The degree to which your body is nourished with optimal nutritional choices will have a profound effect on your overall health and wellbeing. It will influence your energy levels, your mental wellbeing, your ability to burn fat, and the strength of your immune system, among other things. It is important to understand what constitutes healthy eating habits, and then also how to go about making them happen
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One of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine was the Greek physician Hippocrates. He sums up the importance of healthy eating habits in one statement:
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food
Let’s now look at my top five simple tips for healthy eating. What to eat and how to make your eating habits stick.
1. Base your nutritional habits around whole foods
Think nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and meat (if you choose to eat it). Make choices in these food groups that are as close to the original food as possible. This helps ensure the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are still intact.
You may also be interested to read about these five foods that help improve circulation for better brain health.
2. Choose organic wherever possible
Organic farming places the utmost importance on caring for the soil because it forms the basis for health for all life forms. Healthy soil encourages healthy disease-resistant plants, which then transfer to the animals and people who consume those plants.
By choosing organic, you are opting for food that has been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and without the routine use of antibiotics. Making as many organic choices as you can goes a long way toward helping you establish healthy eating habits. (Beware of organic “junk” food! Refer to the previous section again if required.
3. Drink lots of water
Your body can survive a surprisingly long time without food but it won’t last more than a few days without water. You absolutely need to focus on drinking water, alongside healthy eating habits.
Optimal hydration is critical to ensure our muscles and nerves function properly, and even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of lethargy.
How much to drink? The answer is quite simple – drink until your wee is clear or almost clear. What an easy way to measure whether you’re getting enough!
Aim to drink most of your water in between meals. Acids in your stomach help to digest your food properly so you don’t want to dilute these too much by drinking excessively during meals.
Find a way to make water intake a regular, healthy habit. Always carry a water bottle. My partner takes this a step further. Having a water bottle on hand is not enough to make him remember to drink. For this reason, an alarm goes off on his phone every 15 minutes, which reminds him to drink! Seriously, drinking more water is one of the easiest simple tips for healthy eating and it can have such a big effect on your health.
4. Take time to plan and prepare for eating well
It takes time and preparation to execute healthy eating habits. Schedule out time to write shopping lists, shop for food, and prepare meals.
Plan to eat before you shop to minimize the chance of giving in to tempting foods. You can also shop online to minimize temptation even further.
By the way, iHerb is one of my favorite healthy places to shop online. They sell pretty much any healthy grocery item you could wish for, including natural personal care and household products as well as health supplements. Their prices, service, and specials are outstanding and they deliver all over the world.
More food planning and preparation tips
Make bulk meals to freeze for busy nights and set aside time to prepare a packed lunch the night before. Keep useful kitchen items in easy-to-reach places. For example, put the blender on the bench rather than in the cupboard so that healthy smoothie preparation is quick and easy. Good eating habits don’t happen by accident. You need to consciously decide what you are going to do to make them happen.
If you need some inspiration for planning healthy meals, check out my post about my favorite healthy cookbooks.
5. Change only one small thing at a time
You may feel overwhelmed by wondering where to start working on your healthy eating habits. Don’t. Just start. Make one small, achievable change and once that becomes a habit (something you can do without a major effort), then focus on something else.
Small changes are the key to success. For example, instead of saying “I’m only going to eat whole foods from now on and forever”, instead make your target more realistic. This might be “I’m going to increase to eating at least four different vegetables per day on at least five days every week”.
More tips for healthy eating habits
Sometimes it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you require for optimal health from food alone. If you’re eating really well but you feel like you’re still low in nutrients, take a look at this post, which is all about IV nutrient therapy.
Holistic tips and resources for healthy eating
Are you concerned about how the people you hang out with will react if you follow these tips? If so, click here to check whether your relationships are hindering your healthy eating habits.
I’ve also put a post together on six steps to awesome energy levels. You might also want to know about the instances when healthy food choices can be overrated.
What are your favorite simple tips for healthy eating? I’d love to hear what you think so please leave a comment in the box below!
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