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Eating Your Way Through a 9-5

Living in a Hospitality World

It starts out relatively harmless—a few french fries here and there, maybe a small plate of nachos...a soda? Sure, why not? Then, suddenly (or so it seems), your belt is starting to feel a bit tighter. That notch seems further and further away. Before you know it, you’ve packed on quite a few pounds. Your energy levels begin to dip, and your mood has changed as well. Fried foods are evil. They are incredibly delicious and almost call to you. How will you tune them out and make better decisions? Diets can fail quickly because we shock our mind and bodies and try to trick ourselves into believing this food tastes just as good as a hamburger. Now let's be real for a second...a hamburger is incredibly addicting and delicious, now stop trying to compare that to a kale salad. The key is to understand why we eat in the first place: to fuel our minds and bodies. Now, culinary expertise has come a long way to creating new and exciting items to try that don't blow our entire caloric intake for the day. This is not to say healthy food can't be delicious and appetizing; the challenge is thinking outside of the box to find what works for you and your health. 

I’ve gone down the path of grazing and created amazing results. 

Unfortunately, these results were in the wrong direction. As a restaurant manager, you live a life surrounded by foods that are less than ideal and have a limited time to refuel before the next big meeting, dinner rush, or customer service opportunity. "Insert grade school mentality* Remember that one kid that had the best lunches in school? You would sit there amazed by type of food you would see coming out of their seemingly endless lunch bag. Well, I have some good news for you. Now, you get to pack your own lunch and bring whatever incredible food items you can think of. Often we find ourselves contemplating our food selections when grocery shopping. In a price-conscious mindset, we tend to make the less than healthy selection to save a few dollars short term. Unfortunately, these selections are costing us more in the long run, be it with the need for coffee to give us an extra boost to crank through that last meeting, or medical bills to fix our latest health concern. Making that choice to upgrade what we eat can make a world of difference in such a short amount of time. 

Eating healthy gets a bad reputation, usually because we associate healthy foods with bad flavor or unappetizing presentations. While this used to be the norm, there has been a massive culinary awaking to cater to the visual and nutritional needs of those looking for a better diet. Creativity is the key to not becoming bored with your new game plan. Gradual integration, maybe by choosing one meal per day to bring with you during your work day, maybe some tweaks as needed until you find snacks that not only improve your mood and energy levels, but also help your waistline. I’ve recently kicked the viscous coffee cycle by eating lighter, healthier food, or simply less of the unhealthy options.

Okay, I hear you.“But what if I really just want to eat what’s already available at work?” You can start by modifying the meals you already eat. Instead of getting a soda with your burger & fries, bring your own juice or water with you to sip throughout the day. Instead of a double bacon cheeseburger, maybe just a single patty cheeseburger will do. Like most things in life, neglecting yourself of something you really want will eventually lead to disaster. Two pizzas, and a #5 combo later will be a sight that no one will want to see. Take some steps in moderation, see what changes you can make without feeling like you are on the verge of a food binge. Small changes can lead to great results over time. Have an honest conversation with yourself and don’t put off becoming a healthier you. The best time to get started is right now.

I've seen an incredible change in my overall mood and energy levels throughout the day once I began to eat healthier, lighter food items. I'm currently on day 14 without any red meat or chicken. To my surprise, I haven't had a drop of coffee within that time period. This is coming from a college graduate that practically turned coffee into a meal some days. When it comes to your food choices, it ultimately becomes a lifestyle change. If you really put into perspective  why we eat, the choice of what you eat becomes much clearer. 


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Eating Your Way Through a 9-5
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