Back to the Basics: Nutrition Tips to Help You Get Started with Healthy Eating
Do you want to start eating healthier, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you know you want to feel better from the inside out, but don’t even know what healthy eating looks like for you. There is so much information out there on social media and the internet, but going back to the basics is the perfect place to start. Check out the tips below to help you take some steps toward becoming a healthier as 2020 begins!
DRINK WATER: 60% of our body weight comes from water so it makes sense that water is essential for our survival! Drinking 8 cups a day is a good place to start, but there are many factors that can affect how much water we need, like exercise, weather, fever, and pregnancy. Try drinking water before or between each meal, before, during, and after exercise, and of course any time you feel thirsty. Staying well-hydrated gives us more energy, brighter eyes, healthy skin, and reduces headaches so drink up!
EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES: It turns out our parents were right…there really is some truth to the whole “eat the rainbow” saying. Ideally, we should include a serving of fruit and/or vegetables with each meal to reach the recommended 5-13 servings a day. I know this is a very wide range and it may feel impossible to reach, but just start by adding a serving to one of your meals and work up from there. Also, remember that vegetables don’t have to be bland and boring! Experiment with seasonings and cooking methods to find what works for you.
PLAN AHEAD: Set some time aside on Saturday or Sunday to look at your schedule for the upcoming week and plan out your meals. This makes grocery shopping so much more efficient and sets you up for nutrition success as you head into the week. Then, once you have a plan and all the groceries you need, you can prepare some things ahead of time, such as breakfast and dinner staples. Knowing you have healthy meals waiting for you at home makes it much less likely that you will stop for fast food after a long day at work!
SNACK SMART: It is completely normal to feel hungry between meals, and we don’t need to feel guilty for that! Instead, use snacks as a way to include more fruit, veggies, protein, and whole grains. Some of my favorites are carrots and hummus, yogurt with berries, or popcorn and a cheese stick. The options are endless, really, but a good guide is to combine a fruit or veggie with a protein so you will stay satisfied and full longer.
HONOR YOUR HUNGER AND FULLNESS: Easier said than done, I know, but tuning in to what hunger and fullness feels like for each of us is a very important part of listening to your body. When you feel hungry, check in with yourself and see what it is you need in that moment so you can make a smart choice regarding your next meal or snack. Stay tuned for more on how mindfulness and healthy eating can go hand-in-hand!