What are some of the first things that come to your mind when you think about…HEALTHY EATING? Is it crazy diets? Calorie restriction? Bland, boring food? Clearing your pantry and fridge of all the treats that bring you joy? Being intimidated by the many opinions and options out there? Or even fear of not having enough choices?
Fear not Beauties, because eating healthy does not have to mean (and should never mean) being hangry and unsatisfied all of the time. Out with the bland and in with the bold! Let’s keep it nice and simple with 3 beginner tips for healthy eating:
1. Crowd out processed snacks by stocking up on whole, fresh foods.
Instead of throwing out (or eating) your entire pantry full of chips and cookies, start by crowding those snacks out with whole, fresh produce, and healthier snack options. Fresh, organic produce is pretty widely available throughout most major grocery store chains. There is an abundance of healthier snack options that are non-GMO, void of chemical additives, and contain ingredients that you can actually pronounce. You don’t need to go to a fancy health food store to find healthier options anymore. Start with small changes, taking on one or two swaps per grocery store visit. That way the shift to healthier snacking won’t seem so overwhelming.
2. Learn to read your ingredient label and stop counting calories.
Yes, you can stop counting calories. Not only is calorie counting irrelevant, but it adds unnecessary stress to your life. What makes food healthy is its quality. As a rule of thumb, steer clear of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. I am all for treating yourself now and then. In fact, flexibility is a key factor in maintaining a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. In general, however, stay away from added refined sugars, processed oils, and chemical additives. You should especially avoid these ingredients if they are listed in the first 3-5 spots on the label. The closer an ingredient is to the beginning of the list, the more that snack contains of it.
3. Flavor is your friend!
The reason so many people love to munch on processed foods is because they taste so good! Why? Salt, sugar, and artificial flavors are intentionally designed to leave us wanting MORE. There are healthy ways to flavor your food, so you’re not left with a bitter, bland salad that leaves your tummy… and soul, feeling empty. Be a kitchen scientist and experiment with different herbs and spices. Opt for pink Himalayan salt and natural sweeteners like local honey or maple syrup. Friendly cooking oils include olive, avocado, and coconut. Ghee is a great alternative to regular butter, tastes amazing, and is healing for your gut! Get creative, try new recipes, and see what deliciousness awaits you.
It’s high time we take all of the intimidation centered around nutrition and turn it into INSPIRATION. Starting, or re-starting, your health journey represents a great opportunity for you realize all of the amazing benefits the right foods can provide for you. Get excited to fuel your everyday hustle and heal your body.
Remember to keep everything nice and simple, and take the pressure off yourself. We all want our healthy lifestyle to be sustainable, and not feel like a roller coaster of fad diets and weight fluctuation. Creating a positive mindset around delicious and nutritious sustainability sets you up for a healthy, happy lifestyle that will leave you glowing. Cheers to you and your health!