Are you thinking about making some healthy changes to your diet? Here are some transitional strategies.
By using the word “transitional,” I mean reducing or eliminating from your diet red meat, sugar or unhealthy carbs, just to name a few items. There’s so much information regarding the ultimate healthy diet available in publications and online, it seems overwhelming. I’m here to tell you there is not one “magical healthy diet” to meet whatever your health needs or wants may be.
Eating healthy is a choice, your choice. It may be based on likes and dislikes, medical, ethical or spiritual beliefs. Whatever those are, here are five basic strategies to help you make good heathy choices:
- Don’t make it overly complicated — keep it simple (and portable) and plan your weekly meals by prepping on Sunday (or another day that makes sense for your schedule).
- Keep it clean.
- Focus on those food groups that are beneficial for your health.
- Take baby steps.
- Document what you are doing to monitor your success.
Keep it Simple (and Portable)
Overly-complicated or restrictive eating diets are not sustainable for the long run. This is a journey, not a destination. I am a believer in pre-planning your meals a week at a time. This allows you to carefully think about your grocery shopping list and what you are eating for each meal, ensuring a balance diet. Refer back to my blog/recipe post Eating for Your Health & Heart or Chapter 2 in Dr. Bernstein’s book The Power of 5.
Portability entails being able to adjust your eating outside the home in order to maintain your healthy eating style.
Keep it Clean
Fresh, fresh, fresh as can be …vegetables, fruits and whole grains! And let go of the processed foods. Be sure to read labels on your food choices to confirm they have no additives, preservatives, added sugar, or unhealthy fats. Stay away from refined carbs as they lack fiber and other valuable nutrients. Avoid snack foods and make water your beverage of choice.
Limit alcohol as well. Although moderate wine intake may help heart health, alcohol is linked to an increased risk of several diseases. Alcohol consumption should be restricted when practicing clean eating.
Focus on the Food Groups That Are Most Beneficial to Your Health
Whole grains provide more nutrients and fiber which is better for a healthy gut.
Fresh fruits and vegetables — eating raw is best, but sauté in water or Braggs Liquid Aminos.
Limited oils and spreads — although clean eating discourages all vegetable oils and spreads, it’s important to eat a moderate amount of healthy fats. These include fatty fish, nuts, and avocado. If you can’t avoid vegetable oils completely, choose olive oil.
Take Baby Steps
Step back, reflect and determine what food changes you feel comfortable adjusting. Start one week at a time, and see how you feel after not eating sugar for a week. The second week, decide to eliminate something else, like alcohol or red meat, for example. You decide, keep adding to the list of foods that you are adjusting or eliminating.
Document What You Are Doing to Monitor Your Success!
Utilize a Notebook or Journal (Coming Soon!!…..The Power of 5 Journal to Health & Wellness – to Track Your Success…Stay Tuned!) to document and monitor what you are eating OR an Electronic Application to use on your smart device if you are more comfortable with technology. I personally keep track using both methods. My eating and exercise tracking is logged on two different apps that coordinate together: Lose It! and Fitbit Exercise Tracker., Additionally, I do meal planning each week in a monthly journal, so I can see a full month at one time. I select recipes I prepare to insure we are eating a balanced healthy diet.
Dr Bernstein and I hope that these strategies are helpful to you as you take small steps to develop and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Remember, we all fall off the wagon once in a while…avoid stressing about it. Just refocus, assess why this happened, and get back on the wagon!
Let us hear about your healthy eating story! BONUS….The first 5 people that send us their story via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) on how applying these strategies helped you on the journey to health eating lifestyle will receive a FREE Power of 5 Journal to Health & Wellness as one of our very special beta testers!
To Healthy Eating Lifestyle!
Melissa (& Dr. B)