If you are dealing with a health issue, trying to lose weight or wanting to live a healthier life you may be wondering, “What should I eat?”.
There is a lot of advice out there- some good, some not so good.
In this post, I’m going to help you cut through all of the confusion and give you simple tips to make healthy eating easy and stress-free!
Listen to this blog post!
Ok, stop and think for just a minute about your health goals. (If you haven’t actually thought about this, now is a great time to jot down a few notes 😉 )
Do your goals include healing from adrenal fatigue, a thyroid condition, or other health issues?
Or are you thinking of losing weight, getting sugar cravings under control, having more energy, getting good sleep, improving digestion, or having glowing skin?
Whatever your goal(s) are, be sure to write it down!
Now that you have your goals, what is one thing that you could do that could help you reach them?
If eating better and improving your diet comes to mind, you’re not alone.
In fact, for most of us, changing our diet is the one thing that can make the biggest difference in our health and wellness.
So, What Should I Eat?
There are a million diet plans out there promising that if you follow their formula you will lose weight, have more energy, and feel your best.
The thing is, there is no one perfect diet for everyone. A lot depends on your activity level, food intolerances, gut health, budget, individual taste, and other important factors.
One thing that is true no matter which diet you choose is that the food you eat will have a huge impact on how you feel.
It’s clear that diets and diet foods or diet products aren’t the answer to long-lasting health, so you may be asking “what kind of food should we eat?”.
Keep it simple and be sure to include whole foods like:
- Grassfed meats
- plenty of raw and cooked vegetables
- some fruit (focus on berries and lower sugar options)
- healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and squash
and if you can tolerate them- eggs, nuts, and fermented foods are great additions too!
If this is different from how you eat now, don’t worry!
We all have places where we can improve, so start where you are and just go from there.
If you feel a little overwhelmed be sure to check out the tips below. My advice- start with just one change at a time and move on from there.
Before you know it you’ll be eating a diet full of healthy foods the majority of the time, your taste and what you crave will be totally different, and you will feel so much better!
Ok, on to those tips….
7 Simple Tips For Healthy Eating
If you find yourself looking at diet plans and asking “what should I eat?”, these 7 tips will help you make that important transition from a less-than-ideal diet to eating nourishing whole foods.
Be Aware Of Your Thoughts
The first thing you need to do when changing any pattern or habit is to become aware of your thoughts about the subject.
Do you feel like you don’t have time to eat healthy foods? Maybe you think you don’t really like healthy food? Does the thought of meal planning, shopping, and cooking seem overwhelming?
Take a minute and evaluate your thoughts about eating healthy and see what comes to mind.
Once you become mindful, you can start to change any negative thoughts which will have an effect on your whole health journey!
Add Food, Don’t Restrict
I always think it’s easier to add in healthy food before you start removing any. That way you will feel less restricted.
Are there healthy foods you already like? Start adding them to your meals!
Do you like avocado, celery, or carrots? Great! Add them to your lunch or eat them as snacks. If those aren’t your favorite find a few that are and enjoy!
Another great way to add healthy food is to make sure you eat veggies at every meal and choose them for nighttime snacks.
Focus On Your Needs, Not Numbers
If you’re someone who has tried dieting before, I know it’s easy to go back to old habits like counting calories or carbs, sticking to tiny portion sizes, or making sure you have enough grams of certain foods groups, but what if you tried something different?
Counting calories, and grams of protein, or being mindful of portion sizes is definitely not a bad thing, but what if you stopped focusing on numbers and started focusing on nutrition?
When you eat real, whole food your body will give you signals that you are full and no longer need to eat. And when you crave food (it happens to all of us sometimes) it will be much easier to distinguish if it’s because that’s what your body needs or because you are stressed, overtired, or bored.
So as you transition to a balanced whole-food diet, start paying attention to those signals. You’ll learn a lot about your eating habits, nutrition needs, and cravings!
Start With The Recipes You Have
The thought of finding (and trying) all-new recipes can be overwhelming!
Here’s a tip- find one new recipe to try each week.
That way it’s one small step, not an overwhelming change all at once.
For the rest of the week, experiment with a few of your normal recipes and give them a little makeover by adding veggies and using whole-food ingredients!
A few ideas would be to:
- add veggies to a soup recipe (you can even puree them if you want)
- add small chopped pieces of liver to chili (you really can’t taste it and liver is a superfood!)
- have a huge salad (throw everything in there-meat, veggies, eggs, a little cheese)
- make vegetable-heavy dishes like stir-fry
- pick a healthy oil if you’re going to fry food (avocado and coconut oil are decent choices)
- use healthier sweeteners when possible
Those are just a few ideas of how to start tweaking your recipes. It might take a little trial and error, but you might be pleasantly surprised, some of my family’s favorite recipes have come from a little experimentation!
Make It Tasty
A lot of people think healthy food is boring and bland. But simple does not have to be boring!
Real food can be delicious and full of flavor!
Using fresh herbs, seasonings, and other flavorful ingredients along with a variety of foods will ensure that eating will be a delicious and enjoyable experience.
Enjoy Your Favorites Once In A While
Does the thought of a healthy diet scare you because you don’t want to give up your favorite pizza, fast food, eggrolls, or ice cream?
You don’t have to!
Many diets will eliminate these foods, but it really just makes you want them even more.
Want to know a secret?
Eating healthy does not mean that you have to have a perfect diet.
That’s just not realistic (and let’s be honest- who wants to live the rest of their life never having your favorite food?)
An occasional indulgence is a great way to maintain a balanced view of healthy eating.
Personally, I like to eat well 6 days a week and enjoy whatever I want on the 7th day. Others find it helpful to stick to an 80/20 rule- eating whole foods 80% of the time and choosing whatever else the other 20%.
Choose whatever will work best for your needs and schedule.
A Few Last Thoughts…
Wading through the mountains of diet and nutrition information out there can be overwhelming!
If you’re thinking of changing your diet, for whatever reason, and wondering what the best foods are or what you should eat, my advice is to keep it simple.
Increase healthy foods by adding veggies to your current recipes, choosing whole food options for snacks, and trying one new recipe per week.
Don’t forget to add plenty of fresh herbs and spices and be sure to enjoy your favorite non-healthy food once in a while.
Keep these 7 simple tips for healthy eating in mind and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you!