Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the barrage of healthy news articles, tips, and tricks that you see everywhere? Are you starting your journey to becoming healthy? When I first started to eat healthy, I was so overwhelmed by all of the information out there. Some things would tell you how great one food was, while another article would say to stay away from it. It is easy to get confused by all of the information out there.
I believe that the best way to stick with any change is to start small. There is no way that you can just wake up the next morning and eat and do everything perfectly. I’ve come up with 10 simple ways you can start to clean up your diet and develop lasting habits of a healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to try several tips, or even just one to start with. Start with small changes, and don’t get discouraged! Healthy eating, just like anything else, takes practice.
1. Cut the Soda
I can hear the screams as I type this. NOOO! “But it’s diet soda, and I’m addicted. Besides it’s not bad right?” Wrong. Unfortunately, there’s just no way around it. Soda is toxic to your body, and diet soda can be even worse. You don’t have to cut it cold turkey, but if you start scaling back, it will help you get rid of the habit in time. Try fizzy healthy substitutes like Kombucha. There’s many different flavors, and it’s one of my favorite drinks!
2. Try More Meatless Meals
While I do not eat any meat except fish, I am not going to say you have to do the same. I believe that local, organic, humanely raised meat (in the right amounts) is not necessarily all bad. The problem though is that it can be hard to find (or not realistic), especially for a family on a budget. Conventional meats can be pumped full of hormones and do more harm to your body than good. I am a firm believer you don’t need meat to make a meal delicious. There are so many meatless meals that are nutritious, filling, and budget friendly. Try making 1-3 meatless meals a week. Check out my recipes for some meal ideas.
3. Drink, Drink, Drink.
This is one of the easiest tips. Water is amazing for your body, and your body needs it to function properly. Try to consciously drink more water throughout your day, whether that’s keeping a bottle at your desk, or remembering to drink a glass first thing in the morning. Drinking more water will hydrate your body and make your skin clearer and brighter. Drink up!
4. Start Cutting Sugar
The average American consumes obscene amounts of processed sugar. It’s in things like your bread (yes I’m serious!), your latte you just bought at Starbucks, in that “all natural” juice you’re buying, the list goes on. It is important to read labels so you know what’s in your food. I prefer to sweeten my own foods when possible, since I believe that maple syrup, honey, and coconut palm sugar are the most healthy sweeteners one can use. I buy unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened cereal, and use honey on top to add the sweetness I need. When making smoothies, I use unsweetened almond milk, and use fruit and honey as my sweetener. I also make my own coffee at home to cut down on calories and sugar. Even sweeteners like Stevia are not necessarily healthy.
5. Lighten Up Your Dessert
I don’t know about you, but I almost always need something sweet after dinner. It doesn’t need to be much, but I crave that sweetness. Most ice creams are full of sugar and garbage. The same goes for processed cookies, cakes, etc. It’s even hard to find organic healthier ice cream, as even those can have dangerous additives like carrageenan. An easy way to lighten up your dessert is to make it yourself. This gluten free chocolate peanut butter mug cake is so good, it’s just wrong. It doesn’t taste healthy one bit, but it has way less sugar than most desserts!
For the five other fabulous tips, head over to Blue Ridge Babe.