1. Everyone’s body is different (hence, this blog). No one way of eating works for everyone. Consider this when trying a specific “diet” like the Paleo diet or being Vegetarian. While your best friend may love her recent switch to a Vegan diet, it does not mean that it is right for you. Listen to your body, not the recent diet trend. We believe that all healthy eating lies somewhere between the lines of plant-based and paleo-based.
2. Never completely restrict a food group from your life if you love it (unless it’s completely necessary to your health/well-being). For example, a diet that completely restricts carbs when you LOVE carbs is NOT a good idea (especially if you’re an athlete). We believe restricting only sets yourself up for a binge! Remember: everything in moderation – you gotta’ live a little.
3. Stay positive and realize it’s a process. Everyone has slip-ups and falls off the wagon from time to time. So you had a little too much ice cream today and feel terrible about it. Don’t think of it as a total failure or beat yourself about it. A healthy diet and lifestyle is a huge challenge. It’s all good! Remind yourself of your goals and move on. You may not feel fabulous at the time, but don’t throw in the towel because you had a little “slip up.”
4. “Crowd out” those not-so-healthy foods with healthy ones. Instead of “taking away” the foods you love, consider this — Eat. More. Veggies. If you make yourself a big plate of vegetables as part of your meal, you will find yourself fuller faster and less likely to overeat the potentially less healthy foods.
5. Check those nutrition facts! If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or the main ingredient in something is sugar – consider NOT eating it. The least amount of ingredients and the more recognizable ingredients, the better. Try to keep it simple. And natural.
6. Prepare your own meals more, eat take-out less. Pretty simple, really – if you make your own meals, you know what’s in them, how much of an ingredient is used and you can prepare a reasonably sized portion for yourself. And it’s cheaper!
7. Adjust your grocery list to fit your lifestyle. While buying/preparing fresh vegetables is ideal, be realistic with yourself. If you have a busy life (we certainly do!), don’t feel bad about buying the frozen vegetables (stay away from the canned veggies though). In fact, frozen vegetables are frozen at their peak freshness, so they are an awesome staple to have if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. You can throw them in a pan with coconut or olive oil and voila! Veggie stir-fry in just a few minutes!
8. Whenever you can, take a few moments to “get lost” in nature (or at least go outside). Studies have shown that being outside/in nature significantly improves your well-being, mood, promotes healing, alleviates stress, and MANY more. The benefits are so numerous and incredible, we will have to have an entirely separate post about it. But for now, take our words for it.
9. Be active. Pretty self-explanatory, but basically, get moving! Whether your idea of being active is simply taking a walk in the park, lifting weights, running, or something else that gets your blood flowing and heart pumping, just do it! You’ll be a much happier person.
10. This is an important one: BE OPEN-MINDED. There are lots of different ways of eating, workouts, and foods out there to experience. As you get older, your personality changes and your tastes change, so don’t be afraid to try a new food, test out different dietary theories, or sign up for that spin class your friend has been raving about. You may find you like it!