Eating quality and nutritious foods is often one of the first things to be replaced when things get busy in our lives. This is largely because of the abundance of time-saving and appealing alternatives that are within an easier grasp than making dinner nightly. Fast food, frozen and microwave meals, and a hodgepodge of snacks may give you more time to finish what is still lingering on your list of things to do. Fortunately, there are simple habits you can form to ensure that you are eating better homemade meals rather than reaching for microwaveable macaroni and cheese without spending extra time doing so. It just requires that you make a few conscience habit changes, and soon it will be second nature! Here are some simple ways to eat better:
First, plan meals at the beginning of the week for the entire week. Sunday might be a good day to do so, as I do to prepare for the work week. Make it fun! Look up new and quick recipes. The internet is a bottomless source of other people's ideas and experiences. Or, treat yourself to a new cookbook full of inspiring pictures and delicious meals that make you excited to try them. Pick out a couple of lunches and make enough of them to last more than just one day to cut out the stress of making one daily. Or, simply prep ingredients so they are easier to throw together the night before or the day of. For more ease with dinner, buy ingredients to make the meals daily.
Pick recipes that provide a meal in less than 30 minutes, so as not to overwhelm you. Make it fun by putting on music, cooking with a friend or significant other, and try not to look at it as a chore (it doesn’t have to be!). It is also okay to eat leftovers, and doing so won't be as dull if you make meals that you enjoy in the first place.
There are also many ways to change up a meal by using the same base ingredients and altering what you do with it. For example, if you made a lot of brown rice and vegetables, you can either use those ingredients to make fried rice or a burrito, two entirely different meals that will trick your brain into continued excitement.
There are many other quick tips to ensure you are eating better without putting in too much effort. For starters, go to the grocery store with your list of ingredients for your meals. Try not to veer off of it too much.
Additionally, make sure you are not shopping on an empty stomach or while hungry. This is easily avoidable and will prevent you from reaching for unhealthy options. Research has shown that we make better decisions when our stomach is not growling and waiting to be fed. It will also help your budget simultaneously to do so, a win/win.
A final word of advice is to seek to eat more colorful meals. A rainbow of colors is an easy way to make sure you are eating a variety of foods without thinking too much about it and more colors equal more nutrients. If your meal is colorful and visually appealing, it is probably equally good for your body. For example, did you know that foods with a vibrant purple hue (such as blueberries, beets, and purple cauliflower) are high in antioxidants and protect your cells and heart? Or that orange/yellow food (such as carrots, bell peppers, or sweet potato) are high in important nutrients such as lycopene, vitamin c, and beta- carotene (to name a few) and build your immune system and balance the pH level of your body?
Just follow all of these simple ways to eat better and you should be nearer your health goals and in attaining that perfect clear skin.