There is no such thing as a QUICK and EASY fix when it comes to developing a healthy diet and a healthy yoga lifestyle. Instead, it’s all about mind over matter, and establishing a genuine desire to get healthier.
It’s never too late to add some healthy habits to your life. There are plenty of people out there who have designed programs, resources, even set meal plans to help you make healthier choices and develop healthier habits. Look for the plan that best fits your needs and wants…and then FOLLOW THROUGH. It’s easy to veer off when we fail to plan. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Sticking to your plans leads to habits being formed. And these habitual changes are your keys to unlock a healthy, conscious life. So, start by writing down everything you are taking in. Pay attention to the way your body feels throughout the day. Remember, not every plan is for everyone. Copy and pasting someone else’s health plan doesn’t always guarantee success. You may have to experiment a little before you find a great fit. Do what’s best for your body, not just what sounds good on paper. You must believe in what you’re doing and that your food choices are right for you and your body. You don’t have to completely cut meat or dairy. But if you feel that this is what’s best for you, then go for it.
Personally, I’m able to maintain a healthy lifestyle without fully restricting any food group. I don’t drown myself in doubt about my food habits, and they allow me to feel great and energized throughout the day. I haven’t had to see a doctor in years as I rarely get sick. (Well, not counting the little colds I get. I chalk those up to working around kids – and their germs – every day!)
Below are a few of my personal tips that I use and live by. I’m not a picky eater and I don’t have any food allergies. If you fall into one of those two camps you may need to do further research about how to establish a healthy diet, or seek the help of a professional.
Stick to these basic tips and you won’t have to worry about any tricks:
1. Aim for success. Keep healthy food options available in your home. That way, you can easily reach for something healthy instead of eating out, ordering in, or buying pre-made/processed foods. Go for raw vegetables and fruits as much as possible.
I usually shop for groceries twice a week to keep fruits, veggies, dairy, and meats fresh and unfrozen.
The biggest habit I had to break was eating out and ordering in. I was lazy in the kitchen and didn’t really care for cooking. Sometimes it felt like it was cheaper to order a full meal than to prepare it. Thanks to practice I have become more self-disciplined and now I don’t order in or eat out during the week (unless there’s a very special occasion).
2. When grocery shopping, read nutrition labels and ingredients. I get it might feel time consuming, but it’s important to know what you are putting inside your body. Whatever ingredient is listed first is considered what the product is mostly composed of. If the ingredient list is too long? Simply put it down. Avoid foods with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, acetylated distarch adipate, or MSG.
3. You don’t need to count calories. Ever!
4. Fruits are not making you fat! Please stop saying that. Choose fruits over chips and cookies. Choose fruits for breakfast, choose fruits as a midday snack, choose a fruit as a dessert. There’s no way you can get tired of eating fruits. There are too many deliciously nourishing, sweet, sometimes even sour fruits to choose from. Let’s be thankful for this by gobbling up as many as possible.
5. Make it a point to begin your day on a healthy note. Substitute lemon water, natural orange juice, smoothies, or herbal tea for those heavy, sugar-dense lattes.
6. Don’t overcook your veggies. Overcooking vegetables eliminates most of their nutritional benefits and defeats the purpose of eating them in the first place! Vibrant green is the new cool, let’s keep our veggies bright.
7. Go for food that expires. These are packed with the highest level of nutrition. For instance, you’ll get more nutrients out of your salad if you made your own dressing instead of buying the packaged one that expires years from today.
8. Try to eat at the same time every day. Set meal times and stick to them. This is a great way to develop proper metabolism and teach your body to recognize the difference between true hunger and boredom.
9. A balanced diet simply means you’re eating foods that contain all the nutrients necessary to keep you healthy. Keywords- variety & moderation. Each day, your body needs 5-6 ounces of grains,1 1/2 cups of fruit, 2 – 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, and 3 cups of dairy products. While learning the correct serving size may take some practice, think of all the combinations you can create while still maintaining a balanced diet! Balanced doesn’t equal boring.
10. Stop associating negative feelings with your decisions. If you made the choice to eat a donut instead of a fruit, get over it. Eat it, and enjoy it. Stop making yourself regret your decision for eating that donut. Why? Because…
Your body is listening to your thoughts more than you think. If you continue to refer to your foods, and everything that you’re taking in, as BAD then your body is going to react to your thoughts just as you are. These negative associations about the food you are taking in, whether food is actually considered “good” or “bad”, cause negative signals to be sent throughout your body.
If you really regret your decision after choosing the donut over the fruit, then learn from it and move on. Remember that little steps toward your destination, creates the destination. Take it one step at a time.
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle!