Eating healthier is a goal most stressed-out, time-crunched, multi-tasking Americans share. Although it’s clear that fast food can be damaging to our health, it’s also easy, cheap, and quick. Like most bad habits, retraining ourselves to eat healthier in small ways can lead to a big pay-off over time. Try one small change a week, and in a year’s time, I guarantee you will be eating not only healthier, but better as well.
Focus on the Season
The best tasting food is the food of the season. There’s a reason that tomatoes taste better in summer; it’s their natural growing season. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables when they are at their peak in flavor will not only save you money at the grocery store, but enhance the flavor of your meals. A tomato out of season can be hard, flavorless, and a tomato in appearance only. Don’t look for perfect produce, look for the freshest.
Serve a Salad Before Lunch and Dinner
Making a vegetable serving, such as a salad, a staple at lunch and dinner means that you will be eating more vegetables overall. Vary the vegetables that go in the salad; with nearly endless choices, making sure you make it colorful. Those vegetables like yellow peppers not only make the dish more appetizing, they also bring different nutrients. Watch bottled dressings; most are loaded with fat and preservatives. Making homemade dressings with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon will help suppress the appetite, bring out the flavor of the salad ingredients, and even out spikes in blood sugar throughout the next several hours. For eating healthy, there can be purchase of the health supplements from the rebel health tribe. The process of the purchase will be simple and easy for the person. Proper research should be done at the online sites to get the best deal. The ingredients will be herbal for the consumption of the pills under prescription.
Use Low Fat Staples
Use skim or 1 percent milk as a staple in your household (instead of cream or whole milk), particularly for baking or dishes like mashed potatoes. Low fat chicken stock can also be used to flavor potatoes and rice. One staple to maintain, however, is butter. In study after study, researchers have found that the fat in butter is far less damaging than that found in margerine. In addition, margerine is often loaded with preservatives.
Buy Fresh or Frozen
Avoid purchasing canned vegetables, which are often loaded with sodium. The average American today eats nearly 2-3 times the amount that dieticians suggest. The reason? Highly processed foods. For the best flavor and the least amount of added sodium and preservatives, buy fresh. If out of season, buy frozen. Just watch that you aren’t adding extra calories with butter and cheese sauces.
Shop for food close to home. Buying locally not only benefits the farmers in your community, it also means that the food needs less preservation and packaging to arrive in good condition. Frequent farmer’s markets in season, and look for specially marked produce in your local grocery. An additional benefit is the reduction in transportation costs associated with long-haul shipping on items from across the country or abroad.
Watch Your Beverages
Americans are notorious for their consumption of sodas and high calorie sports drinks. Focus on water, tea, and all natural fruit juices as choices. Add extra flavor to water by adding lemon, lime, or orange slices, and skip the carbonation. Be sure to read labels to ensure no artificial sweeteners or sodium is added to bottled water. Treat soft drinks as a special treat to be enjoyed much as you would dessert.
Revive Your Pantry
Discover natural foods. Eliminate artificial colorings, preservatives, flavors, and sweeteners. Learn to rely on extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts and seeds, dried beans and legumes, brown rice, whole wheat flour and pasta, and whole grain cereals and snacks.
Spice It Up
Eliminate your reliance on salt, and discover the world of herbs and spices. It’s easy to grow fresh herbs like basil, chives, oregano, and rosemary in pots on a window sill. Learn how to use the spices in your cupboard for everyday flavoring. Use cinnamon, another blood sugar lowering agent, to enhance cereal, toast, and baking. Rely on your own tastebuds for flavoring instead of pre-packaged foods.
Grow Your Own
There’s no better way to eat fresh than from your own garden. You don’t need acres of land or even much of a green thumb to have fresh vegetables this summer. It’s easy to buy mid-sized plants for vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. Local gardening centers are happy to offer advice for the easiest to grow varietals for your area. A little watering and some sun, and you’ve got your own organic produce station just outside your door.
The way to improve your eating habits begins with a simple desire. In short, it involves taking small steps and being more aware of the choices we make when it comes to buying, preparing, and eating better. It also means focusing on better tasting food: fresh, seasonal produce, locally grown. Eliminate the artificial and reawaken to what the natural world has to offer. It tastes pretty good.