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Don't let food courts overwhelm you

How frustrating are food courts? Food everywhere and so much of it is fast food, yet sometimes the reality of life means that starving or said food court are your only options.

It's Monday and I feel like a sprinter at the gate as the pistol goes off. Except I've sprinting for a lot longer than I feel like I should be this early in the week. Last night I managed to cobble together what little food we had left in the fridge to make dinner and pack lunches for the kids. But I had neither the motivation or the actual food to do the same for myself and so I wandered down to the nearest food court.

I didn't feel bad about it. I didn't see it as an issue because there is always a healthier choice. I don't say that lightly either- I am still rehabbing from my surgery so I'm conscious that right now everything I do really does count. I saw it as a bit of an opportunity to help out my clients who work in and around the Canberra Centre.

The photo above is an actual photo of what I came back with. Tonnes of veggies, some lean protein and healthy fats to help my body repair itself and also with inflammation, and wholegrains. My lunch had lots of fibre, lots of nutrients and was satisfying.

So what did I use to guide my decision making?

I knew what to avoid:

  • Anything fried. Fried foods are full of trans and saturated fats. They are no good for heart health or inflammation, or gut health
  • Highly processed foods: I put white bread into this basket, and any of the other traditional fast food type foods
  • Anything where I couldn't clearly identify every ingredient. I neither enjoy, nor have time for food poisoning

I also knew what to seek out:

  • Vegetables: These are going to give me lots of fibre to help me feel fuller for longer and they are full of nutrients
  • Wholegrains: these are a great source of low GI energy so they will keep me from getting hungry again in an hour. Similarly all that fibre will help me stay full and keep my gut bacteria healthy
  • Lean protein: I'm recovering from surgery and my body needs this to help repair itself. Also I know that this will keep me full. I was luck enough to find a great selection of protein in my lunch choice- tuna, chickpeas, fetta
  • Good fats: This was a bonus because it was a food court after all. But I did get some of this with my tuna, avocado, as well as the walnuts. In my particular case I'm looking for my good fats to help settle the inflammation in my hand

My point is - we all have days or weeks where even the best laid out plans can succumb to chaos or just a lack of motivation. But don't let that undo all of your hard work. There is always a healthier option. Don't be afraid to spend an extra 2 minutes looking for it. In fact I encourage you to prioritise it and seek it out.

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