Sometimes a new year is exactly what’s needed to begin healthy eating habits. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reminded of this from lovely readers who’ve e-mailed me for help jumpstarting a healthy diet. It’s been on my to-blog list (yes, I have a to-blog list!) for awhile before Mollie e-mailed me with this most perfect post. I’m scratching my planned post, letting her do the talking and taking the night off. See you tomorrow with some sad news, good news + a celebration!
Good nutrition may seem like a difficult challenge to some, but in reality, maintaining a healthy and consistent diet can be quite simple using a series of small steps that will ultimately transform your life and what you eat. Maintaining a healthy diet can be made simpler using techniques that others have tried, which worked for them.
Here are a few examples of relatively simple and easy ways to begin living a healthy lifestyle:
Establishing A Nutrition Routine
The easiest and most obvious plan is three meals spaced around the day, with one or two healthy snacks between these main meals. Breakfast, which some assume can be skipped in order to save on calories, should always be eaten as otherwise the body may require even more food later in the day to satiate its hunger.
Avoid Processed Foods
Most processed food not is incredibly unhealthy, but also lacks most, if not all, of the beneficial qualities of raw and untreated foods. Milk, for example, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods available. Adult humans can subsist healthily off of raw milk for their entire lives, due to milk providing all eight of the essential amino acids our body requires from food. Processed milk is treated with heat which destroys much of these beneficial qualities. Raw vegetables and fruits are arguably much healthier than genetically modified fruits and vegetables, but unfortunately can be difficult to find in a grocery store. The best place to shop is at a local farmer’s market, where fresh produce that is GMO-free can easily be found. Buy meat from farms that only feed their cattle grass, as this is the natural diet of cattle and produces the best quality beef.
Balancing a Diet
Eating meat is not necessarily an unhealthy practice, but when eating more meat than any other of the food groups, a red flag is definitely raised. Only a few ounces of meat are suggested for a full day’s serving. Cutting meat out of the diet is not at all required. Instead of using meat as the center of a dish, try searching for recipes or augmenting recipes so that meat is much more of an accent to something such as a pasta dish or flavored rice. Carbohydrates and proteins make up approximately 80% of a healthy diet, with carbohydrates consisting of about 50% of the total diet. Many assume that carbs should be cut from a diet, but this is not true and can negatively affect one’s wellbeing. Carbohydrates provide most of the body’s energy, so it still be maintained as the majority of one’s diet.
Cut Out the Right Fats
While it is true that some fats negatively affect the body, some fats in our diets are benefiting us without us even realizing. Fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids are required for reproduction of cells and body growth. Prostaglandin, a hormone which regulates the blood pressure, inflammation, and blood clotting of the body, is also produced using fatty acids. Healthy fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, and fish caught in cold water such as salmon.
Experiment with Your Diet
Use the opportunity beginning a diet has given you as a reason to expand your culinary expertise and taste pallet. Instead of red meat, substitute it with a type of fish or chicken. There are many different grains available besides white rice and pasta. Multigrain rice and pasta is a great place to start. There is also millet, spelt, barley, quinoa, and a host of other grains that provide health alternatives for a meal.
What is YOUR #1 tip for beginning a healthy diet? Sharing is caring!