May 25, 2017

Wellness Series: 3 Tips to Eating Well

Welcome to a NEW! Wellness Series for Living Well! Today I’m focusing on Eating Well. In a series of posts within the next week, I will be sharing with you my view a living well which will range from all over the wellness wheel and continuum including eating, movement, stress, relationships, and even occupational wellness… with my own perspective included.

Overall my view of wellness is very well rounded, flexible, and rather holistic but not extreme- meaning I always try to first find and explore natural methods of living well or lifestyle changes to live better but I’m not completely against Western medicine.

Of the first of many posts in this series, we are starting with Eating Well.

First let me give you a few disclaimers:

  • I would not label myself as gluten free, dairy free, grain free, or anything free. However I’m conscious of the amount of dairy I eat, what grains I’m eating, etc. Right now I do not have any specific, mandatory dietary restrictions. 
  • I’m not a vegetarian. However I choose to eat more plant based foods so naturally I eat less meat.
  • I do not eliminate any foods from my diet.  However there are many foods I eat infrequently or in much smaller portions. Overall my focus is eating real food majority of the time (to give room for splurges along the way because HELLO).

And just because: Always consult with your physician before making major changes which may affect your health. Because, smart.

 

Today I’m giving you 3 tips to encourage Eating Well. But first…

What does Eating Well mean?

 

Good question. When I talk with clients about eating well, it’s about:

  • Nourishing your body. Literally nourishing the body with fuel for healthy living.
  • Giving your body nutrients so it can thrive, and even supporting a healthy brain!
    • To move more with less pain
    • To be strong to engage in everyday activities
  • Enjoying food but yet not feeling restricted
  • Feeling energetic or at least, less sluggish

Eating Well does not have to be challenging. Heck, it can even be enjoyable! Yes, really.

As for me? I like simplicity. Easy. That’s how I roll. And as much as I would enjoy it, I unfortunately don’t get an award for “Best Eater” when I’m eating dinner. Actually I don’t know any adults that are described as “good eaters,” as opposed to the praise of kids. Ha. Because hello, I am a good eater, darn it. A perfect eater? No, that’s going a bit too far. But I’ve learned what foods make me feel sluggish, make me feel bloated, or don’t even leave me satisfied… or at least I’m reminded quickly when I slip up.

 

3 Tips to Eating Well

 

Cooking

Believe it or not, but this is one of the key aspects to eating well and you don’t have to be a CHEF to cook healthy. Just knowing the basics and growing from there. You and I both know that when we eat at home we know what’s in our food (no other “added ingredients”) and our portion sizes can be more appropriate. Plus, eating at home is cheaper- and you can save extras for another meal. Win win WIN.

But the struggle resides in these MYTHS:

  • Cooking is hard
  • I don’t have time- to cook OR find recipes
  • It’s expensive to eat healthy
  • Cooking at home for only 1-2 people isn’t worth it

I understand and I hear these comments from people frequently. However here’s the deal- once we learn HOW TO cook (healthy), it actually IS easy. And it doesn’t require many ingredients. Once we get more familiar with cooking, we can even alter recipes more freely (based on taste & what ingredients we have on hand) to save money without throwing food away and saving time from running to the grocery store again. And in case you forgot, I’m known to not even follow recipes. I’m wild.

Cooking at home can be daunting. Where do I even begin? Sometimes it seems as though we are just “expected” to know how to cook (let alone how to cook healthy), when that’s really a learned behavior. We need to learn HOW to cook. And there’s no shame is learning at any age.

 

 

Eating Lots of Produce

It’s true, but someone would have to eat LOADS AND LOADS of vegetables in order to eat “too many vegetables.” Produce is our key to health. Or at least focusing more on produce will likely refocus our eating habits. We can infuse easy, simple ways to eat more produce at every meal and snack, and honestly sometimes I even hide the good stuff from myself. #noshame. Spinach is my very favorite item to sneak into smoothies, scrambled eggs, chili’s/soups, etc. It’s so easy and usually you can’t even tell!

Personally I hate wasting food. I hate the thought of throwing money away- partly a motivation for me to learn how to infuse almost-expired food into recipes. Therefore I’m very intentional on what produce I buy and what (and how much) will be eaten during the week. As the week comes to a close and I see that I still have some spinach, carrots and broccoli to use up before it goes bad, I make sure I use those babies up. And each week I adjust and figure out what works best for us. Now I’m a well oiled machine, but it took time to get here. When I’m in a jam, smoothies are a perfect solution to use up produce.

 

Enjoy Your Food

If you don’t enjoy your food, you’re not going to actively pursue continuing the journey of healthy eating. Don’t enjoy it? No fun. So therefore there are a couple things you can do to help:

  1. Learn how to cook well. I can help you (more on that below), or find a local dietitian who has the heart of a teacher. The more you learn, the more you will find greater enjoyment and satisfaction that you are nourishing your body.
  2. Slowly mix new, healthier foods into recipes to ease the transition. For example, if you buy regular “enriched pasta” then next time buy 100% whole wheat pasta, and in your next recipe mix 1/2 “regular” and 1/2 whole wheat. The next time, use 1/4 “regular” (or enriched) and 3/4 whole wheat. Or if you’re feeling “wild” try subbing riced cauliflower for a rice or small grains.
  3. Join with others. Either cook with family, prep weekly meals in advance with friends (one big prep party), or work with someone (eh hem) who can guide you. It’s more fun with others, and you’ll have accountability too.

 

 

I can help you!

Yes, I can. I can meet with you one-on-one to identify how Eating Well can be tailored to you, your lifestyle, and your current stage of life. I have worked with clients in regards to redefining their diet to feel better about themselves (and then ultimately lose weight through eating well- not perfect), helped clients reduce their percentage of body fat through diet & exercise, and encouraged kids to embrace healthy foods and learn how to cook.

So reach out to me if you are interested: info@BeWellWellness.com

 

Enjoy!

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