As an advocate for health and wellness, I realize that although eating well is important, it’s unrealistic and stressful to constantly plan and overthink meal time. That’s why I focus on little things I can do, that over time, make my mind and body a lot healthier and happier. These twelve guidelines are fun to implement, and are totally doable even with a tight budget or hectic schedule. Hopefully, you will find some new ideas and inspiration!
Swap your oil
That off-brand olive oil “blend” and canola oil are highly processed and cause major inflammation over time. Choose pure avocado oil or extra-virgin coconut oil. Ghee, and almond and walnut oils are also great choices though a bit pricier. I am also an advocate for using whole-food fat sources (like avocado, coconut cream, nuts/nut butter) instead of oil, when appropriate.
CHEW your food
May seem obvious, but many of us eat so fast we aren’t chewing our food properly before swallowing, creating a lot of burden on our digestive system. Put your utensil down between bites, and savor each bite! Also, try not to talk with food in your mouth. In a nutshell, don’t multi-task while you’re eating 😉
Although food is plentiful these days, meals should still be sacred. Eat in a calm, stress-free place, away from paperwork, noise, technology, etc. Try not to look at your phone!
Add another veggie
You’d be surprised how easy it is too wilt some greens into a pasta dish, throw together a side salad, or incorporate some squash puree into a sauce or soup. Speaking of soup, it’s my favorite way to pack a variety of veggies into 1 meal. Plus, there’s a bunch of leftovers =)
Add a fermented food
Sourdough (and/or sprouted) bread, sauerkraut, high-quality yogurt, and miso are all delicious sources of probiotics. There are even probiotic veggie chips, granola and nut brands emerging so keep your eye out for fun ways to incorporate these beneficial bacteria.
Pressure cook your legumes or buy a brand that does this
If you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, use it to cook beans, lentils and grains. This method makes the food easier on the gut! Eden Food is currently the only brand of canned beans that pressure cooks, so choose this brand if you’re not cooking your own.
End with herbal tea
Peppermint, rooibos, lavender, nettle, moringa, dandelion and many other herbs are very healing to the body and lovely way to end a meal, Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source for buying these teas in bulk, or Yogi and Traditional Medicinals are convenient if you prefer pre-portioned teas.
Enhance with essential oils
Young LIving’s Vitality Oils are a no-brainer for adding vibrancy to meals and treats. One drop provides amazing flavor, health benefits, and even raises your frequency! Every thing from herbs like basil and thyme, several citrus oils, and spices like cardamom and black pepper can be used to up level your meals =)
Superfoods don’t have to be difficult to find or expensive! Some simple ideas: Add a teaspoon of turmeric or moringa to your latte or smoothie. Sprinkle chia or hemp seeds on your salad or oatmeal. Use chopped almonds or pecans as a breading rather than flour. Eat a date stuffed with coconut butter for dessert. Take a shot of Ningxa Red! – The options are endless!
Unfortunately, most of our food is grown with chemicals these days, introducing detrimental toxins to our bodies. One of the best ways to lighten your load of chemicals is choosing organic, especially grains, eggs, meat, and produce with edible skin.
Support local food
Local food is typically more sustainable, more nutritious and less likely to be contaminated with pesticides. Even chain grocers often advertise/label local produce so if you don’t have a year-round farmers’ market, you can still eat local food.
Cook it Yourself!
Making food from scratch is incredibly rewarding, and it doesn’t have to be a complicated, all-day affair. Roast your own squash, make an easy soup in your slow-cooker, grab a few extra tomatoes to make your own pasta sauce. These little things will make your meals fresher, more delicious and nutritious, and expose your body to less preservatives and more flavor!
Himalayan salt is where it’s at
Most of us grew up using only iodized salt – but it’s highly processed and raises blood pressure when used in excess. In comparison, offers 84 trace elements and actually provides many health benefits from sinus relief to regulating blood sugar, to improving libido. Also, many of us are actually deficient in sodium. So don’t skimp on the salt, just use the pink stuff instead of iodized.