Spring is officially here! It’s a great time to get out and take in all of the wonderful things that Mother Nature has to offer us. It’s also a great time for healthy eating. We all get a little side tracked from time to time and don’t always opt for those good foods (it’s especially difficult when those Christmas cookies are SO good that we can’t help but still be eating them four months after we put them out for Mr. Claus!) It’s okay, you’re not alone. All it takes to get back on track is a recommitment to yourself and a few tips (found below) on how to cut back on those chocolate chips and kickstart a healthy eating lifestyle. Now I’m meat, gluten, dairy and soy free so I’m going to talk in general terms here so we can all relate. Start with thanking the good lord above you’re not limited to my diet!
- Preparation is half the battle. I use this way motto in every aspect of my life… the key to planning events, running errands, cooking dinner, and eating healthy is preparation. Take some time at the beginning of the week to do some grocery shopping and plan your meals. If you have some extra time, make the meals, but not just for that night. Make enough so you can package the leftovers and store in the fridge; this way when you come home from a long day of work instead of ordering take out, AGAIN, you can easily heat up a healthy, delicious homemade meal.
- Simplify. Less is more…even when it comes to your dinnerware. Using smaller plates will actually help with portion controlling your food. Since you’ll have less space on your plate, you will pile on less food, but don’t make this an excuse to load your plate with fried foods and sweets. Reach for the greens!
- Have fruits and veggies instead. It’s easy to grab a bag of chips or stick your hand in the cookie jar when it’s right in front of you; that’s why it’s a great idea to pre-cut fruits and veggies to have on hand when you get those ‘gotta eat right now’ cravings. You can find small storage containers at your local Target for easy stow away options in your fridge.
- H2o is the way to go! Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells, so it’s good to take notice of how much you are actually drinking in a given day. Yes, I know those high sugar drinks are delicious, but they aren’t always the best option for you when trying to stay healthy. Up that water intake to keep your body hydrated. Added bonus: your skin will start to look fab and glowy too… who doesn’t want that?!
- Don’t ever deprive yourself. A friend of mine has such a big sweet tooth that she would rather walk barefoot on hot coals than limit her sweets. Even the thought of it makes her cringe. You don’t want to completely deprive yourself of your favorite treats, but moderation is key. It’s fine to have a slice of that Entenmann’s (heavenly) Marshmallow Iced Devil’s Food Cake, but stick to one slice. As much as you don’t want to deprive yourself, you don’t want to overindulge all the time either.
- A little taste here and there adds up. Do you ever find yourself having a little nibble of this and a bit of that in between meals? I do this all the time. What we don’t realize is that all those little bites add up. Be mindful of what your “in between-y” foods are and how much you are really taking in.
- Slow down, speedy. Yep, I get it, that spaghetti Bolognese is so delightful that you need to finish it all RIGHT NOW! But slow down a bit, would ya?! Taking longer to finish your meals and really enjoying every bite will not only be more satisfying, but it’ll give your brain some time to catch up with your stomach, helping you consume fewer calories.
- Eat breakfast. It’s no secret that this is the most important meal of the day and it’s also no secret that lots of us skip it (eeeeek!). A nutritious early day meal can jumpstart your metabolism and get that energy going.
Your body is your temple so you want to fill it with only the best foods. Remember, the goal in the end is to have more energy and feel great, so don’t stress too much. Enjoy your foods!