When we are looking at changing our eating habits, there are typically three things we will have to consider when we are looking at our options; does the food taste good, how much does the food cost, and can the meal be prepared quickly? When it comes down to it, it can be broken down to the fact we can have good food, fast food or cheap food. Unfortunately, our meals can’t be good for you, made quickly and be low cost. We have to make a decision on which of these factors are the highest priorities at the time. Below, I’m going to go through the different combinations, and how we can pick the best one for us.

Fast and Cheap
I’m starting with the one that is going to be the unhealthiest, and realistically one we should avoid when we’re focusing on becoming healthier. Fast and cheap will always lead to unhealthier options. If we’re looking for a fast option that won’t cost a lot it will usually drive us to fast food options, prepared processed foods, and foods that are generally lacking nutrients. If a meal costs you $3, do you really think your body is worth a $3 meal? Would you put regular gas in a high end Ferrari? No way, so why put low quality fuel into our high quality body. If the food isn’t good for us, why are we eating it? There are much better options for us, so we are crossing this one off the list.

Good and Fast
It is possible to get good food very quickly, but it does come with a price. Looking at a smaller scale such as pre-cut fruit or veggies, it will cost more than if we bought the whole food item, but it will save us the preparation time when we’re putting our meals together. On a larger scale this is where meal prep companies come in. If we are busy individuals that don’t have time, or don’t make time for meal prep, we should be looking into meal companies to buy premade healthy meal options. While they will cost more than preparing them ourselves, it will ensure we have healthy options rather than the fast food options we usually rely on. If we prioritize our time, this is the option we should consider.

Good and Cheap
Most of us are going to fall in this category. A lot of us don’t have the disposable income, or we don’t want to invest our money into pre-made meals so we need to invest our time. We can find cheaper foods at the grocery store to prepare into a healthy meal. This means buying and setting aside time to prepare these meals. Yes it will take time, yes it will take effort, but if our goal is to see a change in our body it is what we need to do for that to happen. Even on a small budget you can make meals like chicken, rice and veggies, or a turkey chili for a relatively inexpensive amount and have meals for a week or more. Plan ahead and you can make even the smallest budget go along way for your own health and wellness.

We need to realize we can’t have it all when it comes to our meal plan. We have to sacrifice one aspects previously mentioned, and it will all come down to what we prioritize the most. Do we put a high priority on the time, cost or the quality of food we are selecting? Remember to choose wisely, and ask yourself at your next meal, which of these two are you picking?

Rich Hill

CSEP – Certified Personal Trainer (2011-Current) 

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