Are you trying to eat better? Perhaps lose weight or lower you cholesterol? You probably don’t want to go on a diet since they never really work. But what can you do today to start making positive changes? You know that eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help your overall health – but you just can’t seem to make the change. What you may need is a step-by-step list to help incorporate the changes you need to make. Trying to overhaul your diet in one step is too hard. Just like trying to remodel your house – every room at the same time is too hard and too confusing. Take heart! There is help! Just follow the roadmap below and when you get lost, (or fall off the wagon) just back-up to the last place you were comfortable on the list. Then start moving forward once again from there. Change takes time, motivation and a clear cut plan. Remember every journey starts where you are so make a quick assessment and get moving.
- Start eating at home. It is very difficult to get truly healthy food while dining out. If your habit is to grab what you can while on the road, set a goal to start eating at home. Don’t worry yet about whether your recipes or food at home is healthy. You need to start the habit of eating at home – then later you can start experimenting with healthy recipes.
- Start drinking water – only. Our bodies need water. We don’t need sodas, energy drinks, caffeinated beverages, coffees, teas or milks. Pure water – refreshing and invigorating – is the healthiest beverage. If you find you are drinking anything BUT water – STOP! Limit yourself to maybe 1 non-water beverage per day – and NO, not an enormous, 32 oz beverage. Try limiting it to 1 cup of coffee or one small soda per day. Gradually you can eliminate that as well. Your kidneys, skin and body will love you for it. (Just one word of caution – if you are used to drinking caffeine all day long, you may have to endure caffeine withdrawal for a few days. Back off slowly if you have to, but the main thing is to persevere! You will survive and breaking the caffeine addiction is a huge step in the right direction!)
- Pick one meal per day to overhaul. Trying to eat healthier at every meal is too hard to tackle. Set your sights on ONE meal. Change your family’s eating habits for that one meal before moving onto the next. Perhaps you may want to work your way through the day. Start with changing breakfast this month, and then next month tackle lunch, then snacks, then dinner and ending with desserts. Before you move onto the next meal, make sure the changes you’ve already made are permanent and comfortable. If not, back-up and wait before moving on.