7 Ways to Simplify Healthy Eating

by | May 15, 2018 | Health & Nutrition | 2 comments

The goal behind these 7 Ways to Simplify Healthy Eating is to make eating healthy an automatic behavior. Incorporating positive lifestyle habits, like eating foods that support gut and immune health, means no crash diets, no feeling deprived and gives us a leg up on maintaining optimal health over time.

7 Ways to Simplify Healthy Eating

1 – Meal prep.

We’ve all heard more than enough on meal prep, but there’s a good reason for that. Meal prep works! Whether you’re trying to train yourself to eat a healthier diet by incorporating more whole foods or you’re into productive slow living like me, planning ahead is a great way to boost your efforts and create success. You don’t have to devote an entire day to slaving in the kitchen to make this happen. I spend about two hours on a week’s meal prep. That’s minimal time investment to feed three of us healthy meals all week.

2 – Use greens as a base.

Boost your leafy green intake by making fresh greens a foundation for meals. Place a bed of your favorite greens on your plate or bowl, then top them with whatever you’re having. I like arugula as a base for soups and spinach under veggie chili. It’s like giving the greens a light sauté. For cold salads like chicken or tuna, try crisp beet greens. Get the most nutrition from the greens you eat with these tips.

3 – Stock the freezer with frozen veggies.

I’m an advocate of fresh and in-season eating (read why here), but I also believe in the power of frozen produce. Even when produce is in season, if it is shipped a distance, it is picked prior to being ripe. That means it will never meet its full nutrient peak, even as it continues to ripen. Further nutrient loss occurs due to various light/dark exposures and refrigeration or lack of the same, during shipping and storage. Conversely, frozen foods are picked at peak natural ripeness so we get something grown in season and harvested in its prime. I keep organic frozen veggies in the freezer year round. It’s a life saver when you don’t get a chance to meal prep!

4 – Keep fresh fruit handy for snacking.

A few apples, pears, citrus fruits and bananas go a long way in satisfying the sweet tooth or as a snack between meals. If you’re like me and believe in the need for some protein with your snacks, add a tablespoon of seed or nut butter, nuts, or even a couple slices of deli meat or cheese or yogurt if you eat those foods.

5 – Keep non-fresh fruit handy for snacking.

Nope, I don’t mean rotten fruit. ;-) In our house, we usually eat all the fresh fruit I buy, but if it looks like we aren’t going to eat it before it goes bad, I use it in a recipe (apples become pie filling or compote, bananas become “nice” cream or muffins, pears become 1-ingredient jam, etc.). But if you tend to let more fresh fruit go bad than you eat, consider fruit cups. Finding healthier options is easy these days with diced fruit (peaches, pineapple, etc.) packed in its own juice. These are portion-controlled, shelf stable and portable.

6 – Store fresh cut fruit & veggies in clear glass containers.

Seeing fresh produce ready in the fridge is great motivation for using it! Having diced onions, peppers, celery, etc. on hand makes it easier to use healthy ingredients and make a home-cooked meal. There’s just something about being able to toss it all together without the need to get out cutting boards, knives, and make a mess slicing and dicing on a busy weeknight.

7 – Don’t buy junk.

The easiest way to ensure you don’t eat foods you’re trying to avoid is by not bringing them into your house. No excuses. Resist the urge in the grocery store, replace those “junk” foods with healthier options and prepare for success! If you’re having trouble fighting sugar cravings, read this.

What are your best tips for keeping healthy eating simple?

2 Comments

  1. Martha Levy

    These are great tips. Thanks. I would add something to #6, however, that I’m sure you do. Whenever I cut up fruit or veggies for recipes, I cut up extra. If I’m going to need one chopped onion in a recipe, I chop two and freeze the second in a ziplock bag (labeled and dated). This way, when I’m in a rush, I have a chopped onion for another meal prep.

    Reply


    • Gigi Stewart

      You’re right, Martha! Great time-savers and I do always do this. I meal prep every week (when not working on cookbook recipe development) and I always prep extras for using during the week. I also do the onion trick but I don’t even chop them, I just put them through my processor in large quarters and let it chop for me. ;) xo

      Reply


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