First – I want to invite you to join my team for Step Up Forsyth, an 8 week community exercise program that you can do “on your own”. Just register here and join the team ‘Cancer Dietitian’! You will log your exercise in from Sep 15 – Nov 10. There are prizes given out weekly and team trophies so I’d love to have you join me! You don’t have to live in Forsyth County to participate and it’s going to be a great motivation to be active 30 minutes a day.
Now on to the topic for today!
I work with a variety of different clients. Working people, retired people, unemployed people, parents, grandparents, young adults, cancer patients and people who want to reduce their risk of cancer. The truth is that the advice I would give to any of them on healthy eating is pretty similar with some tweaks.
Is there anything complicated about my list? No! I hate to say it, but eating a cancer fighting diet does not have to be a puzzle. Actually, I don’t hate to say that!! I love to say that!
A healthy lifestyle is as simple as one step at a time making a good choice for your body. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, so I would like to introduce you to the “Good Enough” strategy for healthy eating!
I’m going to start with a story that had me thinking about all of this in the first place:
I was planting my fall garden last weekend. It was so glorious. The weather was awesome and my husband and daughter were enjoying time inside while I was outside digging in dirt and coaxing my winter veggie sprouts into not wilting before I could get them some moisture.
(See photo of the finished garden – a strawberry box, broccoli box, chard and snap pea box and a lettuce/cabbage/kale box at the bottom)
I had also purchased some nice flowers for our window boxes on the sunny side. Problem: I only had one coconut liner for 2 window boxes.
Ideally, both of my box would look like this:
Could I allow myself the “Good Enough” plan for the window box?
If you don’t know me very well, I’m going to give you a glimpse into me… I hate to make trips out to the store. I hate to backtrack. I just want to get it done. NOW.
Needless to say, I opted for the “Good Enough” plan. This is the solution I came up with:
Old coconut liner and old pots stuck in the window box! It’s not perfect but it’s “Good Enough”!
The ‘Good Enough’ Healthy Eating Program
As the garden and I were working through this ‘problem’, I started to see a metaphor forming for how some people view healthy eating. They think it has to be perfect. Case in point is the person who asks me “which sugar is the best” and “how much sugar is ok”? Hmmm… well, that’s a complicated question!
The ‘Good Enough’ program would tell you to pick whatever you want, and use just as much as you need without using too much. Honey, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, I really don’t care! What matters more is how much you use.
Let’s think about dinner or lunch menus and take off some of the pressure. In order to have a cook-your-own-meal in the evening, some people think it has to take a long time and that all your food should be from fresh and look amazing when it’s served. NO. It doesn’t.
The ‘Good Enough’ program says you can have beans and rice for dinner with a piece of fruit and some frozen veggies warmed in the microwave. YES, that’s healthy!
Have you seen all the crazy “i packed my kids lunch and this is what they’re taking today” photos on Facebook? At first, I was totally inspired and thought it was great how people were sharing ideas. But it really is getting crazy and overwhelming.
When they start describing the homemade granola in plain yogurt with blueberries and a hint of maple syrup for their 1st grader, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. YES, it’s so healthy and I would love if we could get it together for MY lunch to look like that everyday too. But seriously, it’s not a requirement for healthy eating.
The ‘Good Enough’ program says packing a pre-packaged applesauce pack, banana, some baby carrots and PB&J sandwich is just as healthy. The ‘Good Enough’ program says that a pack of trail mix, banana and 100 calorie popcorn can be a perfect lunch at work when you’ve forgotten to bring one. And it’s healthy too!
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Next time I’ll share some more ‘Good Enough’ meals and I’d love to have your ideas to share.
Until then, here’s another view of my window boxes. Side by side the box looks different, but the flower is just as happy and healthy.