The dietary changes you’re making should not feel restrictive or overwhelming.
Most Americans have grown up on processed foods; I know I sure did! If eating healthier seems like a big change for you, take it one step at a time. Pick 1 or 2 changes to make now, and once those are in place, pick 1 or 2 more. This is the best way to make healthy changes a part of your lifestyle, and something you can easily live with, long term.
Transitioning to a healthier way of eating may seem daunting so here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Eat vegetables at most meals. Think salads, side dishes, soups, or even adding veggies to your sandwich or wrap.
2. When you have a craving for something sweet, opt for a serving of fruit to satisfy your craving. Be sure to keep your favorite fruits in the house.
3. When you eat meat, it’s best to choose organic, grass-fed, and hormone-free, so you get the maximum nutrients possible without the harmful pesticides residue, antibiotics, hormones, etc.
4. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy food choices that are ready to eat and go. Snacks like nuts, seeds, Lara Bars (without added sugar) or fruit are good for ‘grab and go’.
5. Heading out for a few hours? Grab a healthy snack or meal to take with you. Eating healthy foods on a regular basis will help you avoid unhealthy choices. Example: Create your own trail mix (avoid ready-made trail mix as most of them have hydrogenated oils and other undesirable, processed ingredients) or bring a small cooler to keep in the car.
6. Most importantly, don’t be too rigid. Making small changes over time will make a huge difference, and it makes it easier to stick with your healthier choices. Perfection is not the goal, so be kind to yourself and get back on track as soon as you can.