The core aspect of health which is often overlooked in this day and age is diet. We’re not talking about trends and fads, weight loss or keto – we mean genuine, day to day healthy meals. In the modern age we often substitute convenience for nutritional value, and this has led to a national epidemic of poor eating choices. Consequently, many people find themselves absentmindedly dealing with the impacts of a bad diet – weight gain, poor temperaments, stress and skin problems. So, how do you set yourself on a path to correct nutrition without falling down the rabbit hole of ‘diet culture’ – which has awful implications for mental health and attitudes towards food?
Stock Up with the Right Ingredients
Eating is habitual, and necessary. What we mean by this is everyone needs to eat, every day – but we become accustomed very easily to certain patterns of behavior when it comes to food. Ordering take outs when there’s ‘nothing in the fridge’ is a common culprit. Heading to the store to ‘pick up something quick and easy’ – namely a nutritionally weak ready meal is another. Deconstructing bad behaviors is easier than you think. When you go to the shops, have a list and stick to it! The bulk of your shopping bags should be vegetables, followed by fruit (natural sugars) and protein. Healthy fats and carbohydrates should be included in any diet, but these are the easiest foods to reach for and consume, and therefore not the priority when shopping.
Try Going Vegan!
By no means are we trying to say anyone who eats meat is unhealthy – lean meat is a great source of protein. But people who follow vegan diets are hailed as strong contenders for the healthiest eaters out there, and for good reason. Modern culture is steeped in an over-consumption of meat products, which can be detrimental for both your individua health and the environment. Plant-based protein in an exploding market, with authentic-tasting meat substitutes and creative and fulfilling alternatives. Veganism is booming, with many people turning to it for a variety of reasons, ethical, environmental, economic, and health-related. Vegan recipes are also notoriously creative and fun to try out, and the exploration into tastes coupled with an incentive for health and nutrition makes it a knockout dietary choice!
Update Your Kitchenware
A couple of rusty pots and pans and burnt wooden spoons aren’t going to get you in the mood for cooking. As discussed, take-outs and ready meals are options which seem like the first choice, but in reality, should be the last resort. It’s okay to indulge every now and then, but make sure you have the cooking mindset – and your kitchenware can really get you excited to don a chef’s apron. Upgrade your essentials and make it fun to cook! Ceramic cookware is taking off at the moment as the most practical, aesthetic and healthy vessels to cook with. Why you might want to choose ceramic instead of tin is mainly due to their excellent thermal conductivity and non-toxic composition. They are easy to clean and last for years – much longer than competitors of other materials.
Read The Labels
If you want to actively cut down on the sodium and sugar you consume on a daily basis, then paying attention to the labels is important. Regardless of whatever ambition you aim to achieve when it comes to your healthy consumption, ensure you pay attention to the labels on packaged food.
A lot of items you see in the grocery aisles of supermarkets consist of unnecessary ingredients. Therefore, a rule of thumb when buying an item is to always go for a product with a shorter “ingredient” list. With this, you can ensure that you are eating nutrients that are mostly natural and you also stay within the limits for consumption of certain food types.
Develop a Routine
Organization is the key to the achievement of most goals including your healthy eating habit. Developing a routine for your meal prep, cooking time and eating time should help manage your eating habits. As such you know what you should be doing at certain times in a day.
Having a routine also helps you cut down on your excesses as you are better able to exercise restraint on what you should be eating. You might also want to consider including exercises into your routine after all, it is part of the healthy troupe.
Home-cooked meals are in a different league of nutrition compared to convenience food alternatives, mainly because you know exactly what is in your own meals. Many people are shocked to find the calorific intensity of these addictive meals, as well as the levels of fat and sugar.
Try out these methods to obtain healthier eating habits and behaviors. Healthy cooking is by no means a chore, and can turn into a really rewarding source of creative fulfilment, as well as a tasty hobby and a new skill to impress your peers!