10 ways how to start eating clean and green, drop a few inches and feel great!

Okay, there are more than ten ways to begin eating healthy. Ideas to bring nutrition into the forefront. This is an introduction into how easily and fun healthy eating can be. Almost infectious and the food is fantastic too. For today I’ll cover ten different ideas to get you going as a starting point.  First, there isn’t a switch to flip or anything that easy unfortunately and it doesn’t take just willpower either. A combination of several factors will play into you becoming a superstar, health guru. So find your creative, try anything, go all the way type mentality, and pull your bottom lip of the ground and roll your tongue back up. With these 10 ideas of how to kick-start your healthy and clean lifestyle there is no possibility that you could lose.  So read on and pluck one of these or more and explore something new. Your food choices effect today, tomorrow and the future so why not start today and you may even lose weight, fight diseases and feel better about yourself on the way.

Let’s start off nice and easy.

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1.) Drink water.  Sounds easy enough to do but many people don’t. Your body is 60% water so guzzle it down like your life depends on it because it does. Water can help make you feel fuller, eat less and even prevent hunger. It helps your muscles, organs, and will make your face glow.  Now who doesn’t want a glowing face? Water is a key ingredient to all life so why wouldn’t it be key in yours. Water that comes in the forms of other beverages isn’t helping your body do all it can do, everybody knows that.  So, why are so many people drinking less water than ever before? Pops, energy drinks, fruit juices, and other beverages are loaded with sugar.  While they can hydrate you they bring cavities and a whole host of health problems. Now they say drinking eight cups is a guideline and there are no hard facts. You don’t need hard facts. All you need to do is just drink more wonderful water and see for yourself. You will feel better mentally and physically if you add more water to your daily life.

                    Add the whole and you’ll be on a roll.

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2.) Add veggies. I know again super easy to eat more vegetables a day. Eating veggies can be a daunting task for most people. Then again many people just don’t like their taste whether it be raw or cooked. So saying to eat a couple of cups of raw and a couple of cups of cooked veggies a day to most would be like saying to eat bugs.  They will look at you like you’re off your rocker. So that means you will have to trick yourself but albeit for tremendous reasons. Vegetables are chocked full of nutrient rich vitamins, proteins, good carbs and up to 20% of your daily water. The health benefits of veggies are off the charts while being fat-free and cholesterol-free. In addition, there are so many varieties to try its limitless from exotic to local and canned, fresh or frozen. They are extremely quick to snack on and having a good chew is something only nice crunchy veggie can provide. And the calorie count is so low it will make it easy to have less going in than out. So, between the obvious health reasons, the dense nutrients found in dark green veggies, and all the protein from yummy beans, lentils, and other legumes. It should be easy to hop on the veggie wagon plus everybody else will want to hop on it too. Start a whole new veggie trend in your life.

3.) Fruit time. Now everybody knew fruit was coming after veggies. But you have to admit that you like some fruits with their sweetness. Who can resist the smell of apple pie? Not many but that apple pie isn’t the fruit this article is about. This article is about the uncut apples before you add the sugar. Fruit is packed with all the same health benefits of veggies but with plenty of natural sugar right in it. Fruit like veggies can have an awesome healing properties on the body so why not eat some? It is also free of all bad cholesterol, full of fiber, water, and finding the time to eat a four or five of these should be easy a day. They like their counterparts are easy to grab as well. If you start making smoothies you can get in a few servings first thing in the morning. So dust off the old blender and whip it up.

This isn’t rocket science because you’re not a rocket scientist but these next four steps are elementary.

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4.) Do what you know already! You know junk food, fast food, and all the other stuff is bad for you. Remember what you’ve been taught your whole life. Don’t try to over complicate the facts from myths but do what you know to be true. Following steps 1, 2, and 3 above is a good start. Foods high in fat, sugar and salt have cravings that were built into humans during our caveman years. So take the time to try to add these basic health steps. Avoid unhealthy, greasy foods or at least keep them to a minimum. Eating what you want can be done in moderation. But think back to what is good and what isn’t? Is the five butter rolls good or the onion rings. Sure they have onions but have been fried in oil so you lose the health aspect. Remember to trust your instincts on what is healthy and if you’re in doubt then you should go without. Remember you’re smart and if you’re reading this then you know what is good and what is crap.So pile up your plate with what you know is good and skip what you know is bad.

 

5.) Calorie counting. Why should you count calories? What does it mean to have less going out than coming in? Well in a nutshell all foods have a calorie amount except water. Counting calories is a sure-fire way to know what exactly you put in your body. Every gram of carbs and protein are worth 4 calories and fat is 9 calories.  So you can do the math yourself or download an app to keep track by imputing what you ate.  You will be surprised that you eat more than you thought especially when you begin adding the dressings, sauces, cheeses, and other goodies from the day. Just learning about food calorie amount can at the very least teach you an invaluable lesson.  That lesson is a tiny chocolate bar is equal to a ton of fruits and even more veggies. The chocolate or whatever your bad habit is will be an empty calorie. Which means there is basically no nutritional value, it won’t make you full, and you will likely feel worse later. By learning how to count the calories you are giving yourself a tool that can be extremely helpful in fighting against the urges. Think about a soft drink being almost 200 calories and maybe you’ll choose water instead. Once you’ve learned what food is worth then you will always be able to ride the calorie counting bicycle.

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6.) Read the label. Every type of food has a label that tell you the food’s content and daily values. The list of ingredients will go from the highest amount to the least, so look at this for certain tell-tale signs. If you can’t pronounce barely anything on the label what do you think that means? Look at the serving size as well because I’ve seen single serving muffins say they had three servings.  So learn to be wary. I can give countless stories of fat-free on the label but tons of sugar in the product. Or just the packaging can be confusing by using terms like all natural, organic, free range or multi-grain. With learning what a label is actually saying will help you in the long run and you will learn all the little, dirty tricks the food industry plays. They are always trying to stay one step ahead but you can beat that by knowing what you’re looking for. Salt, sugar and fats are on the label. So limit the bad fats, find lower sodium and watch for too much sugar. If you can look for the right pieces of information then you’ll be a label learner in no time flat.

7.) Portion sizes. Restaurants, home-made meals, bowls of cereal, and everything in-between has grown through the years. The boxes still tell you how much a serving size is for ice cream, cereal, muffins, or a bag of chips.  The problem lies in we eat right from the bag instead of placing in a bowl or a half cup of ice cream is just one of your normal scoops. Portion sizes have increased right along with the populations waistline. Meat and potatoes dripping with butter and ranch shouldn’t be the main part of our dinner plates. Giant sandwiches, super sized fries, and mega gulps for lunch with caramel mocha latte with egg, bacon and cheese bagel with hash-browns for breakfast. It does sound good but a couple of days of those huge empty calorie meals will double or triple your recommended daily caloric intake. So take the time to look at how many chips or cookies the label says to eat and be smart about it. Don’t skip meals because that will not help, plan your meals out, or use a portion-control plate. These are some examples of how to regulate what you eat.  My main tip is just pay attention to portions you eat. A portion isn’t the same as serving. A serving is what that label recommends but a portion is what you choose to eat at one time. So choose what to eat wisely and how much.

Eliminate, skip, and add what you need not want.

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8.) Whole foods not processed. A whole food ideally has one ingredient and there hasn’t been too many stops on its way to your fridge. Processed foods on the other hand have more than one ingredient and usually a bunch of others that a hard to pronounce. There are preservatives, sugars, artificial flavors, dyes, and other add-ins that are typically not too healthy. Processed foods are loaded with saturated and trans fats. These are the bad fats that health professionals are always warning you about. The issue is the manufacturers strip out all the foods nutrients then add in salt and fat. Some of the main culprits are processed meats, bleached breads, boxed noodles, potato chips, and pretty much the middle aisles of your grocery store. The majority of these foods are meant to last a long time on your shelf and that is why all the extra additives. So try to reduce anything wrapped in layers of plastic, comes in a box or jar, or in foil.  There are always exceptions to the rules and this is some brain fuel to make you think about what you’re putting in your body. So remember to help your body and mind by eating clean, healthy food. By eating whole foods of course you’re getting on the right track and your body isn’t working so hard to get the nutrients it needs. Seems simple enough to do, so get your green thumb on and plant a garden.

9.) Meat free. Okay I know what you’re thinking. I have to eat meat and there isn’t anything wrong with eating meat. Unfortunately, I wish that was the case but meats are overly processed too. From hot hogs, sausages, salami and everybody’s personal favorite, bacon there are too many to mention. I thought eating no meat a day a week would be impossible but something crazy happened. Once I mixed in some other foods instead of traditional meats into my favorite foods I realized I couldn’t tell there wasn’t meat. Spaghetti, soups, stuffed green peppers, meatloaf and others could all be made without meat. All you need to do is be creative and mix in replacements. Some great foods that give you more nutrients than meat and act like it in a dish would be lentils, all types of beans, old-fashioned oatmeal, and of course veggies. You can shred up any veggie throw it in a corn shell with some salsa on it and it taste the same as a regular taco. Now beans and lentils are my go to for replacing meat. Somehow they have gotten a bad name but they are super healthy and can be the backbone to everything.  They are also very inexpensive when bought in dry bulk. You will surprise yourself at how easy you can find meatless recipes so get typing on your computer or phone and find one for today. Meatless Monday is a good start but why not keep it going from there.

Kick it up a notch with a boost from others.

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10.) Team effort. Eating healthy, counting calories, reading labels, and eliminating problem foods is a good start for sure. But what else can you do to keep the momentum going? I know people who have tried to start a new diet, quit smoking, or other lifestyle changes and they haven’t been able to do it. The problem is they are trying to embark on this journey alone. A lot of people can do it alone but can you sustain it? If you can then that is great but if you struggle at times or fall off the track then why not find some like-minded friends, family, and co-workers to help get you to the promise land. Now some of the people in your life won’t be supportive or care but you don’t need to be a buzz kill to them. I know when I began my fitness quest I was talking to everybody about recipes, exercising, and everything in-between. I can imagine I was annoying to some but I was excited with my new life and the results I was showing. The key is to have your immediate family on board or at least supportive, find friends who are health gurus like yourself, swap recipes and talk to people about your lifestyle. Maybe you can help someone or they can help you but it’s good to have some players on your clean eating, health team.

Way to go and now onto the next road.

So now you know how to eat cleaner and healthier and are having fun making new recipes. Your family is loving your new cooking and you’re loving your awesome new self. Keep up all the good work and make sure to pat yourself on the back. The road wasn’t always easy but you kept going and now you couldn’t be any happier. If you are looking for the next challenge then physical fitness is the side kick to a good diet. So why not dive into the second part of the equation, exercise. I have an easy ten steps to make exercising a key part to your new lifestyle too.

 

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