Whenever I talk to my clients about eating healthy, these are some of the common responses I get: “I don’t have time” “It’s so overwhelming”, “It’s too expensive”, and “I don’t know where to start”. I can relate because I used to say the same thing. When I started my transformation, I knew I had to make eating healthy part of my lifestyle. However, it seemed so overwhelming to me because I wasn’t good in the kitchen, I was a picky eater, and there is so much conflicting information out there about what is good for you and what isn’t. So if I wanted to be successful, I knew I had to start with what I knew and whatever I did, it had to be simple. So first I started with some intentions:
3 Simple Eating Healthy Rules:
1. I will not diet – I don’t believe in diets. I hate diets actually. They have the word “die” in them…why would I want to do that??? Plus, I have tried enough diets in my life to know that everything about it sucks. I believe in knowing your body and listening to your body. When you are in tune with your body, it will tell you what is good for you, what it craves, and what you need.
2. I will be patient – I was always looking for the quick fix. I set an intention that I would be patient with the process and forgiving of myself for knowledge I did not know. If I wanted this to be a lifestyle change, I had to be okay with working slowly.
3. I will be open-minded and try new things – I was notorious for saying I didn’t like a certain food when I had never even tried it. I set a rule that I would try everything once. (and have a glass a water near me to chug it down with 🙂
5 Simple Steps to Eating Healthy that You Can Start NOW
1. Stop Buying Unhealthy Food
If you don’t want to eat unhealthy, then stop buying unhealthy food. So many of my clients say, “I can’t get my husband or kids to stop eating junk” and I simply say, “Then stop buying it”. When I finally said “enough is enough” I grabbed a box and put all the processed and junk food in it. I threw out what was opened and donated what wasn’t. Here are some guidelines I used when I first started: Only shop the perimeter of the grocery store, if it has more than 5 ingredients don’t buy it, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient don’t buy it, and if you Great Grandma wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t buy it. If you want a super duper great resource, go here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com This is where I started!
2. See Good Food, Eat Good Food
This tip helped me a ton! I always wondered why I didn’t eat more fruits and vegetables and then I thought about it and said, “It’s because I don’t see them!”. The produce was always hiding in the drawers and my eyes never went to them. So I got some clear containers and moved the fresh goodies in plain sight in the fridge. I only use the drawers for the extra uncut produce and use it when I need to restock and replenish the containers with cut-up produce. Fruit and veggies are super colorful and also make for a great centerpiece that just calls out “Eat me! Eat me!” So I always have a good looking fruit bowl on my counter as well as a clear jar with a protein-filled snack like nuts. If you don’t see it, you won’t eat it. So make what you see, healthy choices.
3. Prepare Produce Promptly
The minute you get home, cut it up right away. It takes me less than 3 minutes to cut up a cantaloupe so you can definitely add some cutting time in. Cutting it up makes for easy grabbing and snacking.
4. Plan Ahead
Meal planning for us is usually on Sunday. It is a whole family affair. When we get home from the grocery store, we cut up produce and the kids help make snack bags and salads in a jar for the week. You can find some recipes here on my Pinterest board. I am a big fan of making crockpot meals ahead of time in freezer bags so all you have to do is dump it in the pot in the morning. If we cook on the grill or in the oven, I always make more so we have healthy leftover options for lunch the next day.
5. Drink More Water
Buy a clear pitcher and keep water in your fridge. I like to spice it up with some cucumbers, lemons, strawberries, or mint. Our bodies are made up of 60% water…which means if we don’t stay hydrated we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. Drinking more water has been said to help with reducing headaches, increase concentration, help with digestion, aid in clear skin, promote joint and muscle health, improve physical performance, aid in weight loss, flush out toxins, and improve your emotional outlook. To figure out how much water you should drink, take your weight, and multiply it by 2/3 and that is how many ounces of water you should drink. You also need to take your activity level into account. You should add 12 ounces to your total for every 30 minutes that you work out.
I challenge you use these 5 steps for one week and see how you feel. One of the best things about changing your eating habits in this day and age, is all the technology that is readily available to help you. I found two apps that can aid you in your 7 day challenge.
Two Apps to Help You Eat Healthy
There are many tools in this app to help you with your 7 day challenge. With Fooducate, you can scan a bar code in the grocery store to see what is really in your food. It gives you a letter grade based on the overall nutritional value of the product, and it will even give you healthier alternatives if your item gets a bad grade. The best part? Its completely free, and available on iPhone and Android.
Ok, there is no way I can cook a delicious, healthy home-cooked meal every night…especially in the summer! Besides, who doesn’t want to go out now and then? Problem is, how do you find healthy places to eat…especially when you are traveling? The Foodtripping app locates healthy alternatives to fast food in your immediate area. It even includes farmer’s markets, microbreweries, and organic coffee shops. You can search by location, name, popularity, and category. This app is also completely free and available on iPhone and Android.