Eating healthy is a goal for many people these days. If you want to live a more abundant life, it’s critical. The problem is, though healthy eating is simple, it’s not always easy.
Why? Several reasons. First, the major food manufacturers markets their unhealthy products as though they are healthy (when I was a kid, the Snickers candy bar was advertised as being “nourishing”).
Second, these processed foods are everywhere.
Third, it’s easier to “just add water” or pop a box into the microwave and have a complete meal under fifteen minutes than it is to prepare homemade food from scratch.
Fourth, you’re used to eating them, and you like them, so you don’t want to give them up.
Fifth, you’re used to eating them, and you like them, so you don’t want to give them up. (Yes, the repetition was intentional.)
Finally, conclusions of nutritional studies constantly contradict each other, causing confusion as to which foods and which diets are truly healthy.
I’m not going to get into that debate in this post. Instead, I want to provide some suggestions that will make healthy eating an easier goal for you to achieve.
#1: Create a three-week plan to transition into the whole-foods way of eating.
The first week, eat a whole-foods breakfast every day. (HINT: dried cereal is never whole-foods, not even if it’s labeled as “natural” or “organic”, or contains whole grain flour, or contains bits of twigs and dried fruit. Real European-style muesli is the only exception.)
The second week, continue eating whole-foods breakfasts (we like smoothies at our house), and add whole-foods lunches every day that week.
The third week, all three of your main meals should consist of whole foods. No frozen meals, limited (to no) flour-based products, no boxed meals, and no processed snack foods or desserts (including things like cookies, soda, candy, and potato chips).
#2: Plan whole-food meals and snacks in advance.
And write out a grocery list for only the ingredients you need.
#3: Don’t grocery-shop when you’re hungry.
You’ve heard that one a hundred times before, so I won’t bother explaining it.
#4: Every couple of days, add an extra fruit or vegetable serving to your daily fare.
Do this until you’re consuming at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. (One banana or one medium apple, two cups raw lettuce, a half cup cooked carrots or asparagus are examples of serving sizes.)
#5: Make animal products condiments, not main attractions.
Despite the protests of Paleo diet and Weston A. Price bloggers, more and more nutritional studies are providing heavier and heavier evidence that the more plant-based your diet is, the healthier you will be in the long run.
Therefore, if you choose to consume dairy, eggs, and meat (this includes fish), the serving size of any of them should be no larger than the palm of your hand at any meal.
I hope this tips will make healthy eating a no-brainer for you. If you’d like an even more detailed resource, check out my book Simple Diet, Beautiful You. It includes a section which teaches you how to eat three homemade meals per day in under thirty minutes of work!