Getting healthier is all about adding habits to your diet! Try any or all of these 15 strategies below:
Lemon water changes the game.
Dehydration may be a factor in low energy, which could then lead to a craving for quick energy found in sweets. Fill your water bottle with sliced lemons. Choose organic lemons too if you are putting the whole lemon in. Only squeeze in lemon juice if it is not organic so any pesticide residues are not polluting your water. Use filtered water when possible!
Take a shot….of apple cider vinegar.
This fermented superfood helps support your digestion, immunity, and detoxification. Dilute 2 Tbs. of ACV in water and swig it down. Or, if that makes you uneasy, dilute it in 8 oz. of water and sip throughout the morning. You can also use it as a base in salad dressing. Add raw honey if you really need it. Note that you may need to dilute so that it is not super bitter. Play around with how much apple cider vinegar you can handle, but 2 tablespoons is ideal. If you suffer from heartburn or GERD, this is what I like to call Nature’s Tums.
Add the easiest green smoothie.
Imagine getting 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables before 9am! It is possible with a delicious green smoothie (blending whole foods). The fresh produce has key enzymes that speeds up every reaction in your body and are necessary for daily repair. Try this simple, delicious beginner’s smoothie: 2 cups kale/spinach + ¾ cup frozen strawberries+ squeeze of ½ fresh lemon juice + 8-10 ounces filtered water. Add more water is you desire a thinner consistency. Optional add-ins include avocado, flax or chia seeds, herbs, broccoli sprouts, coconut water, and beets.
Dress to impress.
Most commercial salad dressings contain added sugars, unhealthy oils, and other stabilizers you don’t need. Try a homemade version of your favorite salad dressing. Use grapeseed oil, avocado, or olive oil as the base. Add fresh or dried herbs, apple cider vinegar or lemon. The possibilities are endless.
Brew organic green tea with lemon.
Look for unbleached tea bags or buy loose leaf tea and use your own teabag. Make a batch and enjoy iced green tea for the rest of the week. Green tea has solid research behind it for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which will support all functions in the body, including detox and metabolism. Be careful not to overstep, though. You only need steep for 2-3 minutes, and any longer it will taste bitter. And you can’t have too much of it either because 4 cups a day is actually the dose that most research supports. Finally, green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that supports a unique blend of calm and focus. Who doesn’t need more of that?
Swap out refined food snacks with real food snacks.
For example, grab an organic apple and natural almond butter versus packaged peanut butter crackers. Choose a fruit-based snack paired with a protein or fat. Delicious combinations include: apples & almond butter, sliced bananas & cashews, dried cherries & pistachios, or fresh berries & beef jerky.
Enjoy a fresh, cold-pressed green juice for a morning energizer or afternoon pick-me-up. If you are new to juicing, start with carrot, celery, and apple. Advance to more leafy greens like kale and spinach for a true green juice!
Cook your dinner with coconut oil tonight.
Coconut oil is safe at higher heat than olive oil and is one of the healthiest fats to add to your diet for its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, energizing properties. This is also the safest fat to cook with because it is solid and stable at high heat (compared to olive oil, which is liquid and gets damaged at high heat!) You can get refined coconut oil for a non-coconut flavor, or unrefined coconut for a coconut flavor.
Fermented foods for everyone.
Fermented foods offer powerful immune and digestive support and it is super cheap and easy to get this in your diet. Splurge and enjoy a kombucha over ice. This fermented tea is yummy for your tummy and contains energizing B vitamins and gut-healing probiotics. Make your own pickled vegetables this week! These can serve as superfood condiments for your meals this week, and can help aid in digestion.
Spice up your life.
Using herbs and spices is an easy way to add superfood potency to any meal, snack, or beverage. Sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee, on your sweet potatoes, or in your chia pudding for a craving crushing benefit. Add turmeric to your tea on in a curry dish. Add oregano to your red sauce. The change is minimal, but the benefits are big!
Treat yourself always.
Learn to eat with purpose. You do not need to give up the foods that you love. Time your snacks and pleasures ideally after exercise and use quality ingredients like raw chocolate and flavored stevias to avoid excess suagrs. Enjoy dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao or a glass of red wine, not as a reward, but as a way to experience the other benefits that come with these foods.
Swap Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce to Dark Leafy Greens, Arugula, or Kale. First, the darker the leaves, the more nutrient-rich the greens. The darker the greens, the more chlorophyll, which can better purify your blood, and improve your nutrient transport and muscle. Iceberg is made of mostly water, so that is why it doesn’t contain as many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. On the bright side, at least with iceberg lettuce you were hydrating. Now go get some dark greens!
Fat up at lunch.
If you feel like something is always missing from your lunch, it might be a healthy fat. Essential fatty acids found in avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, whole eggs, and grass-fed beef will support the body’s immune system, hormone balance and most noticeably—improve hair and skin! Healthy fats are also needed to consume fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamins A, D, E, and K found in your leafy greens, so skip fat-free dressing. Plus, fat will turn off your hunger neurotransmitters and provide a full feeling longer than a low-fat meal
Reduce sneaky refined sugars.
These can be found in unsuspecting places like in sauces, condiments, soups, salad dressing, and the obvious sweet treats. When you cut back on sugar, your taste buds will get used to it. I promise. Fruit, and even starchy vegetables, will start to taste sweeter and be just as enjoyable as you once found a cookie to be. Refined sugar has no vitamins or minerals. It is a low-qualorie food
Get real with your carbohydrates at dinner.
Swap processed carbohydrates like pasta or bread for whole food carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, or vegetables. For example, spaghetti squash truly is Mother Nature’s favorite pasta. It’s an unprocessed, unrefined, gluten-free pasta alternative with more fiber, potassium, and calcium than packaged pasta. Real food FTW.
Start your day with a high protein breakfast.
Protein is key to stimulating neurotransmitter production linked to motivation and focus in the brain. You don’t find a lot of protein in convenient items like cereals, bars, toast, or plain oatmeal. Get at least 25 grams of protein with eggs, organic breakfast sausage, protein powder, leftover cold cuts, nuts, or seeds.