Looking for some inspiration for healthy habits? We all know that eating right, exercising regularly, and sleeping well are the main ingredients for a healthier, joyful life, but it doesn't have to be a complete overhaul! In fact, taking small steps to improve your health and diet can actually make a giant leap for you and your family's health.
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It’s true: a proper diet can have positive, lifelong effects on your health. In addition to weight loss, a balanced diet can reduce your risk of cancer, maintain heart health, encourage strong bones and teeth, and even help improve your memory!
Yep, modifying your diet to include healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, is a surefire way to live your best life. That said, it can be difficult knowing exactly how to meal plan, especially for your family – there’s bound to be at least one picky kiddo in the lot! And organic foods, while nutritious, are expensive.
What are some healthy diet tips?
Substitute your morning coffee for a piece of fruit. Did you know that apples are more effective than coffee at waking you up in the morning? And bananas, which have approximately 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6, can help improve your mood? (Vitamin B6 helps the brain produce a chemical called serotonin, which is considered a mood stabilizer.)
Stop buying junk food. We know cutting certain foods out of your diet is much easier said than done, especially considering how much easier (and cheaper) it is to toss a TV dinner in the microwave than to prepare a home-cooked meal. But the convenience of processed foods is part of what makes them so unhealthy, as these foods contain artificial preservatives that compromise heart health—some are even carcinogenic!
Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Famished grocery shoppers are more likely to indulge in their unhealthiest food cravings. So, either eat before your shopping trip or, if you’re trying to knock out a few errands throughout the day and grocery shopping is last on the list, keep a small bag of almonds or trail mix in the glove compartment to suppress some of that hunger. Need some grocery shopping tips? Read more on our blog!
Replace meats with other proteins on occasion. The benefits of a vegetarian diet are undeniable—lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, lower overall BMI, lower overall cancer rates, lower risk of chronic disease, the list goes on! But we know this isn’t totally sustainable for some families, so we recommend devising a “Meatless Monday,” or any day throughout the week. Grains like quinoa, for example, are a great source of protein, and so are mushrooms, cottage cheese, fish, lentils, edamame beans, and more!
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Okay, frozen produce isn’t quite as nutritious as the real deal, but it’s still a healthy alternative to the more carb-o-licious sides we often find on the dinner table. They’re much easier to prepare and last for quite a bit longer, too! Mix them in your smoothie, throw them in the crock pot, even microwave them—the possibilities are endless.
Consider growing your own food. This may sound like a daunting task, but, in terms of the best kitchen ingredients, there are tons of low-maintenance herbs and produce you can grow in your own backyard. Beans, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, basically any kinds of herb, garlic, cabbage, zucchini… Plus, subsistence not only makes you more accountable, it also creates a sense of pride in the meals you put on the table for your loved ones.
How have you modified your family’s diet for a healthy life? Share all your tips with us in a comment!
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"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."
Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)