One of the things I’m slowly learning is how to use what I have on hand to eat as healthy as I can. Since I live with a host family, I don’t exactly have control over what groceries they buy or when they buy them, so I’m often at the mercy of whatever is available here, which is not the typical food that I would normally buy at home. One afternoon, after a good workout, I went upstairs and, because of my limited time and my general laziness, I came dangerously close to eating something stupid for lunch, like cereal and cheese or whatever. But I took a moment to think about it and I decided to try to make some type of salad with whatever I could find, and surprisingly, it came out pretty damn good. So good, I ate the whole bowl.
(In my defense, lettuce takes up a lot of space on a plate so I had to use a salad bowl to be able to eat properly)
In my salad, I used lettuce (yes it was the lame kind, but beggars cant be choosers), leftover bits of chicken, a bit of a red bell pepper, shredded carrots, raisins, walnuts, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Not too shabby for a whatever-I’ve-got salad, I must say.
It’s moments like those that remind me that I am strong enough to say no to the easy way out and to prioritize my health above my instincts to not care. In general, my host family does have healthy options at home, but they are different from what I’m used to or what I normally like and I have to get creative in order to feed my body right. I think this is extremely important for anyone in a remotely similar situation to mine, like people on a budget (which I totally am on), or people also living abroad, or people without a lot of time (aka, everyone), or whatever your circumstance may be. Taking 5 – 10 extra minutes to prioritize your health will payoff in more ways than I can count, and in ways that extend far beyond just the immediate impact of a good meal.
Making your body (your one and only vessel where your soul can exist!) a priority is of incredible importance. It doesn’t have to be about getting abs or having a jiggle-free ass… those things are accessories, if you work hard enough for them. More importantly though, it’s about maintaing a healthy weight, because obesity is one of the worlds greatest killers and it seriously affects the global economy because of its effect on healthcare systems. Its also about prolonging your life so that you wont spend your old age in a bed, that is if you are lucky enough to make it to old age. Its even about making the right choices for the environment, for the economy, for your society, by choosing raw, natural, organic, local food over processed, mass-produced, government subsidized food-like products. Its about knowing your own strength, your standards, and your needs and working hard to maintain them all in a positive light. Its about loving yourself enough to care about this one precious body and life of yours. Eating right is just simply the right choice, and there are just no two ways about that.
As I’ve heard many, many times over, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”