Small Ways to Clean Up Your Diet
Living in a fast paced world can be catalyst for change in many ways, and some of those changes we are experiencing are not so good. Everything seems to move at a faster pace, with less time spent relaxing and cooking, and more time shuttling kids, running errands, or keeping up with a hectic work schedule.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest things that we have seemed to sacrifice is our health. We now know that good health is often a product of healthy foods. In a culture which depends on speed and efficiency, we more often than not, don’t take the time to pause and consider what bad foods we may be placing in our bodies.
So, let’s pause for a moment …
The following are a few tips designed to help you stop and consider what you can do to start living a healthier life…and what bad habits you can pass on.
Lets take a look at how cleaning up your diet can be beneficial- physically, emotionally and mentally.
1. Clean out the Pantry… One Step at a Time
Rather than overwhelm yourself with tossing anything and everything perceived to be a clean eating threat, begin by tossing a few staple items such as corn oil, soda, chips and desserts, which are some of the most overly processed items that can be consumed.
Also, make a conscious effort to replace processed versions of foods with the more whole and healthy versions for example white rice and grains with brown ones.
2. Keep it Positive
Rather than focus on what your shouldn’t have, focus on what you do enjoy consuming. If you love meat and poultry focus on organic rather than processed or frozen. We all like some foods that are good for us. So make those the center piece of your meals rather than less healthy processed foods.
3. Read the Labels
Read every label that comes in to your house! Labels are a great way of telling you whether or not a product is good for you. A general rule is less is more. For example, if a product has a long list of ingredients, than it is probably not good for you. Whereas a simple vegetable or piece of fruit is most definitely a “clean food”, thus a much more healthier option.
Ingredients on labels to watch out for? As a general rule, if it in unpronounceable, it profanely isn’t a healthy option and most likely not good for you. Also, watch for items that say artificial flavors, preservatives, refined sugars and hydrogenated oils. Added colors are also a good indication that it’s a food you want to steer clear from.
4. Cook At Home as Much as Possible
Not only a big money saver, but a big calorie saver as well. As many restaurants depend on highly processed foods in making their meals, staying home and cooking is a much healthier option. Even those that are challenged in the kitchen can learn a few easy, one dish recipes that are clean and have only a few ingredients. Food cooked at home can last must longer, days even, and you have complete control over what items you decide to cook with.
5. Learn To Love New Foods
If you love salt, sugar, fat, and other additives that are not so good for you, its time to retrain your cravings. Let’s say brown rice or any brown grains don’t appeal to you. Rather than go cold turkey on white white, try mixing the brown rice with the white rice. As your consumption of the healthy food increases, the amount of the additives, or in this case, white rice, will decrease.
Mixing items that you are used to eating along with the healthier versions will allow your body to adjust, and eventually accept.
Next, add a couple of steamed broccoli florets to the rice mixture and sprinkle with a small amount of your favorite cheese. Small changes really add up!
Many processed foods are loaded with these additives which makes us less sensitive to them. If you start minimizing these additives you’ll notice over time you will need less of them as your body adjusts and appreciates less.
6. Shop Wisely
The layout of most grocery stores is not random. It is no coincidence that when entering a grocery store, you are assaulted first by dry items loaded with fructose and sugars and other addicting additives, and to make it even worse they are typically on sale. The grocery stores know what you love and what you will buy if it’s put in front of you.
Most of the time, organic, natural food items and on the outside aisles, which is where poultry, meat and diary and fish can be found. Venture deeper in the store, and you will discover row upon rows of processed foods. So a good rule of thumb is to stick to the perimitter of the grocery store.
Don’t Cry – Just Walk on By!