I don't normally do a lot of posts like this but after 4 years of marriage, Blake and I have finally gotten to a place where we've learned how to eat healthy. I say "learned" because I really do feel like it's something you have to learn about in order to start executing it. It's amazing how much better we feel about ourselves since changing this part of our lives so I decided to write a quick blog post about the things that we did and tips to start making better food choices in your life! Here are 10 things you can do to start eating healthier!
1. Make a plan.
It's amazing the difference it makes when I make a grocery list and meal plan ahead of time. Each week Blake and I sit down and discuss what meals we want to make for the following week and it really makes grocery shopping so much easier on me. It also helps me to not go through the store and buy items I don't need.
2. Replace a meal with a smoothie.
This was initially what changed everything for us. Instead of eating crap (waffles, muffins, cereal, biscuits, donuts) for breakfast, I now drink a smoothie and surprisingly it fills me up! Blake likes to eat his for lunch instead of breakfast, so either works depending on your preference! I'm planning on writing a post soon about all of the smoothies I love! The blender we use is linked above.
3. Cut down (out) bread.
We haven't completely cut out bread but we have cut out 75% of what we used to consume. We bought dinner rolls for almost every meal, not to mention waffles or french toast in the morning and then sandwiches again at lunch. When you think about it, that's a ton of bread! Try wraps instead of sandwiches for lunch!
4. Skip the cheese.
This is was a hard one for us, but once you start to cut it out it gets a lot easier I promise!
5. Replace rice with quinoa.
Maybe it's just me but before I had ever tried quinoa I thought it sounded so gross! I'm so glad I came around though because it's much better for you than rice and way less fattening. We have replaced rice with quinoa in everything we eat now and we don't miss rice at all. I feel like there isn't much of a difference!
6. Buy fresh ingredients.
The best way to make the most of your groceries is to make a meal plan for the week so that your fresh ingredients don't go bad! If you're buying fresh fruit, wash it and cut it right when you get home! It helps motivate me to actually eat it before it goes bad.
7. Don't fry it, bake it.
This is pretty obvious but really... don't fry it. Baked vegetables and bake meat will are better for you!
8. Allow yourself to snack.
This is something that I think a lot of people don't allow themselves do to when they are dieting or trying to eat better because they think they need to cut out as much food as possible and that's untrue. You actually need to eat 5 times a day which also helps keep up your metabolism too. Some healthy snacks include: almonds + dried fruit, bean chips + guac, frozen fruit bar, celery with peanut butter, light (unsalted) popcorn, etc.
9. Replace pasta with veggies.
Used to, Blake and I would make a little pasta side with our meals such as garlic Alfredo shells and let's just say that's the opposite direction you want to be headed. Replace those sides with a fresh veggie. My favorites are: grilled okra, stir fried green beans, or a sweet potato!
10. Take a cheat day.
This is important, especially when you are just starting out! Don't put too much pressure on yourself when you're enjoying a night out with friends or even a family birthday. One piece of cake for the week won't hurt you, but one piece of cake every night just might.
Those are my ten tips to help change your diet! I hope you enjoyed reading them! I challenge you to try some of these things out and ask yourself how you feel after a couple of days of clean eating! It's not easy but I promise if you stick to it for a bit it will become your normal routine. We are so happy to have changed the way we grocery shop and cook. Keep your eye out for a post featuring all of the smoothies we make and freeze each week, plus a list of healthy meals we do for dinner now! Thanks for reading!