Take a deep breath and lose your eyes, picturing a grocery store . Think of the produce section, and the spice isle, and the sheer variety of options in a store. Think about your favorite fruit, or the best salad you’ve had, or a healthy meal that totally enchanted and surprised you. Remember the first time you tried a vegetable you previously disliked, that was prepared perfectly, and you stopped hating it?
Say you’re thinking it’s time to eat better, to diet (which is not a word I’m very fond of) —regardless of your reasoning- what’s the first thing you assume you need to do?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of you answered eating food you don’t like, or increasing the number of salads you eat, or just straight up deprivation. Maybe all of the above? There’s an assumption about healthy eating for a lot of people that it’ll require intense sacrifice, lots of dry salads, and eating foods you hate just because they happen to be good for you. Remember though, how many options there are in a single store, and how much of those foods and flavors you already love.
Instead of talking about what it’s not … let’s talk about what healthy eating CAN be.
It can be transformative, it can warm your soul, and give you energy for days. It’s supposed to be nutritious, filling, and most importantly — delicious! The right kinds of food fuel your body, giving you energy and increasing your metabolism, while giving your body nutrients directly from a food source instead of from a bottle. Roasted root vegetables, for example, are a great source of fiber and antioxidants, as well as being high in vitamins A, B, and C!
Healthy eating should begin with your first meal, it sets the tone for the rest of your day.
While I recommend starting everyday with a fresh or cold pressed greens juice, I do understand that it’s expensive and not everyone has a juicer. But almost everyone has a blender, which is why I think a smoothie is a great economical way to start your day, and it’s one of the easiest ways to start your day with greens. Spinach is great in smoothies, but baby kale is another great option. Yes, kale, that magic word that instantly brings to mind vegans and health freaks, right? Kale in particular is one of the healthiest foods on the planet- loaded with vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. I’m including a simple smoothie recipe at the end of this blog!
I’m not going to lie- a lot of what creates a healthier relationship with food is learning to love to cook.
It takes being willing to try a new food a few different ways before you find a version you like, or trying healthier options for favorite foods. Pasta, for example, is a favorite dish for a lot of people. Instead of depriving yourself of pasta, you can still have it, but make healthier swaps most of the time. Try zoodles, or pasta made from chickpeas or whole wheat. If you want something creamy- there’s great recipes out there that use cashews and veggies to make super delicious sauces. Sauces are another amazing way to add greens (looking at you pesto)!
Finally, let’s talk about dessert.
Most people have a sweet tooth, and it’s one of the harder things to give up when you decide to start eating healthier. One of my favorite healthy sweet snack is thawed frozen fruit- like cherries! I. Love. Cherries. You can even drizzle raw or frozen fruit with dark chocolate. Even dark chocolate in small amounts is okay as a regular treat!
Trust me, good food can take you on a whole new journey. There’s so many things to try, you can definitely find healthier foods that you’ll love. Think of it as a fun adventure- this beautiful planet we live on has provided us with so many different foods and flavors to try! You’re bound to find something you love. So experiment, try new recipes, and commit to fueling your body with not only the bright colors of the rainbow, but whole grains and healthy proteins!
Here is a Super Simple Smoothie Recipe that can easily get you a handful or two of greens!
- 1/2 Banana (Frozen or Fresh)
- Large handful of spinach (or other raw green)
- 2 Small handfuls frozen fruit
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Coconut Water
- Add everything to a blender, and blend till smooth! It’s that simple. 🙂
Robin Lee is a medical intuitive, author, mentor, gratitude advocate, and speaker who has helped thousands of people around the world understand the language of their bodies. Robin believes that our bodies innately know how to balance and heal themselves if given proper care and support. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares tips, tools, and techniques to honor our bodies and heal our lives!
Image courtesy of Mikhail Nilov.