Unless you spent the last few years outside of our solar system, you must have realized how our Western diet is causing an epidemic of obesity, along with other negative impacts on our health.
We all know we should exercise and eat healthy foods, but with today’s busy schedules, many people find it incredibly hard to take proper care of their diet. Too often, we end up with take-away fast food or random snacks from the vending machine.
Even if you can’t change your eating habits completely, you can make a few smart choices to get you started in moving towards eating better and more nutritious food.
We have listed seven easy decisions that you can make without committing to changing your eating habits; seven decisions that have a positive impact on your health, and overall well-being:
1. Replace juice from concentrate by fresh juice
If you buy juice from the grocery store, look in the fridges for the juice that is not made from concentrate. You will give yourself more vitamins and nutrients, and thus more energy by making this choice. Keep in mind that fresh juice lasts between 3 days (when containing berries) to a maximum 1 week (fresh orange juice) in your fridge.
2. Ditch the sugary breakfast
When buying your breakfast cereal, turn the package around and quickly check the ingredients. If sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or a similar sweetener are among the first ingredients, don’t buy it. Try a cereal with more grains and less sugar instead.
If you usually buy pre-packaged oatmeal, note that these contain lots of sugar and artificial flavoring as well. Buy regular oats, and add your own honey, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, etc. to it.
3. Bring your own snacks to the office
Make sure you have something to snack on in your office, so that you can avoid expensive and unhealthy snacks from the vending machine. When shopping at the grocery store, simply get yourself some healthy items, and then store them in your office for whenever you need it. Fruits, nuts, dried fruits and baby carrots make great and energizing snacks to take to work.
4. Bring your own lunch
Cook a little bit extra at dinner and take the leftovers to work for lunch. If you can’t heat food at your workplace, try to bring your own salad instead. Preparing a salad for the next day at home does not take more than 5 minutes: just toss some lettuce, raw veggies and a few toppings such as eggs, cheese, meat, or fish into a container. Don’t chop your tomato as it will make the lettuce soggy, and if you want to use dressing, take it in a separate little container.
5. Make a batch of soup
A cup of soup before your meals tastes great, especially in the cold winter months. It also helps to fill you up before you reach out for the more caloric-rich foods on your dinner plate, and gives you an extra serving of vegetables.
Soup lasts about a week when stored in a cool place (basement or fridge), and you can also freeze a few servings of your favorite soup.
6. Check the labels of products
At the grocery store, make it a habit to turn your favourite products around so you can quickly look at the labels to check the ingredients. Use your common sense – if it contains ingredients that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, then don’t put it in your mouth. Try to find a different option to replace your Frankenstein-food of preference.
7. Leave out the meat
A few times a week, skip the meat portion from your dinner plate and get an extra serving of vegetables instead. You will learn to appreciate different types of vegetables and ease your palate into recipes that contain more veggies and less meat. This tip will not only make your body happy, but also our planet, as the carbon footprint associated with eating meat is very large.
Which easy and healthy choices do you make in your daily life? Have these helped you with easing into a better and healthier diet?Featured photo credit: abstract green natural background via Shutterstock