5 Baby Steps to Eating Clean in 2016

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If you ask almost anyone on the street if they’d like to eat a little cleaner, I think the overwhelming response would be a resounding yes.  I think one of the main reasons people give up or feel a sense of failure is the ‘all or nothing’ approach, which I am completely guilty of or they just are so overwhelmed they don’t know where to start.

I have suffered with this mental approach to diet and nutrition my whole life.  I take the deep plunge, I journal, I track, I exercise and within a few weeks I’m mentally exhausted from thinking about it all the time, tracking all the time and not seeing any results.

Sound familiar?

I think it’s FINALLY sunk in to my thick brain that the ONLY way to succeed is to take small steps and LET THEM SINK IN.  Change 1 or 2 things and give them time to become a regular part of your lifestyle.

Does that make sense?

When I change up too many things at the same time, I don’t know what happens but it’s like I go into overload.  So I am going to share with you some of the little things that I’ve incorporated and have become permanent healthy things I do without thinking now:

 

1.  Incorporate Protein at Every Meal AND Snack

prtoein

This is NOT as simple as it sounds but it is doable.  After I make out my weekly meal plan I look it over and see where the meals are lacking protein and then incorporate some.

  • I’ve learned to add walnuts or slivered almonds to my oatmeal.
  • I’ve added peanut butter to my apple.
  • I’ve made hard boiled eggs for snack.

Once you get into the habit of adding protein to your meals it becomes second nature.  Protein is the building block for strong muscles and as Americans we tend to be very high in simple carbs and fats and not enough protein.

This is an easy way to add some to each meal and snack to help you stay fuller longer throughout the day.

2.  Drink Green Tea Twice a Day

tea

Green Tea has been used as medicine for thousands of years, originating in China.  It is the best food source of a group called catechins.  Catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting damage to cells. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

There’s a lot more to Green Tea that I will cover in a separate post as I’ve done extensive research on it in the last few months.

3.  Get Rid of the Vegetable and Canola Oils ~ and replace them with olive oil.

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This is an easy switch to make, yes it costs more, but the health benefits FAR outweigh the cost.   If you’re wondering why you need to ditch the processed, cheaper oils click here.   This is a step you can take TOMORROW and won’t have to think about it again.

There are also olive oil stores popping up all over in malls.  Take a walk in one day and you will be in awe of the different flavors, regions they were grown and the complexity behind good quality oils.

4.  Switch to Whole Wheat breads

bread

Again, another very easy switch to make that will reap big rewards in regards to your health.  White breads and pastas are stripped of their nutrients.  If you’d like to learn more about the different flours and which ones to avoid click here.

Try integrating half whole wheat pasta into white pasta next time you make spaghetti or make your own breadcrumbs with whole wheat bread.

 

5.  Dump the Soda

soda

Soda is nothing but water, sugar and bubbles.  But the effects of it can be quite damaging to the body.  Danish researchers conducted a study that revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat.

If that’s not bad enough, in 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make sodas brown.

Two ingredients (2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole) have been found to cause cancer in animals.  Just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most sodas contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle !! {source}

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Conclusion

At the beginning of each month make a list of 3-5 things you’d like to change, avoid or add to your Whole Foods Diet.  I think you’ll find that taking smaller, more manageable steps is easier to maintain.  They say it takes 21 days to make/break a habit.

If you’re the type of person who dives in and then stops in a few weeks, try these small changes.  Think of it this way, wouldn’t you rather have make a few small changes and KEPT THEM vs. doing too much too fast and having no changes?

How about incorporating some of the above suggestions as part of your goals for January?

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