Happy 2019! If you have made a resolution to eat healthier in the new year, I’m here to help. As we turn the calendar to a new year many of us have resolved to make a change to healthier eating. With busy schedules and so much confusing information out there, eating healthy is easier said than done. It’s easy to eat healthy for a few days or few months, but the real challenge comes when attempting long-term change. If you don’t know my story, I was once a diet-cola drinking, fast-food eating, and running from activity to activity Moma. I’m still running my kids around, but I haven’t had a diet-cola or meal from the clown-friendly fast food establishment since 2012.
Many of us need to break unhealthy habits and start new healthy habits. Everything we eat can either make us healthier or sicker. It’s really that simple. When you start thinking about food as nourishing your body and giving you the energy to keep up with your busy schedule, you’ll be more motivated to make lasting change.
10 Tips For Eating Healthier in 2019
1. Get rid of all of the junk food in your kitchen. I start with the negative, but it’s all up from here. If you don’t have junk food in your kitchen, you and your family are less likely to eat it on a regular basis. I have never been a person who has said you can never eat sweets or junk food. What we are striving for is healthy food 80% of the time. This flexibility has always been a help where school parties, sports snacks, and family outings are constantly messing with your real food plans. Long term change is the goal. Explain to your family what you are trying to accomplish and your reason for wanting them to be healthier. They are more likely to buy-in to your changes if you include them in on your motivations and plans.
2. Go ahead and clean up the kitchen while you are at it. You are going to be spending more time there so you might as well enjoy it. Throw away any leftover holiday foods and give your refrigerator and counters a good scrubbing. Maybe think about some new kitchen towels to make your kitchen more fun.
3. Make a meal plan for the week. I know. I know. Meal planning seems like just another thing you don’t have time for. I’m here to tell you that meal planning is the key to eating real food while juggling a busy family schedule. Go ahead and print out my meal planning calendar which includes a spot for you to include your daily activities. Grab your printable calendar and some tips on meal planning here.
4. Practice reading ingredient labels. Grab your favorite packaged food and flip it over to the back where the ingredients listing is. You are probably going to be shocked by all of the ingredients including artificial food dyes, tons of salt, sugar, and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Start cutting back on all of the unknown ingredients when you go shopping. Opt for whole foods and packaged foods that have 5 ingredients or less.
5. Shop for lots of healthy real foods. I know from experience that when you switch to eating healthy food that all you can think about is food. You are going to want to stock your house with lots of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You are going to be cooking at home more so make sure you have a well stocked pantry. Check out my real food essentials list here to help you put together your real food kitchen.
6. Eat more whole grains. Processed grains have their nutrition removed. That’s why it’s so important to eat whole grains. Looking for whole grain foods is harder than it sounds. The food marketing professionals are very good at their job and can be quite confusing. I look for the whole grain stamp to help me out. For more tips on determining if you are really buying whole grains, check out this great resource.
7. Drink more water. Drinking water is easy for some people and oh so hard for others. If you are addicted to sugar you probably are also addicted to sugary drinks. Start drinking water with each meal and grab a fun water bottle to carry along with you. I promise you. Once you purge all of that sugar from your body, you will start to crave water over all other possible beverages. I like the flavor of water from a glass container the best so these are my favorite water bottles to carry. They are available in a variety of sizes and colors so your family can each have their own to carry along for the day.
8. Pack lunch for you and your family. Fast food and even school food are often nothing but processed foods. It is almost impossible to find real food at restaurants so your best bet when you first start out on a real food journey is to pack lunch. That way you can control the ingredients and make sure your family has food that they will actually eat. I have a resource for school lunches if you want some ideas to get started. Another great idea is to simply cook a little more for dinner and then you will have extra for lunch the next day. It saves loads of time when you cook once for multiple meals.
9. Eat two fruits or vegetables with each meal. The more fruits and vegetables you put in your body, the more nutrition your body will receive. Strive to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. The foundation of a real food lifestyle is filling your body with lots of nutrition. There is a whole rainbow of fruit and vegetables to choose from. Each color brings its own list of beneficial nutrients. Nutrients that help your body to feel better and fight disease. Fruit is helpful when fighting sugar cravings so keep lots of fruit on hand for your family to grab anytime they need a quick snack.
10. Try a real food Challenge Week. I have put together a systematic plan to change from a processed food diet to a real food lifestyle. We did it week by week by making small changes and then adding another small change each week. It’s a great way to learn the ins and outs of real food and really make a lasting change for your family. You can check out a challenge week here.
What should I do to stay on track you might be asking yourself? If you are interested in making long-term healthy change for your family, please follow us this year as we provide lots of tips, motivation, recipes, and helpful products that will truly help you to Juggle Real Food and Real Life. Also, take a look around this site and all of it’s resources. There are recipes and tips to get you started and to keep you motivated each day. It’s a juggling act for sure, but it is possible to eat real food even with a busy family schedule. Here is to a happier and healthier new year!
I would love for you to follow me on my social media. You can find the buttons on the right side of this page. Also, don’t be afraid to leave me a comment if you have a question. I’m happy to help wherever I can.