Eating well does not have to mean dieting or deprivation. It’s easier to staying motivated and to feel good about your choices when your intentions feel positive and achievable. Let go of any negative or complicated nutrition goals and give these five simple intentions a try instead.
Focus on a positive intention. This is so important. Positive intentions create positive results. Enough of the self-deprecation. Try this on for size: “I eat to nourish my body.” Nourishing foods are whole foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. When you aim to create a plate of nourishing whole foods, you will naturally crowd out less nourishing processed and refined foods and you’ll be caring for yourself in a meaningful way.
Eat more vegetables. This is my favorite nutrition recommendation. We can all stand to eat more vegetables. When are plate is predominantly vegetables we can feel good about the fact that we providing our body with a hefty dose of disease fighting antioxidants. Plus more vegetables means you crowd out some of the less nourishing foods without having to deprive ourselves and take anything away.
Plan ahead. A little preparation goes a long way and it helps you stick to your intentions. Try this. Make extra grains, and vegetables ahead of time so you have them available during the week. You can do the same with proteins like chicken, shrimp and eggs. Choose 2-3 recipes for the week so you have meals planned and ingredients on hand. You can even make salads ahead of time that are easy to grab for lunch on the go as you head out the door.
Master Grocery Shopping. First things first, making a shopping list is a great way to keep yourself on task. Do you best to eat as many whole foods as possible. This naturally decreases your processed food intake which is great. When it comes to processed or packaged foods, here are a few simple tips you can use to clean up your cart. Skip the front of the package, its advertising, and head straight for the ingredient list. Ask yourself:
- How would I make this myself?
- Can I buy these ingredients in the grocery store? Would I?
Nurture Your Emotions. Try not to feed them. Pause before you eat. Take a deep breath. Check in with yourself? Are you hungry or tired or anxious or bored? If you are hungry, eat! This is a great time to remind yourself of your intention to nourishing your body. If you aren’t hungry connect with the emotion that you may be feeling and consider ways you can nurture it. Take a bath. Call a friend. Take a walk or give yourself the space to breathe. Your breath is very good at nurturing your emotions. Food will only exacerbate the negative emotions and I want you to have joyful eating experiences!
By: Katie Cavuto, RD, Chef