Who doesn't want to make healthy eating easier? Here are 10 simple ways to make healthy eating easy and enjoyable.
1. Make a grocery list.
No exceptions. Make one and stick to it. Mine’s on my iPhone. Boom, a green, easily accessible grocery list. Only buy what you know you will use, and buy key ingredients that will work with several different meals. Always load up on greens and fresh produce. Stock healthy condiments, spices and superfoods to boost the flavor and nutrition of your meals. Oh, and NEVER grocery shop hungry!
2. Prep for your meals ahead of time.
Don’t underestimate the power of meal prep! Your pocket book, body and mother earth will all thank you emphatically. Pick one day and prep for the week. Make food in bulk, which you can store. Which brings us to...
3. Buy glass storage containers.
Plastic leeches into our food, and even the BPA-free kind of plastic just doesn't have as long a lifespan as good glassware does. When I'm on the go or at work, the glassware also classes up my meal a bit. I also tote my own silverware; along with classing up my meal, it also reduces my carbon footprint.
4. Keep offenders out of the house.
Everyone has "trigger" foods. My advice is to keep them out of the house. This can be complicated when living with others, but all it requires is a little willpower. There's an epidemic of disordered eating in our society, and "trigger foods" are foods that don't register satisfaction with you. You eat a little and it opens up the door for you to eat the entire jar, or start to binge. Neither of these behaviors is healthy. Work towards building healthy boundaries around these food items, and until you do, ban ‘em.
5. Get off the "I'll start tomorrow" wheel.
Just climb down, while all of your dignity is still intact. This way of thinking is a trap. Think back to childhood sleepovers — did you ever have those nights when you'd eat Cheetos and pizza, followed by ice cream for dessert, then possibly even more candy? Did you ever experience eating junk food way past the point of hunger, just for a good time? It's commonplace in our society. Portion sizes are out of control, food quality is tragic (in most places), and the natural instinct of satiation is treated as one would treat a yellow light, rather than a red light. Instead, be here now, and start listening to your body today.
6. Understand that healthy doesn't mean boring.
Nor does it mean bland or repetitive. Just get creative. Seek inspiration. Decide what flavors appeal to you (spicy, sweet, sour, salty) and go with it. Get on the internet! You'll find piles of recipes that suit your tastes. Contact me if you want some of my favorite plant-based sources of inspiration.
7. Always keep a 911 snack on hand.
You never know when a traffic jam, impromptu meeting or adventure will pop up. I keep one of my favorite healthy bars in my purse at all times (these bars are raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free and their shape withstands the abuse of being toted around in a purse everyday). Be wary of sugar-laden, high-calorie candy bars camouflaged as nutritional bars.
8. Make the kitchen accessible.
Take the time to organize your cabinets, fridge and pantry so that cooking becomes easy, routine and accessible. Eating at home exponentially heightens your capacity to eat healthfully. You can make the most delicious food in your very own kitchen with just a bag of groceries, a recipe and your own vivacious little self.
9. Invest in key appliances.
While green smoothies don’t require a Vitamix, my Vitamix remains to this day the best purchase I've ever made. Some other key players in my kitchen are a zester, peeler, measuring devices, jars (I save all jars to stock goodies and cart green smoothies in), a spiralizer and good dish towels.
10. Make "healthy" the only option.
That's as easy as it gets. When eating junk is simply not an option, then the path is paved. The problem is the mind. The body wants clean fuel. Eating clean food likely will eradicate nearly every "issue" you physically suffer from, but the mind desperately latches onto the way you've always eaten. Listening to your body isn't as easy as it sounds. It requires willpower and redefinition of what food's role actually is in your life. Food is fuel. It's beautiful to be able to make it delicious and enjoyable, yes, but at the core, it is gas in the tank.
You can have the best of both worlds, though! Clean, scrumptious sustenance that has an energizing, anti-aging, detoxifying, satisfying and palpably beneficial effect on the body exists. Get into the kitchen, get food on your hands and find out which healthy combinations make you tick.
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