If you’ve ever wondered how to start eating healthy, it’s easier than you think! Experts agree that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the most important factor in a healthy diet.
All you need to do is add fresh fruits and veggies to every meal and snack.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Fruit provides detoxification and cleansing for your body. Start your morning with a light, delicious meal of fresh fruit. A smoothie or fruit salad is ideal. After a long night of repairing cells — your liver, lymphatic, and digestive systems are craving water and power nutrients. Packed with phytonutrients, fiber, and water — fruit gives your body exactly what it needs for a healthy start to the day. Including low-glycemic fruits like berries, apples, pears, peaches, and grapes will keep your blood sugar stable.
Here’s a favorite breakfast smoothie that’s delicious and filling:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries (packed with antioxidants)
- 1 packet frozen Pitaya red dragon fruit (packed with liver-healing nutrients)
- large handful of baby spinach or other leafy greens (don’t worry, you won’t even taste it)
- 1 teaspoon Amla powder (optional; anti-inflammatory; immune support)
- add enough water to blend everything together
Have a mid-morning snack like apples or grapes. If you’re really hungry, whole-grain oatmeal will fill you up – and you can add fruit to it as well. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the morning. Take snacks with you to work or school so you don’t get too hungry. Starvation creates stress in the body, and that’s not healthy.
If you find you need more than a smoothie or fruit for breakfast, start with a piece of fruit while you prepare a larger breakfast. Cooked veggies can be used in a breakfast burrito or sandwich. Be creative by adding fruit and veggies into whatever breakfast option you choose. Always opt for whole foods, and avoid processed items like cereal.
Healthy Lunch Ideas
When you’re learning how to start eating healthy, the best approach is to adopt an attitude of experimentation. There are many choices of healthy foods that you can try. Adjust your meal plans based on the season, depending on what’s fresh and available in your area.
For lunch, a large salad is a wonderful option. Salads can incorporate a variety of raw vegetables: leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, celery, radishes to name a few. Don’t have the same old boring salad every day. Mix it up with new veggies, and add cooked ingredients too. Roasted vegetable leftovers will spice up your creation: cauliflower, beets, squash, and even potatoes. You can also throw in a sweet option like dried cranberries or apricots. Chopped salads can be a nice change of pace (lots of veggies without all the lettuce).
Any protein will complement a nice healthy salad. Ideally, the meat or fish you buy should be grass-fed or wild. For the healthiest meals possible, try to cook most of your food at home and pack your lunch. Restaurants frequently use unhealthy oils and processed convenience items.
If you want more than a salad for lunch, how about a hearty bowl of vegetable or bean soup? Or a homemade bowl of chili or stew made from whole foods? Bulk cooking is the perfect strategy for you if your schedule is typically busy. Cook a big pot of your favorite soup or stew, then eat it over the next few days. Food preparation skills are critical to eating healthy.
Sandwiches can also be packed with vegetables (either raw or roasted); choose whole grain bread or wraps. Burritos or tacos can be filled with healthy veggies and beans or whole grains. A stir fry is another good lunch option since it’s also full of a variety of fresh vegetables.
In order to create sustainable health, you need new healthy habits. Eating healthy will become a natural part of your lifestyle when you make food choices that fit your personal preferences and situation.
- If you have a family, you’ll have to get them on board with a healthy eating plan
- If you’re busy and over-scheduled, you need simple easy meals that come together quickly
- For frequent travelers, finding ways to bring delicious, whole foods with you will make a tremendous difference in your health
Regardless of your personal situation, experiment with new food to see how many additional options you can add to your healthy eating plan. Variety in your fruit and vegetable choices provides an array of nutrients that will boost your energy, prevent illness and keep you in great shape.
Healthy Snack Ideas
When you start eating healthy for your lifestyle, you don’t have to forgo snacks. If you’re hungry, that’s a signal from your body that it needs nourishment. The benefit of adding lots of produce to your meals is that your digestion will improve dramatically. Fruit and vegetables are mostly water, fiber, and nutrients. You can eat as much as you want. Because they digest easily, you might feel hungry between meals. Go ahead and snack!
Apples are legendary for their healing properties: rich in antioxidants and cancer-preventative.
Eating one or two apples in the afternoon will give your brain a boost as well. You’ll make better decisions and avoid the afternoon energy slump.
Raw veggies provide hydration, crunch, and fiber. It’s a well-known saying that anxious (stressed) people like crunchy food. Especially salty, crunchy food. There’s a satisfying feeling of release that we get when munching down on chips and pretzels. Instead of processed chips, try a salted veggie substitute: celery, carrots, radishes, baby cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli … your choices are endless! Dip them in salsa, vinaigrette or bruschetta.
Healthy Dinner Ideas
What do you usually eat for dinner? Ideally, you’ll have time to get into your kitchen and create something delightful as well as nutritious. Cooking needs to be a priority in our lives. Reliance on fast food and microwaved convenience food is destroying the health of our entire population: children, adults and senior citizens.
Our food has become chemical-laden, factory-farmed, and adulterated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As a result, food is no longer nutritious. Dinnertime is the foundation of the family; a time where we gather to celebrate the bounty of the earth and the joy of our relationships. Even if you’re single, preparing a delicious meal is a basic practice for nourishing yourself. Sadly, many people have lost the foundation and the practice of this simple, daily ritual.
How to start eating healthy? One word: COOK!
Many of us get overwhelmed by the pace of modern life. We’re up early. Commuting to work. Stressed throughout the day. Exhausted when we finally arrive home. The thought of chopping, prepping and cooking a meal might feel overwhelming. I understand! But we need to reclaim our health.
It’s our right to have access to quality, healthy, nutritious food.
It’s our right to earn a living, have a career, and still have adequate time to care for ourselves and our loved ones. Make a commitment to take back your health!
Decide that dinnertime is sacred. Gather with friends or family when possible. If you’re eating alone, please don’t eat fake food out of plastic containers in front of the TV. It’s not that hard to shop for healthy food, stock the fridge and pantry, and whip up a simple wholesome meal.
Shop for fruits and vegetables on a specific day of the week. I especially like Thursday. The store is stocked with fresh food, and it isn’t crowded. If you have a Monday to Friday job, spend some time prepping on Sunday. Wash and cut veggies for a few days. Plan your meals. The Internet abounds with amazing food blogs … you can find a great recipe in 2 minutes. Stock up on tasty condiments and spices for your go-to pantry. Buy whole-grain pasta, grains and beans so that you always have a quick pantry meal available.
- If you’re a meat and potatoes person, buy pasture-raised proteins at Whole Foods or farmers markets
- If you’re open to plant-based, experiment with bean and pasta dishes that have abundant fresh veggies
- Main course salad meals are a quick, delicious option (especially if you want to lose weight)
- Leftovers create the fastest meals; several times a week, do a bulk cooking session
There are many strategies to start eating healthy. For additional tips, check out the The Ultimate Guide to Better Health.
If you’d like some coaching to help you create a healthier lifestyle, just send me a message. I offer a free 30-minute phone session designed to Power Up Your Health. I’ll give you ideas and inspiration to jump-start your personalized healthy living program.