{Nourish} My Top 10 Tips for Eating Well: A Cheat Sheet

My Top 10 Tips for Eating Well Ready to simplify eating well? This is for you. Embracing  a healthy lifestyle can feel overwhelming, out of reach and seriously confusing especially considering the copious amounts of nutrition information we are bombarded with everyday. I get it! It’s like there is a constant tape recorder in our head that regurgitates a slew of information non-stop. It can make you feel crazy and totally out of touch with your own intuition. “Don’t eat that.” “Is this healthy?” ‘That is bad.” “I should eat a snack.” “I’ll skip lunch and save room for dinner.” The messages we have learned over the years can be maddening, contradictory and even outrageous. Let’s wipe the slate clean and simplify the messages. Wellness doesn’t have to be complicated and you’ll be surprised to learn that when you strip away everyone else’s ideas of what you “should” do, you actually have the knowledge and intuitive to care for yourself in a meaningful way. Here are my top tips for eating well. I think of this as my cheat sheet and refer to it often as a grounding foundation. 

Healthy eating is not about deprivation or dieting. Quite the opposite actually. Positive results are rooted in positive intentions and that idea is the basis of these ten tips. It is also important to create a gratitude practice around food. Learn more about food gratitude here:

Eating with Gratitude 

Ten Healthy Eating Tips 

Eating well is not about good foods or bad foods. It’s more global than that. It’s also more simple. I love simple! 

  • Focus on a positive intention.  My favorite? “I eat to nourish my body.” Nourishing foods are whole foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. When you aim to create a plate of nourishing whole foods, you will naturally crowd out less nourishing processed and refined foods. 
  • Stop weighing yourself. Positive outcomes need a positive foundation. I often ask my weight-loss clients why they want to lose weight to find out if their weight loss goals are rooted in negative thoughts around themselves and their bodies. It is very difficult to lose weight if we are starting from a place of self-loathing. We have to love ourselves first. We have to learn to love our body, right now, no matter our size or shape. When we love ourselves, our wellness goals come from a place of self-love and self-respect and that is far more motivating than self-hatred. Trust me. Start now. Think of something you love about yourself and something you love about your body. Write it down. 

Setting Intentions for Health and Self-Love

Self-Love Challenge

Stop Weighing Yourself

  • Eat foods that make you feel good! This is a great concept to consider. Maybe salads in the winter make you feel cold. Switch to a warming soup instead. If a food makes you feel bloated or uncomfortable you could consider eliminating it from your diet for a few weeks to see if you feel better. This concept also encourages you to connect with your body in a more meaning way. Reflection and awareness are so important! A bloating belly is your bodies way of communicating with you. Are you listening? 
  • Eat more vegetables. This is my favorite nutrition recommendation. We can all stand to eat more vegetables. Circling back to the above point, adding more vegetables to your diet can cause some bloating and gas. Go slowly. Listen to your body. Consider cooking your vegetables as they may be easier to digest. You are offering yourself the opportunity get to know yourself and to care for yourself in a thoughtful way. 

5 Ways to Eat More Vegetables

  • Balance your plate! If half your plate is vegetables that saves room for the whole foods based carbohydrates, healthy fats like nuts and seeds and avocado and lean proteins. Try to create a balanced plate at every meal. Balancing carbohydrates with healthy fats and protein makes for a more nourishing and satisfying meal. Yes, I said carbohydrates. They are not the enemy but quality of ingredient is important. The better the quality the more nourishing and delicious. Try to eat good quality, whole food based carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, squash, quinoa, and rice more than their refined counterparts. 
  • Plan ahead. A little preparation goes a long way and it helps you stick to your intentions. Try it. Make extra grains or meats ahead of time so you have them available during the week. You can do the same with proteins like chicken, shrimp and eggs. You can buy pre-cooked chicken and salmon at your grocery store or make your own. I included a few recipes below. You can utilize frozen options like quinoa and brown rice as well. These are great in a pinch. 

5 Ways to Eat Less Processed Food + Meal Prep Tips

Mix and Match One Pan Dinners + Meal Prep Tips

  • Master Grocery Shopping. First things first, making a shopping list is a great way to keep yourself on task. Aim for a list with 75% whole foods. When it comes to processed or packaged foods, here are a few simple tips you can use to clean up your cart.
    • Skip the front of the package, it’s advertising, and head straight for the ingredient list. Ask yourself: 
      • How would I make this myself?
      • Can I buy these ingredients in the grocery store? Would I?
  • What’s the Deal with Sugar? I don’t think we have to deprive ourselves of sugar all together but we can be more mindful about our choices. Opt for natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup and simply use less. Here is an example. A store bought yogurt, including organic varieties, can contain up to 5 teaspoons of added sweetener per serving. Yikes! Instead, buy a plain variety and add one teaspoon of honey or real maple syrup. Top it with some berries and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds and you have made yourself a really nourishing meal or snack. 
    • It’s worth ditching the no-calorie sweeteners. This includes natural options like stevia. No calorie sweeteners are VERY sweet and because they are no-calorie, we give ourselves the okay to have as much as we want. This trains our palates to crave sweets! Instead, opt for a natural sweetener like honey or real maple syrup and enjoy this in moderation. 
  • Don’t deprive yourself! If you are focusing on the intention to nourish your body, you will choose nourishing foods most of the time. This means you can enjoy the foods you love as well…as long as you SAVOR them. Love ice cream? Have one or two spoonfuls. Give yourself the OKAY to enjoy the experience and really taste each bite. You’ll be satisfied and walk away from the situation feeling good about yourself. Guilt and shame don’t belong in a healthy lifestyle!
  • Nurture Your Emotions. Try not to feed them. Pause before you eat. Take a deep breath. Check in with yourself? Are you hungry or tired or anxious or bored? If you are hungry, eat! This is a great time to remind yourself of your intention to nourishing your body. If you aren’t hungry connect with the emotion that you may be feeling and consider ways you can nurture it.  Take a bath. Call a friend. Take a walk or give yourself the space to breathe. Your breath is very good at nurturing your emotions. Food will only exacerbate the negative emotions and I want you to have joyful eating experiences! Read More:

The Power of Hitting Pause

A 5 Minute Meditation

Connect with Yourself: A Lesson in Self Love

5 Minute Reboot

10 Simple Tips and Recipes to Help You Eat Well and Live Joyfully

 

 

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