Easy ways to eat better

This post is part 3 in a 4 part series about bringing healthy living back to basics by focusing on sleeping, eating, moving and relaxing well.

If you missed parts 1 and 2 you can check them out here and here.

So lets get down to it.

Eating today has gotten way too complicated! Everywhere you look there is more and conflicting information on the “right” way to eat. How the heck are you supposed to know whether you should go keto, paleo, gluten-free, or vegan!

Food companies are also experts at marketing their products. There is nary a box or package on the shelf today that doesn’t claim to be health food because it’s “High fiber”, “Low fat”, or “Sugar-free”. No wonder you’re confused.

My take on it is this. Let’s cut the crap. And go back to the basics.

Choose less processed foods

This one is pretty straight forward.

Choose fewer foods that come in a box or a bag and more that come from the earth. For example, nutritionally speaking, a whole apple is better for you than apple juice. And apple juice is better for you than apple turnovers. In general, the more processing it takes to make a food item, the less healthy it is for you.

Here are a couple of tricks to help you with this one.

Try, as much as possible, to only choose items your great-great-grandmother would recognize as food. 100 years ago, there was no such thing as McDonald’s, fun shaped cereal, or granola bars. Celery though, and carrots, those were very recognizable things!

Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. All of the more processed items are located in the centre aisles, where refrigeration isn’t required. So stick to that outside supermarket loop as much as possible! Better yet, shop your local farmer’s market. Here you’ll get the freshest ingredients because they didn’t have to come into your grocer on a truck from many miles (and often whole countries) away!

Focus on abundance, not deprivation

When you start making efforts to eat healthier, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the foods you feel like you “can’t have”. But focusing on these restrictions will inevitably lead you to WANT those foods even more, which will only make it harder on you.

Instead, try coming at it from the viewpoint of the things you’re GAINING. I GET TO experiment with cooking and new ways to prepare delicious food. I GET TO eat as much fruit as I want. I can have a salad THE SIZE OF A MIXING BOWL with so many nutritious colourful toppings. I get to FUEL MY BODY well!

To make this easier in the beginning, rather than forcing yourself to eat things you don’t love because you think you SHOULD, choose a few healthier food options that you already enjoy, eat LOTS of them, and expand from there.

Eat the rainbow

This is not a novel concept. Even the American Heart Association writes about this. But it’s so important!

Eating a variety of different colours of fruits and vegetables every day ensures you get TONS of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help your body function at its best.

Try picking each of your servings of fruits and veg from a different colour family. So maybe a strawberry banana smoothie for breakfast. Spinach salad with shredded carrots as part of your lunch, then eggplant parmesan for dinner.

This is just one example, but a quick google search will bring you to tons of ready-made charts and lists of all the different foods that fall into each colour category. You may even discover some you’ve never tried before! Take this as an opportunity to venture out – again ADDING things to your diet, rather than taking them away.

Practice the 80-20 rule

This is fairly self-explanatory but the basic premise is to make healthy choices 80% of the time and indulge a little the other 20%.

Food is meant to be enjoyed! And there are just too many delicious goodies out there to deny yourself in perpetuity.

Plus, allowing yourself a treat here and there will help keep you out of the deprivation mindset, and therefore make it easier to SUSTAIN your new healthier lifestyle.

So there you have it folks. I hope you’ll join me in keeping healthy eating SIMPLE by adopting some of the above tips.

Until next time,

xoxo

Laura

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