Five Simple Ways to Eat Healthier
With December being the “silly season” these super simple tips are quite timely!
Eating healthier does not need to be hard or expensive.
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Making it easier to eat better.
To create long-term healthy habits, you need to make changes that are simple, easy, and sustainable. Here are some ideas.
Getting in healthy food can be a struggle. For many people, that’s because nutritious meals seem like they belong in the too-hard basket: elaborate recipes, obscure vegetables, intricate techniques, and expensive organic ingredients—all for an end result that’s bland, unappealing, and a chore to eat. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There is a lot of messaging in our world about how convenient food is unhealthy—heck, we call it fast food. There is a definite trope that food that is good for you is difficult or time-consuming to prepare. However, with the right information and mindset, eating healthy is just as quick and easy.
Here are a few suggestions for fitting nutritious food into your lifestyle in a way that’s appealing, simple, and achievable.
Prep your healthy snacks
It’s easier to open a packet of biscuits than peel and chop a carrot, that’s true. However, with a little preparation you can have nutritious snacks at hand. Set aside ten or fifteen minutes the day that you do your grocery shopping and cut up carrots, capsicum, and cucumber so your vegetables are readily available. Do the same with fruit (lemon juice can keep things like apples and pears from going brown for a while) and store them in containers in the fridge. It doesn’t take long if you do it all at once, and there is just one chopping board and one knife to clean.
With produce prepped so you can grab it and go with no effort, you will be far more likely to choose it over the processed options.
Get the right tools
Cooking healthy meals can be intimidating, but with the right tools it is very achievable. An example of this is a powerful blender to make smoothies or a non-stick pan that makes scrambled eggs and stir fry dishes easy. While good tools can be expensive, they are an investment in healthy eating—and if you count the savings that come from eating homemade rather than takeaways, you might come out even pretty quickly.
Cook once, eat twice or more
When it comes to the effort required for cooking, there are definite economies of scale. Cooking one large meal is much easier than cooking two smaller ones, and you can take advantage of this by making enough to last two or even more meals. Dishes like lasagna, risottos, casseroles, soups, and curries lend themselves well to being left in the fridge for the next night’s dinner or even frozen in meal-sized portions. If you have meals ready to go that just need pulling out of the freezer in the morning or the fridge at dinnertime and reheated, you will be much less likely to opt for the convenient but unhealthy choices.
Ignore the push for perfection
In the attempt to find and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism. Truth is, being healthy isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. To make it a little easier on yourself, allow some leeway and don’t stress over the occasional chocolate bar or Maccas combo. If your standards for yourself are too high, a mistake can send you off the rails entirely. Aim to eat in a balanced way, with nutritionally dense, plant-heavy meals and snacks making up the majority of your diet but leaving space for treats and convenience foods on occasion.
Pay attention to the aesthetics
It’s more than just taste that makes food appeal. The way it looks also plays a part in how much people want to eat it. So while spending time to make your meals look nice may not seem like it’s simplifying healthy eating, it can contribute significantly to making your intentions into reality. Make food that looks like something you’d want to eat, and you are much more likely to enjoy eating it. Use an array of colored vegetables, plate your meals nicely, and use garnishes to present healthy food as delicious meals.
Overhauling your diet should not be a short-term project. For lasting health benefits, you need to be able to implement changes that stick. And for that to happen, it’s important to incorporate healthy food in ways that are simple and appealing. You want to give yourself reason to choose the nutritious option almost every time!
These suggestions are a good start when it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet. What works can vary hugely between people—everyone is different, so you will need to tweak and try out tips and tricks to see what is best for you.