In the world that we live in today, it can be a challenge to eat healthy. Eating healthy is important to so many people, but with quick service fast food increasing, and time spent in the kitchen dwindling, some tips to help make eating healthy easier could go a long way. Here are 5 easy to follow tips to help anyone make eating healthy a priority and easy!
1. Make a list:
a. One thing that I believe helps you stay on track is creating a list of favorite healthy meals. The ideal list would include many different recipes for the different vegetable and meat options. Your list can be as extensive as you would like, but the more options the better. You can rotate weekly between different meals so that you do not get burned out on any single dinner. If you have a list of about 30 or more different healthy recipes that you know you and your family like, it makes it easier to follow step two, which is plan ahead.
2. Plan Ahead:
a. Planning ahead is vital. If you know what you are going to eat for Dinner every day, you are less prone to take the easy (and almost all of the time unhealthy) option such as fast food or pizza.
b. During the weekend, write out a menu for the week. (We have a chalkboard Menu) Pick healthy options for each day, and know what you have to buy when you’re at the grocery store. The grocery list helps you stay on track with what you need for the weekly menu, and keeps you from wondering around the grocery store, where you are more likely to pick up trouble foods (But the Swiss cake rolls are BOGO!). Make sure you plan every night so there are no questions on what is for dinner. If you plan on eating leftovers for lunch, be sure to make enough food at dinner.
c. You may have heard of the phrase “Meal Prep”. This phrase is generally used by people who prepare their meals for the week early so that they have no guesswork during the week. I like to use this for lunches, especially if I do not plan on having leftovers. Taking sunday to prepare some easy healthy meals for the weeks lunches will make it easier for you to skip the fast food at lunch and eat healthier.
d. In addition to “Meal Prep” for the week, you can also meal prep for the day. If you are cooking vegetables or any kind of meat, if you prepare them for cooking early in the morning and storing them in the fridge, that makes it easier to start cooking them right when you need them, and saves time in the evening when more people are pressed for time.
e. Make sure that you plan to get at least 5 fruits and vegetables everyday for everyone in your family! Eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day ensures that you are getting the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to stay alert and healthy!
3. Season your Food:
a. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they try to eat boring boiled chicken or unseasoned vegetables, and in turn, they hate the taste and stop eating healthy. If you take a venture down the spice aisle in your local grocery store you will see there are hundreds of options (and most are relatively cheap!). Most spices contain little to no added calories, but can do wonders in making your previously inedible food edible again! Also some spices such as garlic and turmeric have wonderful anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting components. So experiment with different spices and combination, and find something that you and your family can add to your list of recipes!
a. I do not mean go and research on PubMed or the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, I mean read some magazine articles and browse Pinterest. Look up healthy options for some of your favorite recipes. You can find so many new options, and continue to grow your dinner list so that every week you have unlimited options.
a. Do not be afraid to eat out! A few times a month indulge when you are out and make sure that you reward yourself for eating healthy!
b. If eating healthy is your priority, it is essential that you are not too hard on yourself and indulge sometimes. If you try to keep yourself away from trouble foods for too long, eventually something will give in and you will eat that food. If your vice is Ice Cream, do not be afraid to have a little Ice Cream once or twice throughout the week. Just keep your indulgences short and sweet! (Or whatever flavor you prefer.)
Following these 5 steps can make eating healthy less of a chore, and something that anyone can do without even thinking about it. Making a list helps you know exactly what to get at the grocery store, and keeps you from wondering around and picking up trouble foods. If you plan ahead it takes the guesswork out of dinner, and does not allow for the quick fast food fix when in a jam. Also meal prep can save you time for lunch, and at night when preparing dinner. Seasoning your food can make it taste a lot better and keep you eating healthy forever! Finding new recipes online can help expand your list, and allow you to change up the weekly meals more often. Last you need to indulge every once and a while to allow yourself to stay on track and not binge. I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any other questions!!