By Brooke Marshall | Crisp Living.
Whether you’re the type of person who loves to make New Year’s resolutions, or you prefer to stick to smaller goals throughout the year, everyone can benefit from healthier eating habits. And often, the start of a new year is the perfect time to begin establishing those habits.
Deciding to eat right and knowing where to start can be difficult. We’ve compiled a list of some simple things you can start doing right away to put your eating habits on the right track. These changes may seem small or insignificant, but small changes can have a big impact on your overall lifestyle.
1. Prioritize Fruits and Veggies
Adults should be eating between 2 and 4 cups of vegetables and 1-2 whole fruits each day, while children
should usually have about 1 cup of each every day. Often, people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables because they are not sure how to incorporate them into their meals.
Vegetables make great side dishes, but you can also put them on a sandwich, snack on some carrots with dressing or hummus, or make a tasty salad with all of your favorite vegetables.
Fruit salad makes a great breakfast or even dessert. You can also get some of fruit’s nutrients in fruit juice. Just watch out for juices that include a lot of added sugar.
2. Make a Shopping List
Prepare for your shopping ahead time. Make a list of what you need to pick up based on the recipes you plan to make during the week. Plan out what kinds of healthy snacks you might want to reach for in between meals as well. Going into your grocery shopping trip with a list will help ensure that you get everything you need, while also preventing you from defaulting to unhealthy foods.
3. Incorporate more Whole Grains
Many of our everyday food staples like bread and pasta can be made using either refined grains or whole grains. Refined grains like white bread or white pasta are void of most of the nutrition contained in whole grains. Look for whole grain bread, pasta, and rice. You can also find nutritious whole grains like quinoa or farro.
4. Focus on Healthy Eating instead of Dieting
and plans can be helpful for some people, it is often better to put the emphasis on eating healthy foods. Always make sure that no matter what, you are giving your body the nutrients it needs. And aim for long-term healthy habits instead of short diet plans.
5. Keep it Simple
You don’t have to follow elaborate recipes or make your meal-prep Instagram worthy. However, doing some planning can help make eating healthy easier – especially if your weeks tend to get busy.
Find some simple healthy recipes that you and your family
enjoy, and keep them in a monthly rotation. A healthy meal usually consists of a protein, starch, and vegetable. There are plenty of easy ways to make healthy recipes that include those staples. Once you’ve found some that you like, you can feel free to experiment with them a bit – substituting vegetables or switching up proteins by exchanging meat for beans or soy.
Don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to find what works for you. Everyone needs something a bit different when it comes to healthy eating. If you stick with it, you’ll be able to find your favorite meals and snacks and start to establish good habits.