Wanting to make some small shifts to a healthier way of eating? Great news.
Now prompts the question, where to begin? Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite eating tips to help you feel better, and live healthier in your day to day.
The body is composed of approximately 60% water, so it’s important to drink enough water to maintain a healthy balance of body fluids, to enable basic bodily functions.
But staying hydrated also helps to eliminate toxins from the body, aids in digestion, prevents constipation, energizes your muscles, helps to maintain a healthy weight, keeps your skin healthy, and so much more.
If you can, try to make a habit of drinking a glass of water before eating too, as we can often mistake thirst for hunger.
For optimal health, try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
My favorite way to get my water in is to drink out of a clear refillable bottle, so I can see how much I’m drinking and am more likely to notice I should re-fill it sooner.
Eat More Plants
Truly, the benefits of eating a diverse array of whole plant foods, in their natural, unprocessed state, is the best way to increase your nutrient intake, and lower your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and death from so many causes…
Additionally, many of us are lacking in our fibre intake, only 5 percent of Americans are achieving their recommended daily intake. And with exception of meat, dairy, and sugar, which contain no fibre at all, the more natural and unprocessed a food, the higher it will be in fibre.
A great way to incorporate more plants into your diet is to choose one day of the week to eat plant based. Or, if you’re already vegan, choose to make your meals with whole foods at home a little more frequently, and steer away from eating out, or eating processed foods as often.
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies First
There are actually a few reasons for this one, but mainly, it’s for easier digestion. If you eat fruits first, then vegetables, before starchy or high protein foods, you’ll be less likely to experience bloat or get an upset stomach, as fruits & vegetables digest faster than other foods.
Another reason for this is to make a habit of eating your most nutrient dense foods first, ensuring you don’t get too full on other less health promoting foods.
And lastly, it’s a proven way to maintain a healthy weight, as studies have shown that children who fill up on plant foods first are less likely to be overweight than those who consume seafood or meat first.
(When Possible) Eat Organic
Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, compared to non-organic foods, and they contain fewer pesticides, which means we are able to avoid ingesting chemicals as a result of eating said food.
Organic produce is often fresher too, because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer.
And, another incentive to eat organic is that people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives may also find their symptoms lessen or go away entirely when they eat only organic foods.
If affordability is a barrier to eating solely organic, a helpful tip is to google the present years Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists to find out which fruits & vegetables are safest to buy non-organic, and which ones you might try to splurge on and purchase organic for the current season.
Make Sneaky Swaps
When craving less healthful foods, a great way to to “Have your cake and eat it too” is to make sneaky swaps that will satiate the same, but give your body more of what it needs.
Try to swap out things that will help to reduce your intake of saturated fats, refined sugar, refined carbs & sodium.
For example, if you’re craving pasta, try a cashew cream sauce over whole grain or legume (I love red lentil or chickpea) pasta with a side of greens, in lieu of your usual white flour pasta with creamy alfredo sauce.
Have a sweet tooth? Try making a tofu chocolate pudding and sweetening it with an unrefined sugar like maple syrup. Or whip up your own ‘nice cream’ by blending your choice of frozen fruit & a splash of non dairy milk to create a fruity sorbet.
There you have it! I hope these easy little tips help you to feel & eat better, for a happier, healthier you.