Here are some simple tips to incorporate into your routine that will help make healthy eating more efficient, cooking easier, and shopping simpler.
- Cook once eat twice – Cooking new meals every day can be time consuming, so cook enough food at dinner so that you can modify it a little the next day and have it for lunch.
- Buy organic – Look at it this way: you can either pay the farmer or pay the hospital. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll get much more out of your foods. Most of our nutrients come from the soil so if soil quality is compromised by pesticides our food is nutrient deficient. Additionally, pesticides can be very harmful for our brains, fertility, and organs, and lead to various diseases. Start out buying 50% organic. Some foods are more affected than others by pesticides, so check out this guide to help you decide what to definitely buy organic: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
- Chop vegetables right when you get home from the grocery store – Having your veggies already chopped and ready to go when it comes time to cook makes it that much easier and faster to get to dinner time. Buy onions, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, and celery that can be easily stored in a Tupperware and will keep well for a few days.
- To hydrate, only drink water – Any small benefit of drinks that have vitamins or electrolytes is always outweighed by the sugar content, and is a big contributor to weight gain, hyperactivity in children, irritability, and anxiety. Flavored ice teas, juices, sparkling juices, sodas, and sports drinks are all full of sugar. If you have to have a sweet drink try and start cutting down, treat it as an indulgence and see if sparkling water with lemon or lime helps cut the cravings.
- Eat slowly, stop when you’re full – As simple as this sounds a lot of us eat way past when we’re full. When we eat quickly it takes our brain time to catch up to our stomachs to realize that we’ve had enough. Slowing down allows us to stop when we’re full and avoid overeating. A good rule of thumb is to eat until you feel about 80% full.
- Chew your food – Chewing food thoroughly is extremely important. When we chew, our bodies begin to create digestive enzymes that help us break down our food. When we don’t chew properly, our stomachs aren’t prepared properly to digest. Not only that, our stomachs don’t have teeth (obviously), so when we swallow food that’s still partially whole our bodies have to work extra hard to break down the food. This takes tons of energy from us and creates that tired, lethargic feeling we often have when we’re done eating.
- Don’t buy foods that have more than 10 grams of sugar in a serving – Sugar is everywhere! Sugar content in foods is growing every year and is an extreme contributor to weight gain as it sends our insulin levels up and tells the body to store fat. Do your best to avoid sugar and if something does have sugar in it, make sure it’s less than 10 grams per serving.
- Drink water 20 minutes before eating – When we drink while we eat it makes it hard for our stomachs to properly release the digestive enzymes we need to break down food. Because we’re not able to break the food down properly it rots in our digestive tracts and isn’t effectively eliminated. Undigested food is also a big reason for why many of us feel bloated or overly full after eating a reasonably sized portion.
- If you’re feeling hungry and it’s not snack or meal time, try drinking water – Many times we mistake thirst for hunger, so we go to food to satisfy the craving we’re having. This unnecessary eating leads to weight gain and dehydration.
- View dairy products as an indulgence – Cheese and milk are very delicious, but they’re also very hard for your body to digest and are high in fat. When they’re not high in fat they tend to be high in sugar, which encourages your body to put on weight. Cutting down on dairy and viewing it as an indulgence will help you to lose weight and keep it off more easily.
- Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your meals – A large percentage of the US population is fiber deficient. Ground flax seeds are an excellent way to fortify your meals with fiber to help with digestion and promote healthy liver function. Super easy and very healthy!
- Buy pink Himalayan salt – Salt is actually a very important mineral for humans but has gotten a bad rap. While white table salt is highly refined and is hard on our hearts and arteries, pink Himalayan salt is in its natural form, and when eaten in small amounts can be good for us. It tastes the same without being processed and harmful to your body.
- Cook with coconut oil – Coconut oil is an excellent source of omega 3 essential oils. These are extremely important for our metabolism, memory, prevention against depression and anxiety, skin health, heart health and more. It can be very sweet at first so use it with veggies that are already a little sweet like squash, onions and carrots. It’s also a lot more stable than fruit oils like olive oil so it can handle high temperatures very well.
- Eat the colors of the rainbow – When shopping, your basket should be full of brightly colored veggies and fruits! Various colors promote different functions of the body, so make sure to get a colorful combination. Bell peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, spinach, cucumbers and berries are a great place to start.