Are you determined to eat healthy? Part of my job is to communicate the impacts our eating has on our health. The data is staggering, and we need to improve. But too often, we hold back.
As I’ve made changes in my own life, I’ve discovered simple ways that may also work for you.
Here are five simple ways to eat healthy today:
1. Stick to three meals.
Our body’s metabolism constantly adjusts to our food intake, which can interfere with healthy weight goals. After fighting this for years, I began to eat three balanced meals per day.
Are you too busy to eat lunch? Plan a healthy meal, set a timer, and enjoy the break. I find that if I skip the noon meal, I revert to high fat and calorie choices to satisfy my hunger.
Be radically routine with mealtimes.
2. Learn basic prep skills.
With ready-made food at our fingertips, many of us don’t prepare our meals. It’s our choice and healthy options are available, but if you want to learn how to cook healthy meals, you need only four basic skills to make almost any dish:
- Measure ingredients
- Cut or chop
- Mix or blend
- Sautee, boil, or bake
Talk to a cook you know or take a class. You will pick up the basics in no time.
3. Choose your foods according to the season.
I’m intrigued by seasonal food. Growing up as the daughter of avid gardeners, I ate what was growing in Indiana during three seasons, reverting to frozen and canned foods in the winter.
As the local food movement trickles through the country, great strides are being made to grow crops year-round, resulting in weather-driven groupings of seasonal bounty.
Choose one food that's in season each week and incorporate it into your diet. Visit your local farmers’ market to choose a favorite or see what’s on sale at the grocery store.
4. Eat raw foods.
Some foods must be cooked – think meat – but many can be consumed straight from the fridge. We’ve heard boiling vegetables may remove important nutrients, so enjoy more raw fruits and vegetables.
However, I’ve sometimes purchased bunches of broccoli, bags of carrots, and heads of lettuce intending to make a salad only to throw it all away weeks later. A better alternative is to choose one raw fruit and one vegetable per week and intentionally incorporate them into your menu.
Buy small quantities, one serving per family member. If you’re already doing this consistently, add an additional serving.
5. Join the slow food movement.
The antithesis of fast food, slow food, is a grassroots movement that encourages us to enjoy consuming food that is good, clean, and grown in a way that preserves the soil and environment.
Make it your goal to invite someone to your home to eat one slow food meal per month. Serve something simple, take your time, and focus on the conversation.
If you want to read about slow food in the United States, click here.
Tell us in the comments…How will YOU eat healthy in 2017?
A Christian writer who works as a Community Wellness Coordinator in Boone County, IN, Holly Catron is all about nutrition and active living. In addition to working with her husband to transform their small farm and homesteading experience into a family business, she loves spending time with family and friends.