Creating healthy eating habits can be sometimes be kinda difficult and may even feel pretty flipping impossible. When you’re transitioning towards a healthier lifestyle it’s hard to look into your cupboard and see a ton of snack food you’re no longer allowed to eat. Or to go to the grocery store, load your cart up with the good stuff and stare longingly at the chocolate without taking one home.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Creating healthy eating habits can be an incredibly fun experience that introduces you to a ton of delicious new foods and recipes. And yes, there is totally room for chocolate. Or any of the snacks you adore.
So let’s talk about it! Here are 4 easy ways that you can create healthy eating habits, without feeling restricted or deprived. You got this!
4 Remarkably Easy Ways To Create Healthy Eating Habits
1. Don’t Try to Change Everything at Once
A healthy, fulfilling diet is all about abundance, not restriction. Creating healthy eating habits is an opportunity to welcome more into your life, not to find yourself feeling limited and unfulfilled.
You might feel like you want to go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 (why do I have the sudden urge to sing shut up and drive?)
But if you’re looking to build a lasting healthy diet that’s very likely a huge mistake.
You don’t need to change everything at once…
There’s no need to wake up tomorrow and be a health food guru. Or to even become a health food guru at all if that isn’t your thing. Your healthy diet and lifestyle need to be as beautiful and unique as you are and support your own personal needs. There is no one size fits all! Building healthy eating habits is, in many ways, a build your own adventure.
But I totally get the urge to to dive right in!
If you’re feeling like you want to jump right to the end and be a major healthy foodie tomorrow, I seriously get it! Once I have my mind made up, I am all in! But changing your diet can be a little more complicated than just waking up one morning and deciding to change everything. You’ll probably be more successful if you ease into it.
When I first changed my entire diet back in 2013 there were definitely a few things I had to change right away, thanks to my issues with autoimmunity. I immediately said goodbye to gluten and hello to tons of healthy food options I had never considered before. I used to call myself a veggie hater, if you can even believe that!
But does that mean I became an intuitive eater overnight? Heck no! And I still enjoyed handfuls of chips and junky peanut butter brands for quite some time. It was hard to say goodbye to all that added sugar yo!
If I had cut those little things out entirely on day one I may have just gotten so frustrated that I would have quit. And then who knows what would have happened! I don’t imagine I’d have the same healthy, sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle, that’s for sure.
If you need to go cold turkey on something for your health, find safe alternatives for your foodie faves.
Ask around at your local health food stores and look online for easy recipes. Change is so much easier when it doesn’t feel so alien.
If you have no health woes to worry about, give yourself permission to ease into certain aspects of your transition. Otherwise, it’s super easy to get frustrated, give up and fall back into old habits.
Instead of creating a ton of restrictions, simply welcome new options. Crowd out the bad by saying yes to new, healthy alternatives instead of no to everything you find yourself reaching for.
Before you know it you’ll have the healthy eating habits you set out to create. Without all of the frustration, withdrawals and hangry moments. Booyah!
Don’t pressure yourself into being 100% successful tomorrow. Change can take time. Baby steps are ok!
And, of course, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” healthy diet. You do you! The fact that you strive to feed yourself with kindness is a huge win! But the pressures of perfection have no place here.
2. Make Smoothies
You know how I just mentioned that I used to be a self professed veggie hater? Well… that kind of made this whole healthy eating habits transition a little more difficult.
I was LOST.
And very quickly smoothies became a wonderful go-to.
Seriously, smoothies are magical! It’s an easy way to load up on tons of fiber and take advantage of all of the awesome nutrients fruits and veggies have to offer. Even if you’re a veggie hater like I was.
If you aren’t a vegetable or fruit super fan, smoothies help you dip your toes in the water! Trust me, a green smoothie tastes nothing like kale and spinach when you blend it up just right. Even though you’re most certainly consuming a fair amount of both!
Flavour, variety and healthy goodness – who could ask for more?!
But, of course, it can take some trial and error to become a smoothie aficionado. I’ve certainly made some pretty nasty concoctions in my day. But I’m happy to say that through a ton of trial and error I have become quite the smoothie aficionado! All it takes is a little practice my sweet friend.
And I’m here to help!
If you need a hand in the smoothie department, I just released a $5.00 Smoothie E-book!
We’ve got a 37 page PDF featuring 15 unique recipes, photos, instructions (don’t worry, it’s easy as pie) and tons of deliciousness! You can get your copy right here (use coupon code smoothieluv15 to save 15% for the next month).
Super Bonus – I’ll send you a free copy of my Healthy Dessert Recipe E-book too ;).
I hope you enjoy the variety of goodness in this e-book. And if you’re new to healthy eating, like I
was, I hope that this helps you on your way. Before you know it you’ll be creating some wonderful, unique combos and loading up on healthy goodness too. 😉
3. Use Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are a marvelous way to add a ton of flavour! But they do so much more than that. This is a seriously simple way to boost up the nutritional goodness in your meal!
According to Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, founder of Essence Nutrition and visiting professor at the University of Miami’s Master’s in Nutrition program:
“Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health. You should be cooking with herbs and spices regularly, and, if possible, using several at a time.” (source)
What’s in it for you?
The exact nutritional awesomeness depends on the individual herbs and spices you choose to use, of course, but according to Ms. Moreno they all have one marvelous thing in common:
“All herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cell. That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals.” (source)
But wait, there’s more goodness to be had:
Adrienne Youdim, MD, an associate clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine says that adding herbs and spices to your diet helps you eat healthier in general:
“Because they’re so flavorful, they make it easier to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat.” (source)
When you add herbs and spices you gain flavour, nutrients and tend to eat healthier. Score!
Plus, they’re super easy to add to stir fries, pastas, soups, sauces and even desserts (this girl puts cinnamon and cacao in pretty much every sweet treat). Just find your favourite solo herbs and spices or get your hands on some gourmet seasoning blends and add them to your favourite meals for extra flavour and nutrients.
4. Use Fresh, Local Ingredients When Possible
Obviously it’s not always possible to use fresh, local ingredients. I personally spend half the year in a winter wonderland… and let me tell you, there isn’t a lot of fresh, local goodness to be had in the dead of winter.
But when you can buy fresh, local produce I totally recommend it.
Why should you invest in fresh and local:
- You often save money when you hit the farmers market and buy directly from the farmer. No middle man yo!
- Your food was recently harvest (sometimes that very same day), which makes it more flavourful, more appealing and longer lasting.
- You’ll find more variety than you’ll ever see at a grocery store.
- You get extra nutrients. Holla!
Sounds too good to be true, I know. But hear me out:
Fresh vegetables typically contain high levels of vitamin C. (source)
Nutrients in pre-packaged frozen veggies, especially water soluble nutrients like vitamins B and C, tend to break down over time. (source)
While nutrients do break down in fresh fruits and vegetables after they’ve been stored in the fridge for a few days, carotenoids, phenolics and other antioxidants may actually increase! This is likely because they continue to ripen over time. So cool, right? (source 1, source 2)
Super bonus if you buy organic!
According to this Meta Analysis, reviewing 343 studies, organic crops have 70% more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts. This happens because antioxidants develop as a vegetable fights to survive and grow. Conventional crops don’t have to work quite as hard, so we end up with less.
But conventional produce is better than no produce! If organic foods aren’t readily available or don’t fit into your budget don’t you worry! Eating fruits and veggies in general is what matters most.
And you can always prioritize. The dirty dozen list by the Environmental Working Group helps you make informed choices if you are looking to buy organically when it counts most.
There you have it! Creating healthy eating habits doesn’t have to be difficult or restrictive.
Sometimes a few simple adjustments can lead to the most amazing changes! Are you feeling more empowered to create some fantastic, healthy changes?
What advice on healthy eating habits would you add to the list? Is there anything that resonated with you? Share your ideas, experiences and advice with us in the comments below. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Sometimes things are far simpler than they seem
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