“Life gets in the way.” I’ve said it. My patients have said it. Somehow our best intentions to eat healthy and exercise regularly get discarded like a candy wrapper on the side of the road. So how do we stay of the road to health instead of veering off into the ditch of disease? The answer is different for each one of us. Regardless of what our road looks like, we need a roadmap to help us navigate those times when we are too busy to cook, exercise, or de-stress.
You can develop your own emergency roadside assistance kit with the help of a dietitian, your doctor, a therapist, friends, and family. Your assistance may come in the form of a lower calorie frozen entree for dinner when you don’t have time to cook. It may include trying out cook-for-a-week or cook-for-a-month plans so you can have healthy foods in the freezer at all times. The 7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies is a great resource to help plan menus. Your “kit” may also include cutting up all your fruits and vegetables on Sunday and taking them to work to snack on all week, instead of eating out of the vending machine, aka the wheel of death. If you find yourself away from home you might want to try www.healthydiningfinder.com to help you find a healthy meal option.
My motto is, “Something is better than nothing”, when it comes to exercise. Your exercise may come in the form of short walks or taking the stairs several times at work, versus going to the gym. Taking a quick 5 minute walk with your MP3 player may be a good way to deal with the stress of the day. Devotions, journaling, or chatting with a friend can also help you deal with everyday stress.
Even if you do get off track and start to veer towards the ditch and you forgot your emergency roadside assistance kit, don’t fret. Stop and ask yourself, how did I get here? Find out where the You are Here spot is on your map, and figure out a way to get back on the road. Once you know the answer you will be better prepared when this same situation comes up, and you will have a solution in place. Then you can kick it into 4 x 4 mode and get back onto the road to health.