I don’t like rules when it comes to my eating.
At least the kind of rules that remind me of school, diets, or restrictions. When I eat, I want my food to be healthy, yes, but also creative and delicious.
Yet, if we had no rules in life chaos and confusion would reign supreme. When it comes to healthy eating I do have some truths that I stick to closely. Here are five:
Eat Real Food. Processed, ingredients you can’t pronounce, packages that scream at you (“a GREAT source of calcium!”), food dyes, “natural flavors” (made in a lab FYI). My food doesn’t swing from the rafters or have a cheerleading section. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good for you fats, great protein are all sitting quietly in the grocery store waiting for you.
Play Hard To Get With Sugar. Sugar is so easy to get our hands on. Not only is it in almost every packaged food product, hiding under sneaky names (organic evaporated cane juice anyone?), it contributes nothing to healthy eating. Nada, zip. We need to return to treating sugar for what it is, a treat. If you really want it, make a trip to get ice cream, bake some cookies. Put effort into it. No more packaged cookies lying in wait in the back of your cabinet.
Healthy Eating Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint. I am just finishing up my Fall Cleanse with an amazing group of women, many of whom first walked in with the belief that we had to tough it out for 30 days and then go back to what we were doing. I never use the word “diet” nor do I ever want to put in a tremendous amount of effort into learning how to eat well, only to go back to what I was doing before.
Get Out Of Portion Distortion. On one hand portions are getting bigger and bigger with most everything being supersized. On the other hand we hear things like “a calorie is not a calorie” so if we just eat healthy food we can eat whatever we want. Not true. We still have to be mindful of the amount that goes on our plate. Be overly generous with vegetables, and a bit more cautious with protein, fat and whole grains.
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail. We live in a world of fast and convenient. If healthy eating is your goal you must have a plan in place to help you out. This begins with meal planning. Knowing what you are in for in the coming week and even day will guarantee you never being caught off guard with your food. It is all to easy to call 1-800-PIZZA after an exhausting day. Have a plan, shop for food, cook during times that are convenient for you, freeze things for emergencies and you will be armored up with real food.
Now I would love to hear from you. Are there any healthy eating rules you live by? What are your struggles with healthy eating? Share them in the comments below!