I know that for those who have never learned to eat in a healthy manner or don’t understand proper nutrition, starting to live a healthier lifestyle can seem difficult, but it’s not, so don’t be discouraged.
With a little knowledge anyone can start on the road to good health.
Healthy eating is essential for maintaining proper body function, having energy and vitality and for living a disease-free life. For those who have trouble with healthy eating, breaking unhealthy habits could possibly be the most difficult aspect of the process. But, for those who really want to live the best lifestyle possible, it is essential to adhere to a proper diet ( and when I say diet, I do not mean the cabbage soup diet, the watermelon diet, the whatever other wacky diet out there. I mean the eating real food diet, ) and sticking with it for the long term.
A great starting step when you want to begin a healthy eating plan is to rid your home of bad foods. What are bad foods? A good place to start is with anything that is processed, this includes, cookies and soda. Processed, packaged foods typically have little in the way of the nutrients the body needs.
Keeping junk food and drinks out of your kitchen can help to prevent temptation. My husband is a chronic junk food eater. If it’s in the house, he will eat it. He has no willpower. So instead, I stock my kitchen with healthy snacks, such as, carrot sticks, fruit, cheese, yogurt, and straight old-fashioned popcorn. The kind you have to make in a pot on top of the stove.
For those who have a sweet tooth many nutrition bars are available that have much less sugar than candy and cookies, these include, Atkins Bars in a variety of flavors, including, Brownies, they taste great and have zero sugar. I put these out here for those that are not eating a gluten-free diet, as these bars are not gluten-free.
What do healthy meals include? Lean proteins, lots of vegetables and healthy carb sides, including whole grain starches. Fruit is a good choice for dessert. Overall, a healthy eating plan consists of more vegetables and fruits than protein and grains, unless you are eating healthier grains like quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice, and water, lots of water. Please note that sugar and more importantly pop or soda, is nowhere on the chart.
One more step in learning to eat a more nutritious diet, is to take the time to learn which foods are the healthiest and how they work in the body. It’s common knowledge that fruits, vegetables, are healthy, but, few individuals fully grasp why. The secret is understanding nutrients.
Once you appreciate how specific nutrients work in the body, you’ll be more prone to make these healthy choices at meal and snack times. Knowledge is power!
Cook At Home
Control the ingredients and the cooking methods and you control your health. Don’t leave it to chance and make sure that you prepare the best meals for you and your family. In future blog posts I will be teaching you how to cook once and eat at least twice.
When beginning a new healthy diet, it’s also wise to consider a consistent meal schedule. If you frequently eat in a rush or at odd times of day, it is likely you aren’t eating healthy foods. Many people have very busy lives, and eating junk and fast food on the go is typical. It’s important to plan ahead. Rather than grabbing a fast food lunch on the run, take a bagged lunch to work, possibly a tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat or a fresh salad. The weekend is a good time to plan for the week, and prep food that can be used easily throughout the week.
Plan ahead for healthy dinners as well, by cooking ahead of time and using the freezer to its fullest advantage.
Shop The Periphery Of The Market
Did you know that the periphery of any super market has all the healthy foods, while the inside aisles carry all the processed and unhealthy ones. Think about it, the produce aisle, the fresh meats, and the dairy products are all on the periphery. Next time you are at the market take a stroll and look around the periphery to see what is there.
Begin with small steps. Even if you merely substitute one soda a day with a glass of water, or one candy bar with an apple, it counts. If you normally eat fast food each day for lunch, try eating a healthy meal instead for half of the time. When you begin with tiny steps, it won’t feel too drastic and you can take your time to find out about healthy foods which you can learn to love in the long run.