Recently on Instagram, I asked my follower-friends what health/wellness topics they would like me to cover in my #wftuesdaytips. I received a variety of responses, but one friend requested I share tactical tips to shift your diet to incorporate healthy foods. I love this request because so often we can get overwhelmed with the idea of healthy eating. So many don't know where to begin, and it is my goal to share tactical tips to make healthy eating simple! So without further ado, here are my top 6 tips to help you start eating nutrient-dense foods & shift your diet towards consuming foods that fuel your body!
Tip #1: Out of sight, out of mind:
Don't buy food that causes you to slip up. Create a grocery list and stick to it. Keep the processed foods/snacks out of the cart! You may need to purge your fridge, freezer, and pantry too. Dump or donate these foods -- out of sight, out of mind.
If you need something to suffice a sweet tooth, try combining a dark chocolate square + organic strawberry (I love Lindt 78% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar)! If you need a salty snack, try pistachios, Barnana plantain chips, or Siete Foods tortilla chips with salsa.
Tip #2: Shift slowly.
Try shifting one meal at a time, or eliminating/shifting one snack at a time. For example, instead of a sugary pastry for breakfast, try a nutrient-dense smoothie. Here's a delicious smoothie recipe: - a handful of spinach - 1/4 cup fruit of your choice - unflavored collagen protein powder - 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk - a small handful of ice - top with 2 tbsp of hemp seeds and 2 tsp of nut butter!
1/4 cup of fruit is a healthy amount of fruit to include in your smoothie. Although fruit is natural sugar, you don't want to consume too much of it. Too much natural sugar can cause blood sugar spikes resulting in hungry, energy crashes.
Another healthy breakfast option is egg bite muffins like this one, Orrrrr, my personal favorite - a yogurt parfait! However, be careful about what yogurt you choose. Many brands sneak a lot of sugar into their yogurts! My favorite parfait combination is Siggis Lactose-Free Plain Yogurt (no added sugar, & in high protein) topped with berries and Purely Elizabeth Original granola!)
Again, be sure to try things progressively. Don't try to switch your diet all at once -- you'll likely end up overwhelmed and fall back in old habits.
Similarly, instead of thinking about getting adequate serving sizes of EVERY food group, start with just trying to eat enough servings of vegetables (based on your age, weight, & gender).
Tip #3: Live by the 80/20 Mindset. It's not all or nothing. Grace, my friends!
The 80/20 Mindset is one of my core wellness beliefs. 80% of the time I strive to make healthy lifestyle choices (eating nutrient-dense food, exercising daily, sleeping 7-9 hours...etc). 20% of the time, I let life happen...I eat the cookies, the pizza, and drink the cocktails! I indulge in treats, exercise if I want to, and I don't worry about my sleep schedule.
The purpose of the 80/20 mindset is to live a life of balance! Balance provides freedom and keeps us from getting caught in perfectionistic tendencies. Also, striving for perfection can also paralyze us from starting.
Tip #4: Preparation is KEY.
Wash and prep your produce in advance! By washing and prepping your produce, it allows for healthy eats to be simple and quick.
In addition to washing and prepping your produce, meal plan your week! This is why I created my meal plan subscription -- I feel this can be the missing key to healthy eating. So many individuals feel overwhelmed at the thought of finding simple, nutrient-dense recipes and planning out the week and the grocery list. By planning ahead, you won't leave things to chance. It is simple to make healthy food when we have all the ingredients & recipes waiting...so choose to plan in advance or consider my meal plan subscription as an option!
By planning out your meals for the week ahead, you can also plan your treat meals -- something you can look forward to if you don't absolutely love ;) eating clean. (Fun note: the more you eat healthy, nutrient-dense food, the more your body starts to adjust and crave whole foods! I really enjoy eating clean now, and my body does too!)
Tip #5: Drink more water.
Often times we eat when we are actually just thirsty. So, before you eat a snack, drink a glass of water.
Drink half of your body weight in oz of water daily. Try adding some fresh lemon, lime, berries, or herbs if you don't enjoy plain water. It adds some pizazz!
Measure out how many ounces your favorite cup/water bottle holds and calculate out how many you need to drink a day to reach your water intake goal. Additionally, start drinking water right away in the morning and throughout the day -- try not to do binge (water ;)) drinking sessions.
Tip #6: Trust the process.
Over time your body will start to crave healthy foods. Truly. When I heard others say similar sentiments, I was very skeptical. But, I've now seen first hand my body's cravings change! When I first started to cut back (not restrictive, just limited bc I feel better without them) on gluten-filled carbohydrates, I desired them even more! But as I continued, it got easier. Now I rarely crave it, and if I want it, I have it! Food freedom! It takes time for your body to reset, but our bodies truly do crave nutrient-dense food. You'll discover just how energized and vibrant nutrient-dense food makes you feel! It will take time, but trust me, it does get easier!
I hope this helps you in your pursuit of health. As always, drop any questions you may have in the comment box below. Cheers to living a balanced, joy-filled life!