This blog is our “love letter to food”, so it’s only right that from time to time we talk more about our attitudes and approaches to what “eating right” means. Plus, I’m sure some folks are wondering “how does he get away with reviewing burgers while she’s talking about homemade almond milks and #Whole30?”. It’s a very fair question.
To that end, I’ve got a four-point plan that helps me enjoy getting my burg’ on without ruining my health.
Step 1.) Consistent Activity
I’ve detailed my broader goals for the year over on my personal blog, but in summation, I’ve been very intent this year on having a more active lifestyle. In a given week I will do anywhere from 10 to sometimes 20 miles either biking or walking. One of the main places where I’ve succeeded is in transit to/from school and work. Each workday I end up doing just under 4 miles round-trip, in addition to any extra I can get on the weekends or school days.
As with anything else, starting this as a “work-out plan” was not easy. That’s why I recommend adopting it as a lifestyle change instead. In fairness, living closer to work means that my distances are easily manageable, even in our ridiculous summers. That said, I’ve found that now my commute is a great time to clear my head, prepare my thoughts for the day, catch up on podcasts or presentations, or just enjoy the city setting and explore. All of this beats being “stuck in traffic” and then having to figure out where I’d squeeze in time for fitness.
Step 2.) Lots of Vegetables
Lets be frank, even when a burger is made from great, fresh, local, whole ingredients, there’s still something missing from the affair. As much as it might break some hearts to admit, potatoes don’t really count as a vegetable if you’re also eating a starch-filled bun and slathering them both in ketchup.
When I’m not chowing down on tasty meat sandwiches and sharing my thoughts with you, I like to clean out my body and my conscience with a big, leafy salad. On the times we cook at home, the meal plan always includes plenty of fresh vegetables, making sure we get nourished, not just full.
Step 3.) Hydrate!
Living in the desert this should be pretty obvious, but getting enough water is crucial. Add on the fat, salt, etc that come part and parcel with your typical cheeseburger and there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be helped on its way out of my body. True, the best partner for most burgers is a good beer, so go for it. Then follow-up with plenty of water and avoid that weighed-down feeling later in the day.
Step 4.) Eat for Intent; Not a Reward
This may be one of the founding tenets for our entire blog. Eating because we’re bored, tired, lazy…all bad reasons and all things we can fall victim to too often. In some ways, by knowing that I want to have some great burgers in my future makes it easier to side-step the various junk that assails us each day. I don’t like to think about it as a restriction; I’m a grown man, I’m allowed to eat whatever I want. But do I really want to eat whatever is available, whatever is easy, or would I rather skip past that and splurge on what I’ll really enjoy? Easier said than done some days, but that’s when it’s time to put in some extra miles on the bike and start back at Step 1.