Despite what so many stock photos may have you believe, a healthy menu does not solely consist of kale, broccoli, and carrot, and no, you’re not alone in thinking that these veggies alongside many more aren’t always delicious, and you’re entitled to that opinion. However, that doesn’t reduce your chances of living a full, healthy life complete with structured eating habits, which will turn your life around completely.
It’s not just about losing a few pounds, or reducing skin problems, but it’s about changing your energy levels, feeling more invigorated than ever, sleeping better, thinking more clearly, and feeling happy in your own skin as you’ve never felt before. Ready for a fresh start? Set, go!
Think in Color
When it comes to eating healthy, most people get stuck with the regular list of ingredients that are considered healthy (equals boring), or after a while they simply become monotonous. If you starting thinking in colors, and looking for them in your local farmer’s market, you’ll discover a whole palette of fruits and veggies that are packed with micronutrients to keep your resilient all-year-long.
Have you ever tried combining brussels sprouts with walnuts and oranges? Or soaking your salmon in ginger and munching some shallots and black rice on the side? There are recipes out there that contain an entire rainbow, but they are still simple to prepare, and surprisingly wallet-friendly. Look around your market stalls, go for fruits and veggies you’ve never seen before, and ask for tips as to what you can do with them. Who knows, soon enough, you might have your own recipe book!
Turn Your Meals into Rituals
Once upon a time, our three daily meals were considered family time, a sacred ritual to bond over, and enjoy the fruits of Mother Earth. Well, you don’t have to go that far in your philosophy if it feels weird, but slowing down cannot hurt, especially in these hectic times.
Set aside a time slot for each meal in your day, get rid of all distractions, share it with your family, a loved one, a friend, or just sit and enjoy some good music while you mindfully chew through every bite. You’d be surprised how much of a difference such a small behavioral change can make in your attitude towards food!
Fast, but Healthy
Sometimes there’s no time to go through an entire thirty-minute ritual, but that’s no excuse to reach for a fatty burger or another fast food joy that’s actually a heart attack waiting to happen. Do your heart and belly a favor, and try an Optifast shake instead. This one is both balanced for healthy weight loss, as well as simple and quick to prepare, so you can sip it even during your busiest days.
On the other hand, you can always opt for a pre-packed fruit or veggie salad, and there are various protein bars that can serve as a meal substitute for when you’re in a hurry.
Do Indulge Every Now and Then
A healthy diet is most importantly a balanced one, not a fully-restrictive terror of a lifestyle, unless you have an underlying condition that strictly forbids certain food groups. If you’re healthy and you enjoy chocolate, like so many of us mere mortals do, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scoop of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s, or a chocolate-chip cookie.
What matters is that you do not overeat, and that you don’t use food as an escape or a way to deal with boredom. Consider it your cheat card – you have one for each day, and it has to be balanced and well-calculated within your diet so as not to cause your health to deteriorate. It’s all about moderation!
Spice up Your Menu
Even the best and most ingenious of cooks sometimes get stuck in the rut of their culinary routine, so it’s no wonder it happens to us who aren’t nearly as skillful as they are. However, you can use this opportunity to bring out some of the most daring, fun spices in your kitchen cabinet and whisk your dullest meals into a true pzazz!
Try some of the healthiest spices such as turmeric, which you can add to your morning omelet or sautéed veggies, while garlic makes spinach, kale, broccoli and other dark greens taste divine. Even a pinch of pepper, some rosemary, basil, and parsley can go a long way in making a meal taste much better than the original recipe. Don’t stop at herbs and spices, try adding some lemon or orange zest to your seafood dishes, or try various cheesy sauces with your roasted chicken.
To Wrap Up
The “one step at a time” cliché perfectly sums up your healthy eating efforts. Keep things versatile, your mind open, and your kitchen packed with clean eats, and you’ll be closer to your desired lifestyle every day you pick your foods with your health in mind!