Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the latest food trends, and all the nutritional noise out there can leave you feeling overwhelmed. When it comes down to it, healthy living is not that difficult. It comes down to the basics:
1. Eat something small within 30 minutes of getting up (gets your metabolism going for the day – a few bites of fruit, or a yogurt is perfect)
3. Have snacks in between meals that are 150-250 calories: a combination of protein & fiber is ideal to keep you satisfied until your next meal (ex. apple with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or ½ cup of Greek yogurt, raw veggies with 2 tbsp of hummus, handful of almonds & dried apricots)
4. Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at noon and a peasant at dinner. Your biggest meal of the day should be breakfast, than lunch, and than dinner. You should feel hungry for dinner, but not starving. You will sleep better if you eat a smaller dinner, and stop eating after 8pm, as your body won’t be digesting tons of food while you’re trying to sleep.
5. Drink water throughout the day – 8 glasses per day is ideal
6. Switch up your processed white carbs for whole grains & healthy carbs (ex. brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat or brown rice pasta, wheatberries, sweet potatoes, squash). Whole grains are full of vitamins, minerals & fiber and keep you feeling full longer.
7. Limit your intake of white sugar & carbs, trans fats, greasy, deep-fried & fast foods, caffeine, pop (regular or diet), artificial sweeteners, alcohol, fruit juices, dairy, and processed foods (processed cheese, margarine, cold cuts)
8. Eat fruits & vegetables (organic when possible) throughout the day (ex. salad or raw veggies everyday with lunch, steamed and/or raw veggies every night with dinner, fruit with breakfast & for snacks)
9. Re-evaluate your plate: half should be vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and the other quarter lean protein
10. Eat lean protein (fish, eggs, poultry) & legumes the majority of the time and limit your consumption of red meat (1x/week)
11. Watch your portions, eat slowly, and listen to your body – stop eating when you feel satisfied. Unfinished dinner makes great leftovers for lunch, and keeps you from overeating.
12. Eat healthy fats: avocado, fish, nuts (walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts), seeds (hemp, chia, pumpkin, flax, sunflower), extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, flax oil, butter (in moderation)
13. Exercise: raise your heart rate for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week
If you know there’s room for improvement in your diet than take 1 or 2 of my rules, and employ them for the next few weeks (usually takes 3 weeks to form a new habit). Once they’ve become part of your routine, add on another one, than another one, until you wake up one morning, and realize all the little changes have added up to equal = your new healthy lifestyle.