My dad always said “Old age and treachery will always win over youth and skill”. Basically he’s saying that experience and tried and true ways will always win out in the end. Another translation? If it’s not broken don’t even try to fix it. Same concept applies to our food, right?
Why did we ever start messing with food trying to make it “better”? I don’t know how you believe but I believe that the Creator made our food how it should be. Un-touched, clean, and not processed to the point of not being recognizable.
Top two questions I get:
- How do you eat healthy? How do I know it’s good for me? Stay tuned as I’m about to answer this
- How do I find time to workout? I actually answered this question in detail here in a blog post that was featured in Consumer Health Digest.
In the spirit of keeping things on topic, today, we will talk about the top 4 things that you can do to start getting your overall diet on a healthy track. If you want an in depth look at how to clean up your diet, you can subscribe to my weekly Fearlessly Fit ‘N Fabulous newsletter and we’ll go through a workshop! The workshop takes you through small actionable steps every single day to work on cleaning up what you eat.
This post is very high level, so if you want the nitty gritty, let’s do the workshop together!
I’m not a dietitian or doc, but it doesn’t take a degree to see what real and clean food can do to help you reach your goals of weight loss and/or performance in the gym and in your running races.
Healthy Eating Tips #1 – Read Food Labels
Easy right? Yes, it’s that easy. Check out what is actually in your food. While this may sound really obvious, you would be amazed at what is actually found in food.
For instance, there have been times where I’ve picked up a pack of meat, and the number one ingredient is NOT that meat.
If you’re buying a yummy steak, the ingredients need to be minimal and the number one ingredient should be – shocker- STEAK! Or if you’re getting a bag of rice to cook, number one ingredient should be RICE. I know this one seems so trivial and obvious, but I guarantee you that if you go look in your cabinet or fridge/freezer you will be stunned at what you find in there!
Example- Something that stunned me when hunting for good baby food for my little guy was the number of things in the baby aisle that had the claims as “good for baby!” or “healthy first foods!” but when I flipped it over to check the ingredients, there were not only things I couldn’t pronounce but things in a jar of peas that should never have been in a jar of peas.
Same goes for “big people” food! If you’re grabbing a frozen veggie bag, flip it over really quickly to make sure that you’re actually getting the veggies and not their genetically modified cousins!
Healthy Eating Tips #2- Watch for Added Sugars
You would not BELIEVE what has added sugar in it. Things that are naturally sweet get sugar added to them! Also, things that don’t need to be sweetened have sugar added into them. This is because sugar is a preservative, as well as salt, but that’s another story. Let’s stay focused here.
Something I learned when I was in my CrossFit Coach workshop was that the average American consumes 150 POUNDS of sugar every single year. GET OUT OF TOWN. That is a crazy high number! Did you know that? I’m sure you did. Did you also know that for those of us like you and me, that don’t consume that much sugar, there are other people out there eating our “share”?
That is an insane number. Sugar is literally in everything. I picked up a bottle of buffalo sauce the other day and checked the label and the 3rd ingredient was sugar. Why? Why is it in there at all let alone the third ingredient? Buffalo sauce is not supposed to be sweet, I need my buffalo sauce to make my lips sting because of the spice in it. AmIRight?
There is so much science that goes into why sugar messes up everything. It slows metabolism, messes up your sleep, etc. What’s crazy is that our society has an addiction to sugar and we don’t even realize it!
Healthy Eating Tips #3- 5 Ingredients or Less
Anybody ever read a food label and come across a word (or 12 words) that looks like this? Rfalkwjfvl and you think what the heck is that? Yep, nobody knows except the scientist that made it up somewhere in the lab for nobody knows what reason. Look for ingredients you can pronounce and know what those ingredients are.
On top of not knowing what those ingredients are, a best practice is to grab foods that have 5 ingredients or less in them. Natural and Organic ingredients are better for you!
Healthy Eating Tips #4 – Fresh is Best
When in doubt, grab the fresh stuff. Yes, it goes bad quicker but that is the point! I make a trip to the grocery store once a week because that is all the longer our produce will last. Meat is frozen as soon as it gets home unless I am cooking it that night because the preservatives on it are minimal!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see my stories of making a trip to Whole Foods once a week! If you don’t have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s, here’s a tip for keeping things fresh. Stick to the outer edges of the store, where you will find the fresh foods.
A good family friend said this to David (my husband) and I: “I couldn’t believe the difference when we switched to fresh chicken vs. getting the frozen bag from the freezer section. I lost my ‘man boobs’ without even trying!”
Great example of why fresh is best, y’all. Grab this cookbook on Amazon for healthy eating recipes that don’t take 3 days to cook!
Who’s ready to clean out their cabinet and get to the grocery store to grab some amazing food? I love trying new healthy recipes. I’ll be honest, some of them I completely screw up and they’re not worth eating and we end up eating some peanut butter on whole grain bread for dinner. On the other hand, sometimes they end up becoming staples in our dinner rotations!
These four tips are really high level and easily implemented into your normal day to day. If you want to take your healthy eating journey to a deeper level of how to find real foods, then let’s do the 5 day workshop, where each day I sent you one actionable item that you can implement that very same day!
Anybody ever heard of the Amish? Of course you have, they live their life about 100-150 years in the past. They don’t used technology, and they make, butcher, and grow their own food. They even have stores that sell their natural foods such as homemade butter, their veggies, etc. It’s amazing right? They eat real food and they thrive on it. Maybe we should take a clue from the Amish in regards to our diets.
Does that mean we should grow our own food? Not necessarily, but we should keep it natural!
One of my favorite financial gurus Dave Ramsey said “Financial behavior is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge” Same goes for food! You can know all of the right things all day long, but unless you act on them, you’ll never reach your goals!
Enjoy your grocery shopping this week!
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