Many of my clients always complain about not knowing how to eat healthy on a regular basis because they believe it is too complicated or it takes too much time to make healthy meals. Well sure, it does take a bit more effort than simply re-heating a pre-made dinner purchased at the supermarket. However, it is SO worth it and a lot easier than you might think. I always tell them if you can learn to reconnect to the concept of real whole foods and simply eat those, you will see amazing results in how you feel and look from the inside out. And sure enough, they always do.
Learning new healthy eating habits is not always easy, however it can be very simple once you know a couple of things. So today, I want to share with you my best tips on: How To Eat Healthy. As a holistic nutritionist, these are my favourite tips to help guide you along the way. I promise you: Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated!
I know that many of you try to make healthier food choices too and often get discouraged or simply confused by the plethora of nutrition myths out there. I get it. Every day I hear something new regarding what is considered healthy or not. Yet, eating healthy really boils down to a few easy tips and principles!
Let me share some of those with you today, so that you can make better food choices the next time you eat and so that you can feel a lot more confident about what to buy the next time you go grocery shopping. Let’s stop all the blah blah blah and get back to the basics, shall we?
How To Eat Healthy:
1. Choose foods that are as whole and unprocessed as possible
Instead of getting canned, bottled or frozen fruits and veggies, grab the real stuff instead. Learn which fruits and veggies are in season in your area and select those. Shop at farmer’s markets or local businesses to support your own local agriculture and to reap the benefits of locally grown produce.
2. Pay attention to the ingredients’ list
Whenever you DO buy some packaged foods, please please please, read the ingredients list at the back. If it contains more than 4-5 ingredients, you already know it has been super processed and a lot of unnecessary “stuff” and chemicals were added to this food not only to make it taste better but also to make it last longer on the store shelves… i.e. not very fresh at all!
3. Do not trust the health claims written on the package
I see this so often with my clients. They come to me all proud and show some new cereal they bought at the supermarket, claiming it is healthy because it says “gluten-free” or “rich in fibers”, meanwhile it is loaded with sugars and other unnecessary ingredients that are just as harmful for their health. If you do choose to buy some packaged foods, pay very close attention to what is actually in them. Indeed, so many people blindly trust whatever health claim they see on the front of packaged foods.
For example: “0% Fat”, “Calcium enriched”, ” No Sugar added”, “Gluten-free”, etc. Sure many of these claims may be “technically” true, but just because a product is gluten-free does not make it automatically a healthy one at all. Read the ingredient list, please! Often, these so-called healthy products are loaded with other harmful ingredients. As for the 0% fat or no sugar “added” food products, these are usually also full of unhealthy chemicals to improve their flavour and shelf life such as, salt, sugar (whenever fat-free), hydrogenated oils, “natural” flavour, perfume, colour dies, and other food additives.
4. Keep it simple & learn to make it yourself
Eating healthy does not have to break the bank or be complicated. You want a healthy snack? Make it yourself at home. Making cookies or muffins at home is really super easy and it does not take that much time. You want a salty snack or healthy snack idea: check out some of my recipes over here. Think whole foods and simple.
5. When food shopping: stay in the produce aisles and spend less time in the middle aisles
Here is what I mean: most often than not, the processed and junk foods that you want to avoid are usually located in the middle aisles of your supermarket. Think: canned foods, pre-made tomato sauce (often loaded with sugar), candies, cookies, breads (not the good kinds but the white Wonder Bread type), salty chips, crackers, salad dressings loaded with chemicals and unnecessary additives; all of these food “stuff” are quite often displayed in the middle aisles.
Sure you may still find a few necessary items in the middle aisles, such as brown rice, canned coconut milk or pickled veggies; but I would suggest you spend most of your time shopping in the produce section as you will quickly realize that it is where the real whole foods are at!
6. Make a shopping list
So few of my clients actually practise this time and money-saving tip! When you are at home, prepare a list of everything you need. The more precise, the better. Trust me, it will make your grocery shopping experience a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable too. Plus you will save a quite a bit of money as well.
7. Reconnect to Nature and real foods
In order to stick to healthy eating, a very easy tip is to get educated and get informed about the foods you eat daily. Where does it come from? What does it look like in its natural form? What is the best season to eat this? What fruits and vegetables are grown in your part of the world? These are all very important questions that will force you to reconnect to Food. With the internet, getting informed and educated becomes really easy. However, there are many other ways to learn more about the foods you eat. For example: local libraries workshops, local farmer’s markets (ask questions), volunteering on a farm, or even getting a few easy-to-grow indoor plants and herbs so you can practise the art of growing your own food and really understand where it comes from ;).
8. Learn what is best for YOUR own body
Not everyone is made the same way. Therefore, there exist many variations to what is considered a healthy “diet”. Keep your mind sharp and learn to think critically for yourself. Nowadays, there are so many nutrition myths out there that one can easily be confused or overwhelmed. Do your own research, and when in doubt: ask a nutrition expert or an educated healthcare practitioner that you trust. But most importantly: learn to trust your own body and pay attention to how it reacts to certain foods or the absence of certain foods. You have all of the tools and wisdom to know exactly how to eat healthy for your own body.
There you have it, folks. Some of my favourite tips on how to eat healthy. Of course, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments on the topic.
In vibrant health,