We all have good intentions of eating healthier, but it can get overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion about what eating healthy means, and that's okay. However, there are several things that should be considered when it comes to how to eat healthy and especially when forming your definition around what healthy eating means to you. Instead of worrying about ratios, calorie counting or the hottest super foods consider these 5 tips for eating healthy to get you started in the right direction.
5 Tips for Eating Healthy
1. Plan Your Meals
This may seem tough but just jot down a few ideas to get you started. If you plan a meal you are more likely to make good choices. Start with breakfast and lunch. Be realistic and avoid planning difficult meals if you have a short time frame to prepare them and eat. Don't forget about snacks. Most of us eat some sort of snack everyday, if it's not planned you may reach for cookies or chips. Opt for fresh fruit and veggies instead. You are making great choices throughout the day don't let dinner get hijacked by poor planning. If you don't have a lot of prep time choose things that cook quickly like quinoa and lentils and add your favorite veggies rely on low-sodium canned beans and frozen cut veggies.
2. Drink Water
I know you have heard it before but it bears repeating, Drink More Water. I carry a reusable water bottle every where I go. It helps me stay hydrated and avoid cravings for soda or coffee when I'm running errands. Need to avoid headaches or clear up your skin? Drink More Water. Your body will function better and eliminate waste more efficiently when you are hydrated.
3. Eat More Fruit and Veggies
Try adding a piece of fresh fruit or raw veggies to every meal. I've been eating at least one piece of fruit everyday as part of my breakfast. Salads and wraps are great ways to get more produce to your diet but you can always add an extra veggie side dish at dinner or a bowl of berries for dessert. When I'm hungry (outside of meal times) I'll eat an apple or some carrots before considering something else. Many fruits and veggies can easily be stored in a desk or backpack for a healthy snack.
4. Eliminate Processed Food
While there are some decent processed options out there most are scary chemical-filled concoctions. Focus instead on whole foods. Cutting down on packaged food will open up opportunities for healthier foods that will fuel your body and help you feel great. Instead of reaching for that frozen “one-pot meal”, toss your favorite veggies in a pan with some rice or quinoa. Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast and very easy to make; buy rolled oats and cook according to the directions and add your favorite fruit, nuts and seeds.
5. Keep a Food Journal
Tedious? Maybe, however many of us eat without even thinking about it. Keep track, even for 2 weeks, of every thing you eat or drink. A food journal will help you see trends like high calorie late night snacks or chocolate-filled stress eating. I make better choices when I know I have to write them down. I'll rethink that Venti Frappuccino and all of the calories that come with it. That doesn't mean you can't have treats but it will keep you honest about how many treats you actually eat. A journal will also help you keep track of your water consumption.
For more tips on healthy eating and transitioning to a plant-based diet check out My Plant-Based Family.