The never-ending battle: will you let convenience win?

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It’s a battle we will most likely face for the rest of our lives.

If we lose the battle, we will see our bodies slowly turn against us.

If we win, our quality of life will improve and, perhaps, others around us will try to win the battle as well.

This battle is the fight against convenience; specifically, convenient foods.

The foods that are prepackaged, processed, easily accessible and the ones whose advertisements are slammed in our faces every day.

Their brand names are an essential part vocabulary in the English language and, unfortunately, believed to be a necessity in America.

Which process do you remember more easily: how to bake a DiGiorno pizza or prepare fresh broccoli?

How to cook Ramen noodles or how to make an omelet with vegetables?

We are programmed to memorize instructions found on labels of foods that contain at least 15 ingredients we can’t even pronounce.

As much as I wish I could say that I eat a very minimal amount of processed foods, the truth is I’m still trying to fight the battle against convenient foods every day.

It’s hard not to be tempted by snacks that only require a tap of my student ID and, within seconds, I can have in my hand.

You don’t see vending machines with fresh, wholesome foods in them.

It’s time we make whole foods convenient for ourselves.

Meal prepping is a simple process that only requires one to two hours of your time each week.

It’s something I’ve been working on and I’ve found it saves me a lot of time during my busy weekdays.

In case you don’t know exactly what meal prepping means, it is simply taking time to prepare at least three days’ worth of healthy meals and dividing the meals into containers so they are easily accessible throughout the week.

Personally, I take time on either Saturday or Sunday to prep at least three days’ worth of healthy food. I usually cook chicken and broccoli or sweet potatoes.

However, there are so many different combinations you can work with.

Other people I know prepare fish, rice, beef, quinoa, spinach, oatmeal and many others.

This is one strategy to take when trying to incorporate healthy habits into your life.

I hope to work on making meal prepping a habit of mine; a habit that I’m sure I would benefit from.

I challenge you to take action. Decide whether or not convenient foods should take precedence over your health.

If you feel as though you want to fight the battle against convenience, then I encourage you to try meal prepping or explore other ways to make whole foods more convenient for yourself.

Rachel Astleford is a nutrition & dietetics major at SDSU and can be reached at rachel.astleford@jacks.sdstate.edu.

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