The thought of changing habits can seem daunting, especially when it comes to healthy eating. Too often we find ourselves overwhelmed by the prospect of sticking to a huge goal and end up avoiding it all together.
But we all have to start somewhere -wherever that may be. And that’s okay.
Trying to eat ‘perfectly’ healthy is complicated, exhausting, and unattainable. Instead, strive for balance, moderation and simplicity. Keep your goals manageable and action-based, without too many rules.
Use the following ideas as jump-off points and narrow it down to something more specific. These may not be as glamorous as sprinkling goji berries on your smoothie bowls or going on a juice cleanse, but I guarantee that they are practical, simple steps you can take to help you move forward in your wellness journey.
Start a recipe inventory.
Healthy eating begins in the kitchen. Whether it was found on Pinterest or passed down to you from a family member, start experimenting and trying new recipes. Save recipes for meals that you enjoyed so you can make it again. I often clip recipes from the internet and save them to OneNote, with tabs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc so that I have a go-to collection of my favourite recipes.
Stock a healthy pantry.
It’s much easier to cook and eat healthy if your kitchen is stocked with nutritious ingredients. Here are some staple ingredients for healthy cooking: whole grains (such as brown rice or oats), herbs + spices, healthy oils (such as olive or avocado oil), legumes/beans (canned or dry), vinegar, nuts/seeds, and of course, fruits and vegetables, both fresh and frozen. (PS. stay tuned for a more detailed post on healthy pantry essentials!)
Whether it’s batch cooking at the beginning of the week or cutting up vegetables at the start of your day, a little bit of preparation is better for your time and budget. It doesn’t mean that everyday of the week has been planned (although it may for some). Choose a few dishes that you would like to make for the week. You can even start off by preparing a healthy lunch for work or school. Some people prefer to be spontaneous, so batch cooking at the beginning of the week may not be for everyone. It’s important to find a system that works for you.
Eat your veggies.
Most of us eat less vegetables than we’d like to admit. Vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals so be sure they’re making it to your plate. Aim to make half your plates vegetables. Toss together a salad, roast root vegetables, add vegetables to soups and frittatas, or eat them as snacks with a healthy dip.
Nourish on the regular.
Deprivation won’t take you very far. Skipping meals and strict dieting is the path to failure, and it will not make you feel good physically or emotionally. Don’t wait until you’re ravenous to eat as you’ll likely end up overeating in the next meal. Tune in to how your body is feeling and make sure to refuel when you’re hungry with a healthy snack to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.