Keeping Healthy Is Easier When You Choose Fresher Food
How often do you find yourself reaching for a bag of chips rather than a crisp apple? With the lack of nutrition in junk and fast foods, it’s easy to see why you might be re-thinking what you eat on a daily basis. Switching your eating habits around, however, can be harder than it sounds. Old habits die hard, and it can be tricky to convince yourself to eat foods you don’t know instead of your classic favorites. Hopefully these tips will help you on your journey to healthier eating.
5 Tips for Keeping Yourself Healthy
Add Color to Your Plate
Today it’s widely known that you eat with your eyes before you eat with your mouth. Color, in particular, is important because it can help enhance your anticipation of the food that you’re going to eat. Fortunately, there are many fresh foods that are naturally bright without any artificial food coloring. Some foods you’ll want to try include:
- Purple, orange, and green cauliflower
- Rainbow carrots
- Golden and red cherry tomatoes
- Purple potatoes
- Green and purple cabbage
- Pink, red, and golden raspberries
Adding these to a meal makes it look great, and can entice even children to eat their vegetables. After all, how many eight-year-olds do you know who would turn their noses up at purple potatoes?
Making visually appealing meals will help you anticipate and enjoy them much more than a hamburger and fries.
Try Fresh First
While it can be tempting to purchase frozen or canned vegetables, fresh is always best. Fresh vegetables are by far the tastiest, especially when simply roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Even if you have disliked a veggie in the past, you might be surprised at how much better it can taste when it’s cooked properly.
Local Farmer’s Markets or seasonal produce stands are among the best ways to find really good in-season fruits and vegetables. You’ve probably passed these stands on your daily commute many times, but you may never have stopped to investigate. You would be surprised at how much of a flavor difference it makes to buy fresh, locally grown fruit. It may be a little bit more expensive than buying it from your grocery store, but not enough to make huge difference in your budget.
Don’t Forget Whole Grains
White bread, white rice, white pasta, etc., should be traded in for brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, quinoa, and other grains that are healthier for digestion. Since these are slow-burning carbohydrates, they’ll keep you full for longer and can therefore help you eat less. Not to mention the nutrients you get from whole grains!
One good way to make sure you’re getting enough whole grains in your diet is to buy high-quality bread from brands you recognize instead of generic brand breads. You may be surprised to find that with many generic brand breads the nutrition content is nearly identical between wheat and white breads. If you want to be sure you’re really getting the nutrition you need, skip the generic and go for something a little higher quality.
Do you miss the tang of salt and vinegar potato chips? Or the sweetness of dessert? Don’t drive yourself crazy. Instead, fake it by making healthy alternatives to the foods that you crave. For example, you can make salt and vinegar kale chips right in your home oven. You can also bake homemade apple chips sprinkled with cinnamon as a sweet treat.
There are many alternatives out there, so get creative and don’t forget to use the resources available.
Clean Out Your Pantry
It can be impossible to eat healthy if you’ve got candy bars, ice cream, white rice, white bread, and pasta staring you in the face every day. Until you have a better handle on your cravings, it’s best to clean out your pantry and get rid of all the junk food. Once you replace those with healthier foods and homemade snacks, you won’t have to battle your willpower every day.
When it comes to eating healthier for life, it’s critical to set yourself up for success. This means being open to new foods, ditching your old habits, and trying hard no matter what pitfalls come your way. Ultimately, it’s still okay to eat bread, sweets, and other treats. However, if you make it a priority to eat healthy the majority of the time, you’ll feel better and your body will be healthier.
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