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Eating is a basic necessity that requires a minimum of cooking. However, time spent in the kitchen can be a pleasure for some . . . or a (big) chore for others! Between lack of time, stress, and different tastes of each household member, cooking and eating a balanced diet can be quite the chore. Here are some tips for incorporating fun and balance to your diet.

By Annie Ferland, Nutritionist and Doctor of Pharmacy

Take the time to cook

Lack of time is often a major obstacle. Between homework, gymnastics class, and a hockey game during dinnertime, it can be hard to find the time to prepare a healthy and balanced meal.

First off, you need to stop putting pressure on yourself to cook ALL your meals and snacks. A balanced meal doesn’t have to be complicated, or very elaborate. You can easily find some healthy and delicious options in the vegetarian ready-to-eat section of your grocery store. You can also simplify supper with express meals made with 5 ingredients or less. These are just a few quick solutions to help reduce your meal prep stress and allow you to set your priorities.

Read this article on the Rachelle Béry blog: How to cook with fewer ingredients

Take the time to eat

Do you eat slowly or quickly? By habit or lack of time, it can be difficult to stop to smell, taste, and appreciate the food you’ve just cooked. However, taking the time to eat—and therefore slowing down the speed at which you eat—has several benefits for your health.

Enjoying your meal allows you to respect your preferences and appreciate foods beyond considering them “good or bad” for your health. When you take the time to eat and to really savour the food you’re eating, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction. It is this sensation that leads to satiation and allows you to recognize the moment your body is full. So, try lighting a candle to create a relaxing atmosphere and take the time to truly savour your meal!

Take the time to move

To cope with your multiple activities, your hectic life, and your (sometimes!) rambunctious children, moving is essential. No need to train for a marathon to enjoy the incomparable benefits of physical exercise, which gives you energy, boosts your mood, and promotes restful sleep.

We sometimes forget that walking is a sport in and of itself. In addition to improving the cardio-respiratory system, it gently works our muscles, tendons, and joints. A short, 30-minute walk before dinner can help you shake off the day without having to hit the gym for hours.

Eating well, moving, and keeping stress at bay are the foundation to a healthy body and mind. Making your health a priority is a great way to define the notion of being balanced!