Sometimes life seems to conspire against our good intentions when it comes to healthy eating. Tomatoes don’t ripen. That bundle of herbs we intended to use wilts on the window ledge. McDonald’s ends up the only “food source” available within a very tight window of time (my experience recently when sprinting to catch a plane). We all have days where no matter how hard we try to eat well our efforts are thwarted, and it can be tempting to just give up. But if you trip on the way out the door, do you toss in the towel and conclude you’ll never make it down the street? Of course not. You straighten up, find your balance, remove any obvious obstacles and continue to put one foot in front of the other.
The truth is, it isn’t about the stray French fry or the well-intentioned vegetables that didn’t get eaten. It’s about the cumulative effect, the overall trajectory, of each and every choice we make about our food. We all have different schedules, budgets, priorities and responsibilities that pull us in different directions and sometimes those directions will lead to a meal we’re not so happy about. But if we intentionally make nourishing choices most of the time, then ultimately we’re on the right track.
If you find yourself in a bind this week that prevents you from eating the way you want, don’t let it send you into a tailspin. Instead, plan your next meal to be a more conscious one and notice how you differently you feel after each. That, in and of itself, is positive progress and the foundation of mindful, healthy eating for a lifetime.