Two weeks ago, we talked to Megan Roosevelt, the Healthy Grocery Girl, about her story of overcoming an eating disorder. This week, we’re posting part two of our interview with Megan. It’s chock full of great advice on how to eat well even on a busy, working woman’s schedule.
4word: As a career woman, what is the hardest part about eating well?
Megan: I love working with busy people, because as a busy woman myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work, faith, relationships, being active and eating well. I am not perfect, but through my personal health journey and career I have been able to master the art of eating healthy with a hectic schedule. It is such a joy for me to help others achieve the same thing.
Personally, I have to remember to bring healthy snacks and water with me wherever I go. I do not function well when I am hungry or thirsty; most people don’t!
It’s also easy to cave to convenience foods when we are busy. I don’t think all convenience foods are bad. What matters is the quality of the ingredients and the quantity consumed. I help my clients learn which convenience foods are good and which ones to avoid like the plague.
4word: What’s your secret to avoid “caving to convenience foods” during the work day?
Megan: It depends on what I am doing in a day. If I am in my office, I have access to my refrigerator, so I can munch on things like raw veggies, salad, sandwiches, hummus, avocado or a green smoothie. If I am going to be out and about in the day, I pack things that do not have to be refrigerated, like apples, trail-mix, peanut butter packs, crackers, and healthy protein/snack bars.
I eat every few hours and drink lots of water. Buying the more unhealthy convenience foods is not even an option for me, since I know they will do more harm than good. To me, they don’t even sound or look tasty. My body craves the good stuff!
4word: What are some of the drawbacks to not eating well? And what are some of the benefits of having a healthy diet?
Megan: Some short term effects of unhealthy eating are fatigue, weight gain, headaches and digestive troubles. Long term unhealthy eating can lead to diabetes, cancer and other degenerative, diet-related diseases.
When we are unhealthy and sick, we are trapped inside our body. We may feel the desire to be more, or do more, but it’s hard to accomplish much when we are dragging, run down and insecure. This unhealthy stronghold often leads to a lot of self-focused thinking: “How do I feel?” “How do I look?” “What will give me comfort?” Like a domino effect, when we are unhealthy in one area of our life, it can start to affect other areas of our life. This is exactly where the enemy wants us: stuck, sick and feeling bad about ourselves.
On the flip side, good nutrition nourishes our mind, body and soul. Nutrition is just one piece of living a healthy, whole and real life, but it’s a vital foundation to build upon. I doubt God was eating chicken nuggets when he made the world.
4word: What’s the most common misconception you’ve found that busy career women have about eating well?
Megan: That you have to diet if you want to lose weight. Diets are depressing. Healthy lifestyle changes are more work, but they produce better, lasting health results. Also, skipping meals does not help you lose weight, because extreme hunger leads to extreme eating! And lastly, a latte does not count as breakfast or lunch.
Many people also have a hard time making healthy choices when they dine out and assume that a salad is a safe choice. However, a salad does not guarantee you’re eating healthy. Some salad toppings and dressings are more fattening than a burger and fries. When working with my frequent travelers and business clients, I love to teach them how to make healthy habits no matter where they are: home, office, vacation, meeting or business trip.
Helping people eat better is like being a detective. It’s not just about eating an apple instead of a cookie. I examine all the struggles we face: schedule, sleep, stress, exercise, hormones and more. All these factors affect one’s health. I then create a realistic plan that fits your life and produces real results towards your health goals.
4word: Where do you go to find your favorite healthy recipes? Do you have any resources you can point us to?
Megan: One of my best friends is a Natural Food Chef, so she is my favorite resource. I also love to make my own creations in the kitchen. The Healthy Grocery Girl Club is a resource we started that provides seasonal, easy healthy recipes each month, in addition to a brand-suggested grocery shopping list and monthly meal planner.
It’s a great starting point for someone wanting to change just a few meals a month into something healthy and homemade. It also complements the desires of my coaching clients. Almost everyone asks for healthy recipe ideas, and this is a simple way we can provide them. Even better, all the recipes are created by a registered dietitian.
And what about you, reader? How have you found success in eating healthy? What are your favorite recipe resources? Let us know in the comments!