you!