Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Embrace the struggle.
Unless you’re affluent, and/or your career involves you getting paid to be in shape, modern life will sometimes make it challenging to eat well.
The first step is to accept this in a sober, realistic way. Then you can focus on finding strategies to work around the challenges.
Build a kitchen toolkit.
With a proper kitchen set-up you’ll be able to cook most things, even if you don’t consider yourself “a chef”. To find the best price, shop around on Google, amazon, Ebay, Home Goods, or check your local thrift store.
Casserole dish (Pyrex is best but not necessary)
Small assortment of steel bowls (scuffed and beat-up is fine)
Stainless steel chef’s knife (get a reasonable secondhand one for $5-$10)
Knife sharpener (ceramic rod or stone) * pro tip: check your local farmers markets or google local knife sharpener for hard to sharpen kitchen tools.
Cast iron skillet (you can get a decent Lodge skillet for $20;* must be seasoned*)
Small assortment of wooden / bamboo tools
Fine micro grater
Wooden cutting board
Schedule your shopping and meal prep.
Build grocery shopping and in-advance meal prep into your weekly calendar so you’re not always scrambling (and opting for less-nutritious convenience meals).
This also helps you use fresh food before it goes bad, saving you money in the process.
Meals don’t need to be elaborate to taste delicious. And while cooking skills don’t develop overnight, putting tasty food on a plate is by no means rocket science.
Prioritize stress reduction
Eating well consistently requires resources — money, time, energy, and skill development. These requirements can be challenging when you already have a lot to worry about.
Reducing your total stress load may make more room in your life for the effort of high-quality nutrition (and allow your body to make better use of all those great nutrients).
Go for a walk, relax in the park, spend quality time with family and friends, do some yoga, goof around with your kids, read a book, or get your partner to give you a massage.
If you’re struggling to eat the way you’d like, cut yourself some slack. It’s OK to ask for help.
If you’re a fitness or health pro who’s been known to say “healthy eating is easy” or “people just aren’t trying hard enough” — stop and reexamine.
Healthy eating requires more effort and organization than most people think. Do some outreach. Find an accountability partner. Sign up for a nutrition coach. You dont have to do this alone.