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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014: 5 Ways to Start Eating Healthier

I'm definitely not a health expert (and if I were, another health expert would contradict everything I said, ha!) but over the past year I've definitely made some huge changes with the way I eat (especially after completing whole30 that one time).  The past year I've ready so many articles that discuss food and how huge of an effect it has on everything about us - down to the way our cells work, our DNA, how our body fights viruses and disease up to how we sleep, perform, think, act, feel, etc.  I can't ignore food and what I nourish my body with anymore. Ignorance really is bliss in this case.  So I thought I'd share 5 ways to start eating healthier this year.  Have you been doing anything new?

1. Drink Your Coffee Black.  
I know you can do it! (If you don't already...) After YEARS - like I remember drinking coffee when I was in elementary school (ok, most of it was milk but it was a treat!) of two spoonfuls of sugar and milk in my coffee (a couple times/day) I made the transition almost a year ago and have never looked back. It will take's an acquired taste and then I promise you'll start to look forward to your coffee just as much as before

2. Substitute Pasta Noodles with Zucchini Noodles
After completing my first whole30 (in which you can't have carbs for 30 days) one of the things that I kept going with was julienning zucchinis for noodles. I love zucchini in the first place and this is just one way to feel less huge after eating a pasta dish and to increase your vegetable intake.

3. Substitute Cauliflower for Rice
It's so easy - you only need to chop a head of cauliflower in the food processor, put it in the microwave and you have a rice substitute to mix in to whatever it is that you are making. Brilliant. (here is the simple steps for cauliflower rice)

4. Use Coconut Oil/Ghee
I used to cook anything that involved a pan with tons of butter. Instead now I use coconut oil or ghee - but mostly coconut oil. Its quite handy for sauteing, greasing pans, putting on your sweet potato, etc. 

5. Cut Sugar. 
I think sugar is EVIL. I'm in the midst of my 2nd Whole30 so i've cut sugar for 30 days in a row once before. Its amazing but after 30 days my taste for sugar had lowered drastically - it's always tempting but I just didn't want it because it was too sweet. Not to mention, I felt awful the first few times I had it after the 30 days. So I recommend cutting it where you can...there are so many alternatives (also, its in everything). When baking, try cutting it in half or substituting dates. Focus on healthier snacks like dried fruit (w/o sugar), healthy alternative muffins, nuts, fruits, avocado, etc).

Eating healthy, whatever that means to you - whether its Vegetarian or Paleo - is a lifestyle and it's a huge change to commit to.  But, its do-able - it's only learning a new way of cooking - and once you've gotten used to all the substitutions and what to reach turns completely normal..a new normal.

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Diana said...

I was totally with you until the sugar thing. Unless I can find donuts that don't use sugar. Then maybe.

Angela said...

I coconut oil everything. It's so good. I use it for baking, frying, as a leave in conditioner for my hair, as body lotion, I feed it to my dog. Coconut oil is totally my thing!
I've been wanting to try to zucchini noodle thing, I need to get a julienne peeler!

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

My husband and I do 80% Paleo and it's the best..

Christina Schergen said...

I have cut out the sweet n low from my was TOUGH!! I love sweets...but I try not to drink my calories so I can have cookies I make all my own processed junk.

love these tips!

Claudz said...

Great tips!
I have started cutting down on sugar (this is day 3) and I love how my coffee tastes. Black coffee will take some getting used to....
Zucchini isn't my favourite but I am determined to grate it and try it.
Love the cauliflower rice - it's really tasty and we're doing that when we can.
My husband doesn't like the texture of most fruit and veg so it's a challenge for me cooking so he enjoys it. We have a juicer now and he is getting his veggies in that way.

Amanda said...

OK, this list is doable. (Though I am not ready to do it yet. A few more months of indulging...) Hunter likes eating coconut oil by the spoonful. He's so skinny, and it's so good for you, that I am like eat up, boy. Need to fatten him up with good fat.

Megs said...

these are great tips! i've got 1, 4 & 5 going for the most part. i think it's time i try zucchini noodles, just nervous my husband will hate them!

Natalia | Fashioned by Love said...

As a nutritionist I can honestly say that you don't need to avoid grains in order to be healthy and in fact you NEED grains for best health. One can eat pasta and rice, just the right kind and in the right quantities.
Thought I'd agree about cutting the sugar out - it's a massive change for many, but a very important one to make. x

Ola said...

I would really like to eat less snacks, even if they are home-made, it's way too much calories

Linda Kardas said...

I think that in most cases it's about 5th point :D Inspiring post!

Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans said...

I'm not sure if I could ever adjust to drinking my coffee black; but I have cut down on how much creamer I use. It's the little things...


Wendy said...

Health expert here that does not practice what she preaches. Your bang on with everything. Here's where I add something- you can use rice, hemp, almond or coconut milk in your coffee if drinking it black is too extreme. I use vanilla rice milk- it's high in sugar but you use such a small amount that it doesn't mess with you.

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

I'm so with you on this! I cut sugar last year in almost 80% and it feels so good! I used to have sweets all the time, now I only have some dark chocolate in my energy balls and that's it. I don't even crave sweets like I used to anymore. I also made the switch to plain non-fat greek yogurt and I love it. Annnd, just jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon! Great post ;)

Matthew Pike said...

Does natural sugar count, like in fruit and stuff like that?

Black coffee is the bomb, once you have it you'd never go back to sugary crap.

Buckets & Spades

sgrmse. said...

love this post!! lord knows i need it. hehehe. you rock for sharing <3

brittany said...

amen amen, sugar is the devil!! and thank goodness for coconut oil. but seriously, when i keep my sugar down it is life chaaanging. and then the holidays come and ruin me all over again!!

Jane said...

oh my goodness.. i don't think i can ever do black coffee! my parents love it but i just have that bleh face afterwards!

gina marie said...

coffee - yes i agree. i used to hate coffee, then when i lived in italy... i realized if its actually good quality , it tastes amazing just as it is. // I LOVE zucchini so im going to def try this very soon! // im not a fan of calliflower but ill try it... i suppose if its seasoned well. // and yes, sugar is evil and i used to think i didnt have a huge intake of it. Im not a dessert person, i dont drink juices, soda, i hate candy BUT if you give me fresh bread and some butter i can go to town. I didnt realize all those carbs turned into sugar (joke was on me) :) thanks for sharing these tips! xo

Joyti said...

I've been using a lot of honey (in yogurt) and avoiding straight sugar too...and I love your other tips.

Melinda DiOrio said...

These are great tips, and I like that they are ones that you don't see very often! The zucchini noodles for pasta and cauliflower for rice are really good ones. And I completely agree sugar is evil. It is the biggest thing I am trying to conquer right now. I don't eat many processed foods, but I am trying to give it up completely. It is so, so addictive!



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