5 Things to Do Now to Make Healthy Eating Easier
Sometimes you need a little kick-start back into Healthy Habits and taking care of yourself through healthy eating. Be it after a vacation, a stressful time in your life, post holidays, or because you realize you’ve slipped back into a less-healthy routine…these are 5 EASY steps you can take to get back in a happy-healthy groove!
1. Ditch (or Hide!) the Temptations
You know that food you go overboard on? The one you that always calls to you at night when you’re chilling out or you stress-eat? (For me it’s Stacy’s Pita Chips, Granola, and any form of crunchy “Cheez with a Z” snacks) . Toss it (your health is worth more than the price of a bag of chips), give it to a friend or neighbor, bring it to work, donate it to a shelter. If there are others in the house who snack on them, try to find something they like that you aren’t as drawn to that you can keep for them instead. I also buy snack pack-sized things and keep them in another room so they’re a) not in my face all day, b) force me to pause before digging in and c)less likely for me to go overboard on like a GIANT bottomless bag!
2. Stock Up On Snacks
Now of course you’re going to get hungry and need to snack! It’s important to always have easy, healthy things around to grab when you’re starving. I love to make myself an actual Veggie & Dip platter with a light dip, all pretty in the fridge as if I’m throwing myself a party. (Get two of my fav Healthy Dip recipes here including a super-light Ranch and easy, upscale Roasted Pepper Dip!)
Bored with basic baby carrots? Check out my tips to Uplevel Your Crudite Game to help make your veggie snacks fun and beautiful!
Same with pre-cut fruit salad. Let’s be real -if we’re starving we’re not going to stop to cut it up! Treat yourself to a pretty one from the supermarket each week (yes, you deserve it!) Protein snacks are important too because they’ll fill you up longer. My faves are deli turkey, pre-made hard boiled eggs (they sell snack packs in the supermarket), and light mozzarella cheese sticks. Keep all these in your fridge at all times, right up front, in easy to grab containers. Remind yourself that snacking on nourishing, healthy food is the ultimate form of self-care, and that your mind and body will feel happier when you stick to goals you set for yourself too.
3. How to Tell if You’re REALLY Hungry
Ok, this one is a bit of tough love but it’s a Mindful Eating jedi mind trick I use on myself that really works! When you’re between meals and reaching for an unhealthy snack pause, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself, “Can I have an apple and a glass of water first?” It’s just like grandma would say, if you’re REALLY hungry you’ll be psyched to have an apple for a snack! We also often confuse thirst with hunger so try having an apple (or a healthy snack), drinking a big glass of water and revisit the need for the temptation in 10 minutes. You can also have go-to things you do to distract yourself like brushing your teeth (who wants to put a snack in a freshly brushed mouth?), chewing gum, walking the dog, or calling a friend who supports your health goals.
4. Everything in Moderation
As soon as we tell ourselves something is off limits we crave it even more! Make a plan for how you’ll get to enjoy chocolate, chips, cheese, pizza, wine…whatever it is you’re trying to limit. Stick to healthy foods the rest of the day and let yourself enjoy the thing you’re really craving vs pining for it and feeling deprived and hating this “healthy life thing”. If you have a sweet tooth try my Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes that are healthier than most muffins. Or for pizza lovers go for my 10 minute, toaster oven, Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Bites – they’ll satisfy that savory craving in a WAY lighter way with a serving of veggies to boot. I’m also a big fan of snack packs to control portion sizes of cookies and chips. I also use things like cheese, nuts, or chocolate as a garnish on top of food. We eat with our eyes and this way you can add them to your everyday meals to stay happy and satisfied without going overboard.
5. Treat Yourself with Love!
Seriously, we ALL goof up and eat too much, go off our healthy plan for the day, and overdo it. It’s totally ok, just don’t throw in the towel on your whole day or week of healthy eating and keep overindulging! Sometimes one slip-up can send us spiraling in defeat and say “I’ll just start again next week, tomorrow, next year”. Remember – you are always only ONE good decision away from getting yourself back on track. And be sure to banish that mean voice in your head that’s berating you too. Think “would I EVER talk to someone I love like that?” Instead, when you slip up, treat yourself with love, the way you would a friend or loved one who goofed. You’d encourage them and give them a pep talk right? And tell them it’s ok, to just get back to their goals. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself and be as kind to yourself as you are to others! Treating yourself with love is one of the best ways to stick to healthy eating.