The #1 Obstacle to Eating Healthier…Are You Still Doing It?
Today I have a little story for you. And a myth we need to shatter ASAP.
Everyone knows that in order to be healthy, you have to eat healthy.
Right? Right. True.
Everyone also knows that in order to eat healthy, you have to spend hours every day cooking, prepping, and shopping to do so. Also meaning, spending most of your money and mental space to make it happen, right?
If you want to succeed, and do so in a more long-term, joyful and sustainable LIFESTYLE kind of way, I think you actually have to do the opposite.
You have to keep things short and simple. Fresh and a little more light-hearted. Practical and not perfect.
So you can feed yourself, and those you love, better. With more consistent confidence and way less daily stress.
Here’s the catch. If you can master how to feed yourself better, you will feel better- physically, mentally and yes, emotionally. In your own skin. In your own life. But, more importantly, that means that you be able to live your life more fully, spending time on the things and with the people that really matter.
That’s my philosophy on life, at least.
Which is why writing a cookbook wasn’t something I ever thought I would do.
People are shocked when they hear that. “Wait…but aren’t you the healthy cooking queen?” “Don’t you love to cook?”
Well, yeah. I enjoy it when I have the time, but for me, cooking really started out of necessity. Because I crave feeling good. I hate it when I don’t. And have found that the food I eat has the most to do with how I feel daily.
So, yes, I do cook. Because I put a lot of value feeling good and having lots of energy.
But, here’s the honest and kind of funny truth: I’m not a chef. I don’t dream about food and spend hours in the kitchen every week. I have terrible knife skills. I hate following directions, wasting food, unnecessary extra ingredients, or cleaning more pans than absolutely necessary. My favorite phrase is “I can’t be bothered”. Not at all in life. But definately in the kitchen.
And I have a big collection of cookbooks from over the years.
They’ve often teased me, whispering gently from their place on the shelf. Really- I have a lot. Don’t get me wrong. They are beautiful. Stunning, really. Inventive. Inspiring. I buy them like some people buy art or chocolate bars or trashy magazines: impulsive and kind of like a guilty pleasure that you always swear will be your last one. Until it’s not.
But when it comes down to it, that cookbook shelf is not the place I go to at 7pm on a Tuesday night when I’ve just gotten home from a long day, am hungry, want something good to eat. An hour of cooking is just not going to happen. Call me a realist. But it’s the truth.
I even have 3 different kinds. I have the classics. The foundational cooking books like Barefoot Contessa’s series and The Silver Palate.
And they are great. All the recipes are made with a simple list of ingredients, usually. Normal sounding food. Which are great for the fancier parties of my imagination.
But they all almost 100% contain gluten, bread or pasta based in some way. Which doesn’t fare well for my little gluten-free digestive system. It’s nice, in concept. But if I ate like that weekly, I’d feel terrible (and be terrible, all around to everyone).
And then, there are my “healthy” cookbooks.
The vegan or vegetarian ones. A few raw ones. A juicing book. A macrobiotic brown rice book. With gobs of soy or tempeh or tofu (which is not actually healthy in my view- even though going “meatless” has gotten a lot of attention lately.
And hey- don’t get me wrong. I’m all for eating more vegetables. We would all be better off with that. It’s the substitutions of other real food categories that has me stumped). And if I was feeding other people, they recipes might be a bit too “adventurous” in looks or not satisfying enough.
And then there are the artsy ones. The beauties, I call them. Amazing looking food, but also with so many freaking ingredients. 3 different types of fresh herbs and a random specialty vinegar? I run out of patience just reading the instructions. Can’t. Be. Bothered. If I had an extra 3 hours to my day, maybe I could get into it. For that dinner party….. until I realize my dinner parties always involve lots of paper plates, and good wine in mismatched glasses from goodwill.
So, there they sit. Whispering but not really helping me with dinner. Or with what to make when people come over and I don’t have all day to flounce around in colorful Anthropologie aprons and beautifully slice basil into tiny smithereens while humming along with James Taylor.
This was a problem.
I want to eat good food. Real food. Healthy food that makes me feel good.
(that’s a non-negotiable).
But I also want it to be quick, easy, simple and amazing tasting (delicious).
And not have it take over life, time-wise.
And look beautiful on my plate.
I mean, is that too much to ask for?
I couldn’t find it.
When I started to create recipes back in the day, this was the main motivation.
When I started posting them on my first starter blog way back in the day, I was almost shocked to find how many other people were looking for the same kind of recipes and methods.
Fast forward six years.
There’s been hundreds of clients I’ve tested these meal ideas with. Dozens of meal plans. Even more hundreds of recipes that were just living in my brain. And maybe the most ridiculous looking word doc you’ve ever seen (just keep that thing scrollin’ honey).
And I keep making more. Because these little recipes and ways I’ve found to go about daily cooking are kind of the missing link, I’ve found, for all of us. Between desiring to be healthier and trying to balance that with real (and a busy) life.
So, I figure, it’s about time I share them. And share them big. With everyone who wants them. Because posting to the blog once a week is like the tiniest sliver of the vast world of easy recipes in my head.
So, from more than 450 recipes, I made myself pick my very top 150. The ones consistently change the game for people who try them. The recipes that got them excited about eating healthier, eating more vegetables than ever before in their life, spending less time to make it happen and actually ENJOYING their food more.
So that they can start living a healthy lifestyle as their daily default way of living and being, without doing another diet or program.
So, this week, with the launch of the limited time presale, I am so excited to share with you the biggest gift I have ever discovered- how to be healthy daily without all the fuss and complication. Of actually learning how to eat in a simple, easy and delicious way. Step by step. And with everything you need all in one place. So you can feel lighter, happier and more free.
Because that’s what being truly healthy means. To me, at least.
And now, I hope for you too.
This article was written by Sarah Adler. Sarah is a nutrition coach, healthy lifestyle expert, food blogger, real food lover and owner of Simply Real Health—a healthy lifestyle company on a mission to educate, teach, and inspire others to live their happiest + healthiest life. For more from Sarah, visit her over at Simply Real Health.