If you're feeling completely overwhelmed with where to begin in your "healthy eating" journey, start here! Below, you'll find 10 easy ways to make healthy eating work for you. These tips will help you transform your relationship with food so that you can free yourself from food guilt once and for all.
Think about what foods you can ADD instead of what you “should” remove. For example, add: more water, more veggies, more fruits, more FUN, more enjoyment of food, more mindful eating. If you focus on what you can ADD to your meals, you’ll feel less stressed about what you “should” remove or restrict.
Dear friend, I hope these tips serve you in a beautiful way. Pick one or two things that resonate most with you and find a simple way to put them into action. Remember that you are on a journey. Transformational change happens little by little, one step at a time.
With love & light,
Your trainer - Madison.
Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to overhaul your whole pantry in one day. Start small and make sustainable changes one by one. You might surprise yourself at how much momentum builds as you practice kindness, celebrate small victories, and focus on taking baby steps forward.
Shop along the outside perimeter of the grocery store first. Fill your cart with minimally processed “single ingredient” foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs. These foods are also nutrient dense, which means they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins that are essential to the body.
Observe yourself without judgement! Start becoming aware of the way you talk about food and notice how you use food to celebrate, socialize, or self-soothe. Please note that none of these are inherently “wrong!!” We just want to start becoming aware of the relationship we have with food so that we can pick up on any patterns and then move forward with intention (instead of guilt!). Take what you notice and identify whether these patterns are helpful or harmful to you. And above all, remember that the key to overcoming food guilt and shame is by practicing kindness with yourself — this includes saying no to self-judgement!
Be mindful of how you label foods and/or food groups. Take note of which foods you label as “good” and which you consider to be “bad” (for example: you may believe that apples, salads, and green smoothies are good while breads, cheeses, and all sugars are bad.) The trouble with this is that food labels can quickly turn into the labels you give yourself. Like if you eat a donut, you’re bad. And you can only eat a donut if you did something good. Demonizing foods can have a harmful effect on your mental health so be mindful of how food is playing into your overall wellbeing. Observe yourself without judgement and see if your food labels are hurting or helping you!
Release expectations. What expectations do you have for yourself for how you should eat and what you should look like? Without knowing it, you may be holding yourself to a standard of eating that does not serve your overall mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing! How can you set yourself free from these expectations so that you can embrace a guilt-free way of eating once and for all? Know that every single one of us has a genetically pre-disposed “best” weight and “healthy” body type. Healthy will look different on every single person. So notice the ways in which you compare your body to others. Are you eating a certain way just because that’s how someone eats and you hope to look like them? Check in with yourself (without judgement, of course!).
Eat from a place of nourishment. Through the years, we have been taught that the best way to loose weight is to restrict the amount of calories we eat. But weight loss is not as simple as calories in vs. calories out. The body is incredibly complex!! Sleep, stress, hormone regulation, and gut health all play a role in how food works within our bodies. Instead of restricting calories, think about how you can nourish your body from within. Start seeing food as medicine! It can be both healing and helpful, while also being fun and celebratory. Let food fuel you.
JERF! Just eat real food. Its as simple as that! Make it easy on yourself by shopping for real foods as often as possible. Real foods are nutrient dense and easier for the body to digest compared to boxed, canned, and processed foods. Pro tip: if you want to enjoy a dessert, buy whole ingredients and make something homemade! This is a guaranteed way to eliminate all the extra additives that may not be the best for your body.
Shop for produce that is in season. By doing this, you will ensure that you’re getting a variety of vitamins & minerals all throughout the year. Shopping at local farmer’s markets is a great way to put this tip into action, all while supporting the local economy. Here’s a short list of seasonal produce. For more, Google which foods are currently in season in your city.
Spring/Summer: Avocados, arugula, asparagus, beets, berries, bell peppers, carrots, corn, cucumber, lemons, melons, pineapples, potatoes, spinach, and zucchini.
Fall/Winter— Apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, ginger, grapes, green beans, kale, onions, pomegranates, pumpkins, and winter squash.
Eat mindfully. If you’re calm and relaxed, you’ll be able to digest your food better. So breathe in deep, remove all screens (so that you can be fully present!), and slow down enough to savor each bite. Take a moment to practice gratitude. Be reminded of how healing and nourishing your food is (yes, even brownies can be nourishing, comforting, and healing!!). Celebrate the people you’re eating with. Feel the joy all around you.