05 Jan Six Simple Steps to Better Health
2018 is here! The new year is an exciting time when we make ambitious plans for our next twelve months and dream of the possibilities. The most popular resolution? Improving health. Holiday festivities often leave us feeling off track with our overall health and wellness goals. Healthy resolutions don’t have to be complicated – or they may end before February even arrives. The key to looking and feeling your best is to keep it simple and focus on clean eating.
What is ‘clean eating’?
It’s actually quite simple: clean eating is consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed foods. If you are ready to jump-start your clean eating now, or you want to know what it takes to get started, read on for simple steps to success.
Simple steps to Clean Eating
- Identify your inner motivation
Whether you’re determined to run the Boston Marathon next year, or you have seen others suffering as a result of their eating habits. Whatever your motivation to improve your health, write it down and bring it into your direct focus. This will help you achieve success.
- Reevaluate what you’re currently eating
Before you begin your clean eating journey, identify what you are currently eating. Keep a journal for several days to see what you’re eating and notice patterns. After a stressful week at the office or with the kids, you might notice you’re ordering pizza and eating a chocolate bar. Be honest – no one is judging you. Once you identify your patterns, you can determine a new strategy rather than fall into the same pitfall time and time again.
- Set realistic, measurable and specific goals
What is realistic for you? Don’t try and change everything at once. You didn’t get where you are overnight, so you aren’t going to change everything overnight either. My motto is ‘baby steps’! If you want to be successful in the long-term, tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks, so you have a better chance of sticking to it. Don’t say you will never eat dessert again. Instead, set a goal of only eating 1-2 small desserts each week, and go from there to decrease it further. Or, change up your desserts. Why not have berries for dessert instead of cookies. Just make sure your goal is realistic, measurable and very specific.
- Clean out your pantry
Sadly, most American pantries are filled with processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to cut out anything that contains more than five ingredients on the label, and if you can’t pronounce it (except quinoa) or don’t know what it is, it probably should go. If you have a lot of unopened items, donate them to a food pantry. (Although, I have reservations about sending unhealthy food to the needy.) If you need help with this process, I can help – and there will be NO JUDGEMENT – only support, guidance and encouragement. Click here for more information.
- Refocus your grocery shopping strategy
We’re creatures of habit. We add the same items into our cart every week. Shake things up and head straight for the produce section. The middle aisles contain most of the processed foods, so it’s best to avoid those temptations. If you want help understanding healthier options, join one of my grocery store tours.
- Cook once, eat twice
One of the easiest ways to dive into clean eating is to prepare your own meals. During winter months, the slow cooker is my best friend. I put all the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and I come home to a hot, delicious, clean and healthy meal. See below for 2 of my favorite crock pot recipes. For nights when you don’t have the time, Zing Meals can help with gourmet, fully prepared healthy meals, ready in 5 minutes or less.
Small changes over time will create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. As a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way.
If you would like to join a motivated group that provides the tools, guidance and community to cheer you on while making these changes, join the Healthy Eating Challenge, beginning on 1/18/18. Here is a comment from a prior participant on what he gained from the program:
“Thank you Elizabeth, for making this program available – and for supporting us with your knowledge and passion….and ‘realism’! I have been on many short term ‘diets’ in my life to attempt to control my weight, but have never gone into a ‘program’ with feeling better as my goal…apparently long overdue! I’ve been on the road, and eating out, for most of this program and have accomplished an enormous change in my habits. Sure, I’ve lost around 10 pounds (and my clothes fit much better) but the real results came in how I’ve FELT. I’ve dabbled in adding some foods back (in moderation) but have pretty much stuck to the program since day 1. I’m sure at some point that I will eat something that will have my wife wincing, but the morning elixir, shakes (when I’m home), addition of fruits and veggies, eating 3x a day and better choices in general (which isn’t so bad after all!) will surely stay with me. More energy, no heartburn, better sleep and a sense of accomplishment and pride are just a few of the benefits I’ve experienced. Thank you so much Elizabeth!” Scott Y, Florida
If that’s not enough, check out other client results here.
January 9, 7:30pm. Pure Pilates New Providence. Workshop: What is Healthy Eating Workshop? With all the conflicting diet information out there, how do you know what foods are truly healthy? Why are there so many diets and approaches? What is the universal truth? Click here for more information and to sign-up.
May you achieve your health and wellness goals in 2018!