HEALTHY EATING WHERE TO START?
Making the shift to healthy eating can seem daunting. Is it expensive? What if I don't like it? What if my kids don't like it? What does it even mean?
Simple, healthy eating is the best approach you can take for maximum health, strength and vitality both inside and out.
It can be very overwhelming thinking about where to start especially with how trendy it's become recently it seems there are healthy options for everything!
I think though with starting anything new, it's best to pick one or two things and just do them really well. Thankfully health has a flow on effect so when you start changing one thing you'll find it easier to start making change in others.
It's also important to remember change can be a challenge especially when there are thought patterns attached to things, and eating is certainly one of those areas of life. What you choose to believe now (moving on from what you grew up believing) will help empower you to start and progress down your path the health.
While you are making physical changes, choose to 'think yourself healthy' and your actions will become easier and easier, and a more natural part of your life.
Choosing to just start somewhere is the first step to healthy eating so I suggest taking some time to reflect on what you currently eat and drink and how this is affecting your body, mind and emotions and then pick one thing you think you'd like to do better and start with that. Be diligent and give yourself time to adjust to the change, but don't overwhelm yourself by doing a complete overhaul overnight. Jessica Sepel is my favourite resource for this sort of thing, she has great advice on how to make a start and continue with that decision. You can find her at www.jessicasepel.com and her books are on my Reviews page if you'd like to read more about what I've learnt from her.
And finally, healthy eating right across the board takes time! It has taken me 4-5 years to get to where I am today and I still have a long way to go to where I'd like to be in my approach and thought life around healthy eating (and consequently my actual eating). But below are some of the adjustments I have made over these years, some of which have been way harder than others (coffee & sugar?!) and others have not taken much effort at all. I hope what I've managed to adjust to will help you find somewhere to start with your own approach to healthy eating.
Things I've changed/adopted/tweaked:
- Quit refined sugar (except for special occasions) including cakes, chocolate, ice cream, slices, snacks, beverages, alcohol, breads and the like.
- Swapped white flours, rice, and pasta for whole meal or spelt, brown rice and a variety of different gluten free pastas.
- Lowered caffeine in take and keep it to one coffee a day a few times a week, no decaf or black tea.
- Increased water intake each day.
- Replaced snacks with fresh produce like veggie sticks, cut up fruit, or fruit and natural yoghurt.
- Swapped breakfast cereals for homemade sugar free muesli (mixed nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, rolled oats and chia seeds with fresh fruit on top). Or eggs on toast or soaked overnight oats.
- Swapped sweetened yoghurt for either Greek or natural yoghurt.
- Swapped store bought juice for homemade veggie juice.
- Started eating a portion of fresh produce at every meal of the day (even breakfast and snacks).
- If I needed bread or bread was a part of a meal out I'd choose multigrain or wholemeal.
- Started packing dinner left overs for lunch the next day so I wasn't having to choose from only what was available close by or making unhealthy decisions in the moment due to hunger or lack of time/convenience.
- Packed mixed nuts and whole fruit for morning tea or afternoon tea at my desk and found some recipes of raw balls that tasted yummy and packed them for my morning coffee.
Other quick tips for starting to eat healthy:
- Buy things in their most natural state as possible. The less a food has been 'touched' or processed by humans or machines the better.
- This includes:
- fresh over tinned (fruit, veggies, fish).
- brown over white (rice, pasta, flours, sugars).
- Natural over sweetened (milks, yoghurts, cheeses).
- Whole and plain over prepared and marinated (meats).
- Jared goods such as sauces and curry pastes, the less ingredients the better and preferably ones you understand (or at least can look up).
- Avoid anything with additives such as salt, sugar, msg, or the word 'additives' this refers to artificial flavouring, thickening agents and the like which make food very far from how it was first sourced.
- Grilled and steamed over fried (if you're eating out).
- Go for balance- make sure you include some fresh stuff (fruit/veg), some protein, some good fats and some carbs. They all play their special part in making you strong and healthy.
And remember the reason for healthy eating shouldn't be motivated by fear or insecurity but by a desire to experience what a naturally strong and healthy body and mind can feel like and to enjoy every day to its full!