Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.Thich Nhat Hanh
Just about everyone starts out the day with best intentions to eat healthy, but as the day wears on, crazy things find their way into our mouths — things that we know are not good for us. There’s got to be a way to see our goal of healthy eating through.
The sad truth is many Americans are not very healthy. Recent research by the CDC shows that more than 70% of us are overweight, and over 40% are obese. Diabetes is on the rise, as is heart disease, high blood pressure, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, and on and on.
We don’t even come close to eating enough fiber in our diets, yet this one thing alone could correct so many of the gut issues that plague us, and drastically improve our immune systems. We all know that we need to eat more vegetables, especially the dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, as well as whole grains, fruits, berries, seeds, and nuts.
Knowing what we do, why are we still choosing refined carbs, processed foods, and so much meat and sugar? Because it’s convenient, and we are addicted to this way of eating.
You need to have a plan
The secret to healthier food choices is to have a plan. We are used to eating a certain way and when life gets busy and we get stressed, it’s easy to fall prey to food choices we may regret later. To improve your diet, you need to strategize.
There are more than the obvious advantages to a whole foods, plant based diet, a diet with only a minimum amount of animal products (grass-fed and pasture-raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs). Yes, a diet like this will support your health, but you will also be helping our planet and likely saving money too!
The trick is to have healthy food easily available
To help yourself eat well, map out your week with an eating plan based on whole-food recipes. This way, when you are hungry you have predetermined, go-to food choices.
Depending on what your week looks like, and whether you will be home or out, you can adjust your weekly plan to accommodate your schedule. If you do your planning on Fridays, shop on Saturdays, and prep/cook on Sundays, you will be in great shape for the week ahead!
Tips for meal planning
Each week, cook up a pot of legumes, such as lentils, white, or black beans and cook some kind of grain, like rice, millet, or quinoa. And be sure to make a pesto, using a combination of herbs, or a hummus and some homemade salad dressing. It’s a good idea to bake a few potatoes, regular or sweet, to have on hand. Chop up some veggies or bake up some healthy crackers for snacks.
Then, during the week, it’s fast and easy to throw together super nutritional meals. Just add veggies, depending on what sounds good and what you have on hand. By having pesto, hummus, and salad dressing already made, you will feel like a genius in your kitchen, and you will be able to avoid using added oils and butter. To make your investment in cooking and food prep go further, always double or triple your main course recipes. This way you can have leftovers for lunches or to freeze for later. Add a salad, and you will be eating like a healthy Goddess!
Choosing healthier foods is a way of taking care of yourself, and it doesn’t have to be hard. With a little planning and preparation, you can carry your healthy intentions through to the end of each day. Try it for just one week. Not only will daily life be easier, you’ll feel good about how you’re taking care of yourself!
Look for some more good ideas and easy recipes, my Goddess Gems — delivered to your inbox next week!
Till then, love your Gorgeously Healthy self!