Having Gratitude Makes Success Sweeter

Sometimes well-intentioned plans to eat healthier are interrupted by changes in environment.  When making adjustments in your food choices, you must account for what you eat at home, at work and when dining out.  Here are some suggestions for making steady progress in each of these domains.


If you are not the main food preparer in your household, making an abrupt dietary change will be more challenging.  Be appreciative of the efforts of your home chef.  They work hard to provide food in the home.

  • Make gentle suggestions to try new fruits and vegetables, recommend healthy recipes, and promote product alternatives that may be lower in salt or refined sugar.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.  Start with one or two small suggestions that the whole household can appreciate.  You don’t want to overwhelm anyone.
  • Offer to help. If you have specific requests, your best bet is to roll up your sleeves and get involved.  The degree to which you can help will depend on your kitchen prowess, but it’s never too late to learn new skills.  And your efforts will not go unnoticed.


When charting your path to success, you must consider all potential obstacles and have a plan of attack in advance.  Consider all of your points of contact with food while at work.

Are there snacks in the break room? 

  • Bring your own snacks. Do you tend to make meals out of vending machine goods?  You should definitely consider bringing your own snacks if that sounds like you.  This is something easy for you to control that does not involve anyone else or kitchen skills of your own.   Use whole fruits and vegetables with dips, yogurt, and other healthy snacks to keep you on the path of progress while you’re snacking at work.  Be sure to proportion snacks that come out of a large container.
  • Share your success! Have you considered bringing in more nutritious options for your coworkers?

Do you bring your own lunch?

  • If you’re bringing dinner leftovers, reflect on who cooked and how your meal was prepared and refer to the tips in the Home section.  Be sure to bring leftovers when they are healthy choices.
  • Prepare your own lunch. This is a great way to control one of your meals in the day.  Try packing portable meals high in nutrients, like salads, wraps or sandwiches loaded with vegetables and lean protein.  Prep the night before so that the lunch bag actually makes it to work.

Do you eat out with co-workers for lunch? 

  • Review the menu in advance.   Look for ways to include more vegetables, either from salads or sides.  Many restaurants offer steamed vegetables or baked potatoes.
  • Custom order.  When you look at the menu items, look at the ingredients in the description.  If they offer it in one dish, they can probably prepare it for you a different way.  For example, if broccoli and chicken Alfredo is on the menu, ask for the sauce on the side, grilled chicken, side of pasta and steamed broccoli.  Restaurants now expect customers to “have it their way.”


It can be easy to focus on our diet missteps and neglect to appreciate the fact that we have a multitude of choices while there are many who do not.  A perspective of gratitude toward the plentiful nature of food around you may help you to control your eating habits and may inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others not so fortunate.  To resist eating foods or snacks that are not healthy, say to yourself, “That (fill in the blank) is not going to disappear from the earth; I can have it another time.”

For many, the holidays are a joyful time of abundance, but for some, it is a painful reminder of the lack of that same abundance.  You can make an impact by donating your time, skills or money to help someone else have a happier and more bountiful holiday season; the holidays will be a richer experience for you as well.  It IS better to give than to receive.    If you focus on blessing others, your heart will be full, instead of your stomach.

Wishing each of you a blessed Thanksgiving day,



Nora Clemens has been a Nutrition Expert for over 30 years. Her passion is working with people to help them achieve health and wellness through nutrition and fitness. Nora prides herself in being able to design programs that meet each person’s unique nutrition and lifestyle needs by helping them overcome the obstacles that have previously stood in their way. Construction Connection Profile Link: https://www.constructionconnection.com/natd/view/767

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