Trying to eat healthier can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Today I would like to discuss 9 key ways you can kick-start your journey towards developing healthy (and sustainable!) eating habits in your daily life.
1. Taste the Rainbow
When grocery shopping or building a plate, think colour. Despite all the different views on diet, (vegan, vegetarian, LCHF, keto, paleo) everyone is agreeance that consumption of a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is the key to maintaining once’s health and vitality. Our food pyramid (love it or hate it) recommends including 9 serves of fruit and vegetables per day. How many are you averaging? Many people struggle to consume more than 4 serves across the course of a day.
Aim to include one fruit and vegetable of each colour every single day
Green – spinach, silver beat, lettuce, bok choy and kale, broccoli, zucchini, brussel sprouts, celery and green beans, kiwifruit and green grapes
Orange – carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, persimmons, oranges, apricots, nectarines, peaches, cantaloupe, mangoes and papaya
Purple– beetroot, purple carrots, red onion (which is really purple), radish, eggplant and blueberries
Yellow – squash, yellow capsicums, lemon, pineapple, sweet corn, bananas, golden kiwifruit, grapefruit and quince
Red – tomatoes, strawberries, blood oranges, cherries, red grapefruit, red grapes, pomegranate, watermelon, cranberries, radishes, rhubarb, radicchio and capsicum
White – parsnips, cauliflower, onions, spring onion, garlic, turnips, white peaches, white nectarines,
2. Swap It
Swapping select foods with healthier alternatives one by one will help you maintain sustainable change.
If you eat a lot of white rice then why not give brown rice a try. I’d also recommend giving red, green and black rice a try. These varieties are not only delicious but they provide a significant serving of antioxidants which you otherwise wouldn’t have consumed.
If you drink soft drink then consider flavoured sparkling water or kombucha, to help reduce your consumption of sugar. If you’re a big fan of mashed potato why don’t you give mashed cauliflower, or a combination of carrots and parsnips a try next time you prepare dinner. If you eat a lot of pasta try some of the many brands of legume-based pasta (These are available at Aldi at a very reasonable price)
Bowl It Over
Not only are they delicious they are a sure way to get in a variety of nutrients!
I love making bowls personally because they are healthy, satisfying, easy to make, even easier to clean up and its a great way to make leftover’s special.
If you have never made a nourish bowl yourself here are a few simple steps to get you started!
It’s all about the base: make it a choice of brown, red, or black rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, barley.
Then you have any of the green leafy vegetables, such as kale, rocket, spinach, any kind of lettuces, bokchoy, dandelion greens.
Then the warming roasted veggies. I prefer root veggies, but you can choose seasonal vegetables such as Brussel sprouts.
Get the crunch going. Nourish bowls are all about balancing textures and flavours, so you can’t forget the crunch. We love edamame, carrot and cabbage, but feel free to go crazy—pretty much any veggie goes! I also love adding some nuts and seeds.
If you need to up your seasonal fruit intake, here’s where nourish bowls are your shining star. Berries, apple and mangoes are all packed with flavour, plus, they have the added benefit of being good for you. Winner winner, healthy dinner!
By this stage, your nourish bowl is already looking pretty tasty, but don’t stop there. Pile on some kimchi or sauerkraut for their gut-boosting benefits, squeeze on some lemon juice for a zingy-hit or add some hummus because well, hummus!
We run a Nourish Bowl Challenge during the month of April. So if you would like to join in on that, then we’ll provide you with the recipes and inspiration to start falling in love with Buddha bowls! Sign up for your free membership and we’ll email you a week before we’re ready to launch our next challenge or cleanse event so you get involved!
Grow Your Own
Growing and maintaining your own garden is one of the best ways to ensure you and your family are eating healthier. I have a small organic garden and I grow Warrigal greens (indigenous spinach), stinging nettle, mustard greens, spinach, mint, parsley and basil. Whether you live in a large estate or a small city apartment there’s always a ways and means to grow your own. Consider growing some alfalfa or broccoli sprouts on your kitchen windowsill, or buy some baskets to hang off your balcony. Herbs and sprouts pack a big punch when it comes to nutrition, so don’t be deceived by their size! There are also some fantastic community gardens, which are popping up everywhere. So start looking at how you can get involved in the movement and bring more fresh, organic produce into your daily living!
Meal Prep Like Mad
I am vegan I work hard to optimise my nutrition so I try to include as many superfoods in my diet as possible including Camu Camu, maca, ginseng, mangosteen, spirulina and medicinal mushrooms.
I make a breakfast cereal with a combination of the following: pepitas, sunflower, flaxseed and cinnamon and sultanas. I don’t really measure it, it’s something I simply throw together and store in my pantry. I serve this with cashew cream, seasonal fruit and plain soaked chia seeds for added omega 3’s.
Every morning I soak chia seeds to put into smoothies (1/4 cup to 1-cup water). I add a combination of superfoods including many of the ones mentioned above.
I make green smoothies daily. These are great as they can be consumed on the run. They are fantastic for the day’s when I’m consulting. If you have jumped on the green smoothie wagon then I urge you to rotate the greens regularly, as having a kale smoothie daily can lead to alkaline poisoning.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
To continue on the previous point even further, I find it really helpful to not be around junk food or unhealthy choices at all. Clear your house of junk food, soft drink, ice cream, chocolate and all temptations. I almost always regret eating those things anyway, so I will just not keep them in the house at all. My kids used to laugh at me, as they would always know when something was up with me emotionally, as they would find me on the couch eating peanut butter out of the jar. These are my guilty pleasures. If you surround yourself with healthy options you are more likely to make good choices.
Shun Added Sugar
It’s incredible how much added sugar is in the products we buy. Take a few extra minutes at the store to check labels. That low-fat salad dressing or yoghurt might not be the best option if it contains 25g of sugar per serving. Consuming too much sugar can raise blood pressure, contribute to obesity, and increase your risk for heart disease. It’s also a sure-fire way to worsen anxiety and mood swings!
Keep it Simple
Even easy ways to eat healthier can seem pretty daunting, especially at first. Start slow and above all else, just keep it simple. You don’t need to be the world’s best cook or get a degree in Nutrition. Avoid processed foods, sugar, white flour, and soft drink. Make easy swaps. Shop the outer aisles of grocery stores and choose organic whenever possible. Fill your plate, and your life, with real, whole foods, and your body will thank you for it!