Sean McCawley

Sean McCawley 

Sometimes, the best things in life are right in plain view. So why not put the best in front of you more often?

We struggle with this theme when making healthy eating decisions. The drive to work on the highway and the generously placed billboards advertising fast-food restaurants from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or KFC influence us to stop by those locations and get a bite to eat.

When advertisements 50 feet tall can be seen from a football field away, it’s hard to ignore a fast-food joint is a stones throw away. Not only do we get fast food advertisements shoved in our faces on the highway, drive- through fast-food establishments are dispersed prominently on our main roads in Napa.

The conveyor belt-like distribution of drive-through- produced fast-food is convenient enough to convince any parent driving their child home from sports to get a quick meal on their way home so they don’t have to prepare their own food. Add the commercials on your home television of the happy family smiling while eating a Big Mac, fries and a soft drink, and the fast-food industry seems to have done us all a huge favor by propping up the easy-to-acquire burgers, burritos and fried chicken to feed the busy families across our nation.

Sounds like a revolutionary solution for the busy parents and workers coming home from a long day of work with only a few hours to spare before they call it a night to get some food in their bellies.

The problem is that the fast-food conglomerates don’t produce the highest quality foods. Most of their menu causes threats to the human body. Foods high in saturated fats, insane portion sizes, and insulin-spiking soft drinks are enough to derail a healthy person’s metabolism in a matter of days. The abuse of consuming fast foods on a regular basis introduces the threat of becoming overweight and developing various metabolic diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Not all hope is gone, though. With a few tactics by placing beneficial foods in front of you throughout the day, healthier eating decisions can be made to help us all balance our diets while still having enough time to enjoy our time off with our families.

Our personal training clients in Napa deal with similar eating decisions challenges. Living busy lives in the role of a parent or a member of the working force putting in over 50 hours a week, it’s a challenge to find healthy food. Here’s the solution: Put the healthy food in front of you.

Instead of going to the fast-food drive-through on the way home from work, a solution we offer our lifetime fitness coaching clients is to ensure there is a healthy snack in their car at all times, such a piece of fruit or a container of raw unsalted nuts. Fruit such as apples or a small bag you can get from any store of raw unsalted nuts will fit into any person’s side compartment or cup holder in their car.

Additionally, if you are a parent on the way home from your kids’ extracurricular activity, control the situational hunger by making sure to have some dried fruit, trail mix, or an apple in the car to stave off your little monsters’ hunger until you get home.

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Now what happens if everyone is still starving when they get home? Let’s take a page our of the fast-food restaurant laying of plans and put easily accessible food in plain sight.

A helpful tactic we advise our Napa personal training clients is to put healthier meal options in glass bowl containers in the front of their fridge. This way, healthy foods are not shoved behind the labyrinth of foods in the fridge.

Perhaps putting some carrot sticks, celery, hard-boiled eggs or mandarin oranges in a clear glass container as the first line of defense in the fridge would serve to assuage hunger, while supplying you and your loved ones in the house with a nutrient-rich snack.

This same tactic can be implemented by placing healthy snacks in a clear glass bowl on the kitchen counter, bar, or kitchen table. Some stellar snack options could include grapes, dried fruit, bananas, and raw unsalted nuts set as a featured item as the centerpiece on the way to the fridge so stave off hunger while waiting for a home-cooked meal.

Yes, time can always be our best friend or worst enemy when it comes to food decisions. However, we don’t have to be a slave to the fast food subliminal messages and bite on every chance we get to feed ourselves after a long day. Instead of letting the fast-food masterminds control your eating decisions with their “in your face” marketing, why not put some healthy food in front of your face to make healthy eating decisions a no-brainer?

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Sean McCawley, the founder and owner of Napa Tenacious Fitness in Napa, welcomes questions and comments. Reach him at 707-287-2727, napatenacious@gmail.com or visit the website napatenaciousfitness.com.