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FitDeck Blog with Founder Phil Black

Do you live to eat or eat to live?

Posted by Phil Black on August 1st, 2014

When I was a little kid, my Uncle told me that he wished he could swallow a single pill that would take care of a day's worth of nourishment - so he wouldn't have to spend ("waste") so much time shopping, prepping, and eating meals. After all, he was a young Navy pilot with things to do, people to see, and places to go. Who had time to eat? My Uncle ate to live.

I know it sounds heretical to the foodies out there, but I find myself subscribing to my Uncle's program - at least for now. I know I should try to view food as more than just a means to survive from 6am to 10pm, but sometimes it really impedes progress.


Unfortunately, with an attitude like this, it's easy to let good nutrition fall by the wayside. When food is seen as an inconvenience, we try to balance the scales by grabbing something that is convenient - like fast food. Bad move. This just compounds the problem.

I envy the "live-to-eat" people who plan meals ahead of time, take shopping lists to the store, anguish over the ripeness of their avocado, and savor every bite of every meal. I know it's the right way to live. I understand that mealtime should be seen as a mental break, a social time, and a time to slow down. Somehow, I get derailed by a little something called life.

Today, I fall into the "eat-to-live" category. I'm working on this. Unless I can get myself to consistently shop on Sunday night for the week, my food choices turn into a game of Russian Roulette. Sometimes I end up eating something healthful (if it's on the top shelf and in the front of the refrigerator), and sometimes I take a bullet by eating something unhealthy.

The "live-to-eat" folks don't really need much help in this regard, but we "eat-to-live" people need all the help we can get. Here are some tips on how to eat well even if eating seems more like a chore than anything else.

  • KIND granola bars (dozens of them) stashed in cabinets, car, desk, backpack, hoodie pocket
  • small boxes of raisins
  • hard boiled eggs (at least a dozen at a time) prepped and ready in the refrigerator
  • frozen pollo asado (throw in crock pot before work and keep it on warm until 6pm)
  • microwaveable brown rice
  • baby carrots (lots of them)
  • peanut butter (ingredients: roasted peanuts only)
  • popcorn (if you need something that feels like a treat)
  • apples
  • protein shake
  • beef or ostrich jerky (indestructible)
  • remove unhealthy foods from the premises

This is a list for eat-to-live survivalists who have not prioritized food planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, or enjoying their meals. I know - it sounds like I am callous, no-enjoyment-having soul whose main goal is to get through the day. Well, guilty as charged. Sometimes that's the way it feels. I won't sugarcoat it. It's not like this 100% of the time, but a majority of the time.

Where do you fall? Do you eat to live or live to eat? Or somewhere in the middle? Share with us how you manage these choices.

Someday, I will have a new set of priorities that turns this concept on its head. Until then, throw me a rod of ostrich jerky on my way out the door.


Phil Black (FitDeck Founder)

P.S. Before I get beaten up about how I'm a poor model for my four children, my eat-to-live attitude is mostly hidden from them. It's mostly perpetrated during the week when they are in school and I'm at work. When the family is together, it's a different story. Food and eating takes on different meaning. We all sit down at the table and enjoy our time together - and we don't serve ostrich jerky.

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