Transition to a healthier, nutrient rich diet with these simple tips

What you consume on a daily basis affects more than just your physical appearance, it affects the many functions of your body. 

That's why more and more people are becoming more aware about how they are living, what it is they are eating and are pushing towards a holistic approach to eating and having a generally healthier lifestyle, through not just their diets, but their mental attitude.

If you are new to the world of healthy eating or seeking to improve your eating habits or maybe you just don’t know how to start, here are a few tips to help you begin this journey.


1. More whole foods and vegetables

No-brainer, right? Just add more of those foods to your plate. Either a side salad or steamed veggies, or even “cheating” a bit like adding spinach to your spaghetti sauce. Whatever works better for you and your family.

Half of your plate should be vegetables! There are also the superfoods and supplements that you can use and have lots and lots of fun. 

Look out for the chemicals, keep it as natural as possible. Eat more veggies and leafy greens and you will kickstart your new, healthy habits.


2. Memorize recipes

You don’t need to know a whole gastronomic book by heart. Just pick a few recipes you like (say, 2 or 3) and keep making them until you get used to it and have memorized it.

Practice leads to perfection, and soon enough you’ll be whipping it exquisitely.


3. Get inspiration

You can find inspiration on healthy recipes blogs and books. They’re available all over the internet, covering every kind of food imaginable from every corner of the earth.


4. Stock up

To make healthy recipes, you need to make good food choices. Start to stock up your fridge, freezer and cupboards with healthy food, and when you go to the grocery store keep your focus on your health.

Avoid processed, packaged, convenience foods. “Trap” yourself into experimenting and cooking every meal from scratch! The more you do it, the more you will get good at it. Later on, you will make good choices on autopilot. But until then, take care and don’t go do your groceries hungry.

Take note of your staple foods, those you eat on a daily basis and needs replenishing often. We don’t want to waste food or money, so don’t buy what you don’t eat.


5. Ditch the diet (mentality)

The worst thing you can do for your health is get obsessed with diets, especially hardcore diets that forbids you an entire food group. Your metabolism needs them all! Carbs, protein, fats, vitamins, fibers… 

A strict calorie counting diet might get you some results in the short term, but it may also bring you problems in the long term, because you need to nourish your body.

Study a bit about intuitive eating! What really matters is what your food is made of and its effect inside your body.

You can have your cookies! Just don’t binge eat or exaggerate, and try to understand how your hunger really feels. Most of the time we think we’re hungry, it’s just anxiety or even dehydration.


6. Read the labels

Don’t put anything in your body without reading the labels. Get used to the terms. 

Packages can be misleading: the front might say “half the sugar” but actually it still has a great deal of sugar in it. Whole grain products might be mixed with white grain, so you want to turn the package over and read the ingredients, before you even read the nutrition facts table. 

You want to avoid high fructose, corn syrup, modified milk ingredients, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors.

The ingredients are depicted from the highest amount to the lowest amount by law. So if sugar is one of the first few ingredients, don’t even think about it.


7. Healthy swaps

Remember nothing is forbidden, everything is replaceable! Eating healthy doesn't mean you can’t eat this or that kind of food. It means you must understand the role food plays in our body and be able to make clever (and tasty) swaps.

Toss out the margarine and bring in coconut oil or even butter. Maple syrup or honey are way healthier and tastier than refined white sugar. 

You can find healthy version of your favorite meals with a simple Google search. 


8. Make time

Trying new recipes and experimenting is critical if you want to learn how to cook your own food, and that means you need to carve out some time to do it. 

Set a time block in your schedule and follow through.Think about it as a commitment to yourself, your health, your family. An extra 30 minutes is enough to cook a healthy dinner, maybe even an hour on a Sunday. And don’t forget to have tons of fun! Get your kids to help, involve your partner, turn the stereo on.

Enjoy the process, feel it and put some love in it. There are ways to make it faster as well, like preparing some ingredients in advance and having quick, healthy recipes. Just don’t make that a rule.


9. Listen to your body

Pay attention to how you feel, how your body respond to certain meals. You will be surprised that many of the foods we eat are not as digestible as we think.

We have a propension to take our feelings for granted and follow our taste buds or even our culture calling. 

Research about gut health, notice how your skin is doing and your energy levels. You should aim at understanding what is your ideal food style! It will probably be different than your neighbors, your family or even your partner.

That can be quite challenging, but if you put your mind into it, soon it will become second nature for you.


10. Drop the expectations

You don’t need to be perfect. Treat yourself! Sometimes you deserve a splurge. Just make sure it doesn’t grow into a routine. 

Do yourself a favor and quit the expectations. We are always pushing our limits, raising the bars, creating impossible expectations every minute of every day.

Do the best you can, and don’t think twice about it. If you stray from your path, don’t feel discouraged or demotivated. Remember that it is impossible to live up to our own expectations!

Enjoy the process, recognize your progress, celebrate life. It’s about the journey! If you take it lightly, it will be way easier to develop better habits. 

Takes time and effort, but it is worth every second!

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