By Eve Lynn Kessner
When The Sweat Life came to me and asked me to write about how to balance a healthy diet with a hectic schedule I was like: girl, you’re calling my name! #balance might as well be my mantra!
I find myself more and more often coming back to this idea of balance being the key in all areas of my life. (Work life, mama life, vegan commitment, self care, I could go on…)
The very first talk I have with most of my nutrition clients is about balance. Finding a place where their new diet fits into their life, and finding a new diet that balances the things they love with the things that are going to love them back.
The more we educate ourselves about what is healthy (and specifically what is healthy for us since everybody is different), the more we can find balance when we veer off track (because we all veer off track sometimes). The goal is knowing what makes us feel best. That way, whether we make good decisions or not, we always know how to get back to feeling good!
Living in NYC gives us options. Endless options! Food can be: fast, quick, slow, delivered, taken out, eaten in. Services will deliver ingredients with instructions, chefs to cook in your kitchen, instructors to teach you how to cook. Beyond that, the cuisine and quality span anything you can imagine.
And while options are amazing, they can also be overwhelming! With fast moving lifestyles, it’s easy to make the wrong decisions for our health and wellness in favor of what’s quick and easiest.
Here are a few guidelines to finding the most health in the busiest city:
1. First and foremost, gauge how much time you have for that specific meal.
Taking time where you can will help your body digest, be it putting your phone away and sitting with your feet on the floor to eat or chewing your food a bit longer, time is definitely on your side if you take it. But if you can’t (I’m almost always on the go…), you can make up with that in quality.
2. Next, make sure there is something green on your plate (or in your drink).
Greens get you far in life!
3. Then, balance what you’re craving with what you think you should eat.
So maybe you’re craving burgers, but know you should really be eating a salad. I’d say go for a veggie burger. Find one packed with colorful veggies (I’m a sucker for a beet burger) and some protein (think beans or quinoa). Food should be satisfying to both the body AND the soul!
Sitting down to a proper meal at least once a day should be a priority for you. The act of eating represents so much more than fueling our bodies. It is meant to nourish us from the inside out. And often, the conversations over meals are just as important to our well-being as what we are putting in our bodies. Who did you have lunch with today?
Juice and smoothies live on almost every corner of our city these days. They are fantastic ways to get deep nourishment on the go. Pre-workout I love a green juice to brighten my mood and fuel my energy. Post-class I love a (vegan) protein smoothie packed with bananas and almond butter, and maybe even a couple dates. My fave, Pressed Juicery, makes a “citrus 1” juice that is deeply hydrating and replenishing post-sweat sesh.
Lastly, know that you can find healthy food at almost any restaurant! Your friends want to go out for greasy Chinese food?? Choose steamed veggie dumplings, or steamed broccoli and tofu with some brown rice! There is ALWAYS a better option, you just need the will to choose it! But I guarantee you this: if you choose broccoli while they grub on spare ribs, you’ll feel a million times better than them on the walk home!
Eve Lynn Kessner is mom to two little girls, Avital and Bar, ages 6 and 3, a sometimes vegan, a holistic nutritionist, and focused on living a organic, chemical-free, natural life. “Making our home and our diets safe, healthy, and chemical free is no longer a goal, but a necessity. It feels good, clean, and ethical,” she says. Eve studied at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and counsels clients on food and lifestyle choices, helping them make cleaner, more responsible decisions. Eve is also a SoulCycle instructor, and an all-around dreamer and believer.