I’m on a mission. And that mission is to change people’s opinion that eating healthy is gross or hard. In this article, I’m going to give you some simple tips and inspire you to try something new!
But before we dive in, let’s look at the psychology behind our poor eating habits….
Most of my clients have one of the following reactions to the idea of eating healthier:
– The food won’t taste good
– I don’t have time
– My kids won’t like it
Have you ever stopped to wonder WHY we have such a negative knee-jerk reaction to eating healthy?
We’ve been duped, people. We’re eating out of the hands of all the crap-food producers of the world, pun intended. It’s a mind game and we’re under their spell.
“Lay’s: Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”
“Five Guys – Always fresh, never frozen.”
“Olive Garden – When you’re here, you’re family.”
“Subway. Eat Fresh”
“Wheaties Cereal: The Breakfast of Champions”
Do you hear it? Your lives will be better. You’ll be a champion. You’ll be like family.
Let’s get real, people.
The Bleak Reality of Obesity
The most recent statistics show that the United States of America leads the pack of industrialized nations in obesity. The percentage of adults who are obese is 36.2%.
For the most part, excluding very real health conditions and diseases that cause weight gain and/or prevent the loss of weight, this is a self-inflicted problem. We don’t eat well and we don’t get enough exercise. In 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most U.S. states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher. Today, nationwide, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three is obese (36 percent).
The problem isn’t just weight-gain. There’s a domino effect in place: weight-gain and lack of movement leads to lifestyle-related diseases which lead to the over-prescribing of medications, all of which have a whole host of side effects, and healthcare costs go up and up.
About half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. These include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poor bone health.
There is a Solution
I know, it’s bleak. The good news is that this problem is preventable and you can decide to improve your health through better diet and exercise at any time! You hold the power to make changes. You don’t have to be part of the statistic.
First, I want you to repeat after me: healthy food is delicious. Neither you nor your family will be holding your nose and gagging while you eat. You’ll be surprised at how good and how simple it can be. In fact, I’ve included some of my favorite recipes at the end of this article.
You’ll also feel better. There is much truth to “junk in, junk out” – we can’t put junky processed foods in our systems and then wonder why we feel bad. You’ll feel more energetic, you’ll sleep better, digestion will be better, you’ll see improvements to hair, skin and teeth, and more. Your body will respond positively to healthier eating and movement.
Here are 5 simple steps to jumpstart your healthier eating journey:
1. Shop for food that expires. This is also known as shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Interior aisles have the boxed food that has long expiration dates due to all the preservative chemicals. Around the perimeter you’ll find fresh produce, meat, etc. The closer the food is to the farm, the better it is for you. How about even trying a local farmer’s market?!
2. Keep it simple. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. My advice to clients is grill a meat, roast a vegetable. Or bake a meat, steam a vegetable. You get my drift. Here’s an example: buy boneless pork chops, a bag of pre-chopped broccoli, a bag salad mix and whatever veggies you like on your salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, avocado, mushrooms). Season the meat with equal parts salt, paprika, cumin and chili powder. Grill it either outside or on an indoor grill. I like this one. Toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 420 degrees for 20 minutes. Dump all the salad ingredients in a bowl and voila, dinner is done. For salad dressings, my favorite clean brand is Tessemae’s. I like the Avocado Ranch.
3. Try new things. There’s a whole world of vegetables out there – why don’t you try something new? Maybe spaghetti squash (a fun substitute for noodles) or beets (delicious when you roast them) or kale (great in a salad). You won’t know if you like it until you try it.
4. Get inspired by food blogs. There are SO many food blogs nowadays. You can literally find recipes for anything you want. Here are some of my favorite go-to sites:
– PaleOMG – https://paleomg.com/
– Lexi’s Clean Kitchen – https://lexiscleankitchen.com/
– Well Plated – https://www.wellplated.com/
– The Iron You – https://www.theironyou.com/
– Nom Nom Paleo – https://nomnompaleo.com/
5. Baby steps. I don’t want to mislead you that I eat perfectly or that my kids never eat junk. Life is about balance and I’m not suggesting a drastic change. How about one new healthy habit each week? Just take baby steps and don’t get dismayed if you have a junk meal. Life happens!
6. Bonus #6! Keep healthy snacks on hand. Most grocery stores carry snack packs in the produce section with small containers or carrots, celery, fruit, etc. Keep these on hand so that when hunger strikes, you have a healthy choice that you can quickly grab.
I hope you are feeling inspired to eat healthier. It’s really about choosing to take care of yourself and improve your health. Below are 3 recipes that me and my family really like. Let me know if you try them!
Some of my favorite recipes:
- Baked Buffalo Wings – http://girlpoweraustin.com/baked-buffalo-wings/
- Chicken Avocado Burgers – http://girlpoweraustin.com/chicken-avocado-burgers/
- Tomato Basil Turkey Meatloaf – http://girlpoweraustin.com/tomato-basil-turkey-meatloaf/
- Potato Salad – http://girlpoweraustin.com/potato-salad/