I hope you're enjoying the beautiful weather if you're in NC! It is a gorgeous day today, and Micah and I (and Erin) have already taken a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk.
With this amazing weather, everyone wants to look and feel their best, but it's so easy to hang on to those old habits of junk food and unhealthy cravings...trust me, being pregnant, I would know a thing or two about cravings.The reality is, what better time to start eating a healthy diet? With the rise in popularity of farmer's markets and gardening, healthy choices are more accessible and affordable than ever. If you're still not sure where to start, don't worry, I've got some tips for you on how to spring clean your diet. These tips are so simple, that even if you've never tried to eat healthier foods, you'll still be able to get on the right track to a balanced diet.
(Disclaimer: the following information is intended as suggestions for healthy eating. Before you begin any diet or exercise regimen, consult your physician or healthcare provider.)
Are you ready to spring clean your diet?
1. Look for local on the label. Local produce is based on what's in season and readily available in your area. This makes it cheaper, and usually, local farms are very careful about the quality of their produce. I find great deals at a local flea market in my area, where I can find pretty much any kind of produce that's in season for a great price.
2. The fewer (ingredients), the better. This is a great general rule of thumb when grocery shopping. I mean, look at the back of a doritos bag....Think about how long that list of ingredients is....a much healthier alternative would be those sweet potato chips that only have about 5 ingredients, or better yet, and cheaper, just roast a can of chickpeas in the oven until they're crunchy...I love to sprinkle chili powder and garlic powder on them...Delicious!
3. Buy foods with ingredients you can pronounce. Okay, with the exception of that exotic fruit or veggie whose name we have no idea how to spell, this is one of the best rules for cleaning up your diet. This is especially true of pre-packaged foods. Don't buy it unless you understand what's in it...if in doubt... make a healthy freezer meal instead of buying the ready-made alternative. (That's what a slow cooker is for.)
4. Drink more water. Micah and I do not keep 2 liter sodas in our house. Ever. We drink water, tea and coffee, and I'm sure not too long after little Erin arrives, we'll be adding quality fruit juice to that mix. It's actually saved us a lot of money on our grocery bill over the years...I'm not sure how much, but if you were to add up what you spend on soft drinks each month, I'm sure you'd see how that money is better spent on fruits and veggies....it's all about your priorities.
5. Pack your lunch for work. A homemade lasagna with chopped up veggies added in is way better for you than ordering out pizza or Chinese. Once again, I add, remember to use your slow cooker. You will also save a lot of money. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
6. Say "no" to fried and breaded foods. I'm from the south, where we love our breaded chicken tenders, but they're just not that good for us. A healthier alternative is to roll chicken tenders in egg and oat flour and then bake them in the oven.
7. Be accountable. Keep a food journal. When you see what exactly what you're putting in your body, it's far easier to realize how much good or harm you're doing to your body. Part of health journaling is about how that healthy meal made you feel versus how that fast food meal made you feel. I've coached a lot of clients through the years, and those that keep a food and exercise journal have more lasting results and reach their goals much sooner than those that don't.
Cleaning up your food intake is easy, and can really be done without a lot of expense or a lot of extra effort. What is your favorite tip for staying on track with eating healthy? Comment below!