GUEST POST BY LAURA BOGLIOLI
Most people would agree that improving personal nutrition is something they would like to work on, however knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get information overload with all the fad diets, workout crazes and conflicting information about nutrition. Making lasting changes to eating habits does not happen overnight, but through small, enjoyable, manageable changes. Before you know it, every small change will add up!
Here are five easy steps to start improving your nutrition today:
- Stick to your favorites
You may think eating healthier requires you to eat foods that you dislike. Not true! Stick to your favorite tried and true health foods. If you hate kale, don’t fret. You can eat another vegetable or leafy green that you love instead. If you love strawberries but hate bananas, stick to strawberries and ditch the bananas! You can enjoy the healthy foods you are eating without feeling deprived or forced to endure eating foods you dislike.
- Sneak fruits and vegetables into everyday meals
Bump up the nutrient content of your meals by adding in hidden fruits and vegetables. If you are making a pasta, add in some broccoli or spinach. If you are making burgers, add extra toppings such as avocado or zucchini. If you are making a dessert, try adding fresh berries or mango. Using this tip, you will be sure to get a few servings of fruits & vegetables as well as an extra nutrient boost with every meal!
- Make a healthy version of your favorite meal
If you find yourself craving not-so-healthy foods such as delivery pizza or Chinese takeout, try cooking a healthier version of your favorite at home. Find a good recipe and use high quality, minimally processed ingredients. The final outcome will be a much more nutritious meal that not only tastes better, but will make you feel better. You may even find that you like your home made version much more than store bought!
- Drink more water
This may seem like advice you’ve heard a million times, but it’s for good reason. Thirst and hunger are easily confused, leading many people to eat excess food when what their body really needs is water. When you are dehydrated, the body does not function as efficiently leaving you tired and sluggish. Water helps increase the feeling of fullness, so staying fully hydrated decreases the chances of over eating or snacking when bored. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses (8 oz) per day.
- Plan ahead
The old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is definitely true when it comes to healthy eating. When we skip planning ahead, we are more likely to call for delivery or take out foods, or even head to the drive-thru. Keeping the fridge and pantry stocked with your favorite healthy foods will ensure that you will be eating nutritiously with ease. If you are going to be eating at a restaurant or attending a party, plan ahead by eating a nutritious breakfast and lunch to balance out your day. If you will be going on a trip, plan ahead by bringing healthy snacks and foods along with you, or check to see what restaurants and grocery stores will be in the area you are traveling to.
With these simple steps, you will be well on your way to healthier eating. You may be pleasantly surprised with how easy and fun it can be! Always remember: slow and steady wins the race, and that tomorrow is always a new day to start fresh. Try applying a few of these tricks to your eating in the next few days – you will be feeling healthier before you know it!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao tzu
About Laura Boglioli
Laura is a holistic health coach focused on nutrition, fitness, and mind body health. Laura teaches clients how to make lifestyle changes to improve health and well being through eating well, exercising, and stress management. Laura enjoys cooking, crafting, hiking, yoga, and photography. Find more tips on nutrition, health, and wellness via Laura’s website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.