The most common complaint about a healthy and balanced diet is "not enough time". I realize that we are all busy. For the last 3 weeks I have worked on balancing my Ironman+dietetic internship life with the rest of the responsibilities of life. However, despite being up at 4:30am (most mornings) and staying busy until bedtime (around 9-9:30pm) I really enjoy planning and preparing my meals. I love lunchtime with my preceptor because I love sitting down to food that I prepared at home. I love snacking on healthy food during the day and I love starting and finishing my day with wholesome foods.
Understanding that we are all busy, I don't quite understand why people don't prioritize home-cooked meals. I'm not talking 3-course meals....a PB&J sandwich is still "home-cooked" in my eyes. I could imagine that the thought of being "lazy" doesn't cross your mind when it comes to planning and preparing healthy and balanced meals. It's likely that you are out running, swimming, biking or at the gym and well, just don't have the energy or time to prepare a meal.
I think we need a shift in priorities. If you are spending the time working out or training but don't prioritize a recovery or balanced meal, what's the point of training or exercising? Obviously there are many benefits of exercising but there comes a point in an exercise routine when the workouts become easier, the body becomes more efficient and you are required to boost the intensity and volume in your exercise routine. At this point, the lightbulb should turn on and you should instantly realize that it is necessary to fuel and refuel for your workouts with wholesome foods in an effort to get stronger and/or faster.
The media does a really good job of pressuring us to be perfect and to do everything. We are overwhelmed with information on "eat this/not that" and when it comes to healthy eating, we almost feel is if the basics of eating healthy is meaningless in a world of "health-claimed" products/foods.
Healthy and balanced eating does not need to be expensive, does not need to be time-consuming and does not need to be boring. Believe me, I don't have money to waste on pricey food. I am about to pay my first tuition (out of three) for my community nutrition rotation....$4600!!! OUCH. However, there is no price on putting healthy food in my body so I just have to be a little creative when it comes to planning my meals and snacks.