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How long have you been telling yourself that you are going to make the changes in your day to day life in order to nurture a healthier lifestyle Where to begin? That’s the number one question that keeps so many of us from actually going through the journey that bring us closer to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. The answer is plain and simple… you start with what you put in your body. Food. If you’re not making it, its most likely not going to be the healthiest. Getting in the habit of making our own homemade meals is the first step towards making those changes. Learning how to properly shop at your local grocery store or farmers market is going to be key to healthy meals that are nutritious and also delicious!
Here are 5 simple, yet proactive things you can do today in order to take that step forward towards achieving healthy lifestyle goals!
- Get acquainted with ingredients you want to avoid, which I like to call Toxic Terms. These are the ingredients that are added to processed and packaged foods that are harmful to our health (i.e. artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, enriched flour/rice/bread, MSG, etc.) You can DOWNLOAD my Toxic Terms master list HERE
- Do the ULTIMATE KITCHEN PURGE! It’s time to look inside our pantry, cabinets, fridge and freezer. Toss out anything that isn’t serving your health and won’t support your new lifestyle goals. Be sure to set aside 30-45 minutes for this process, clear your head and keep in mind why you are doing this! First you want to get a trash bag ready and clear your counter tops. Go through your pantry, cabinets, fridge and freezer, shelf by shelf. If you feel a little overwhelmed, that’s totally normal, feel free to step away for a couple minutes and come back to it.
- Begin to stock up your kitchen with the right things! When it comes to packaged products you should be able to pronounce all ingredients listed on a food label. If the list of ingredients looks extremely lengthy, best to avoid. Be sure that each ingredient sounds like an actual REAL food. Also, avoid products that include sugar when it clearly shouldn’t belong there.
- Get in the kitchen, and start cooking! There is no easier way to sustain a healthy lifestyle than to start making your own homemade meals. The reason for this is because you know exactly what is going into your food!!! It’s as simple as that. Hop on Pinterest and create a board that is dedicated to all the healthy recipes you are going to try out! Hey, while you’re here, be sure to check out my recipe index and see if there is something in here you might want to make for dinner later on this week. Check out my super easy Whole Baked Chicken recipe!
- Finally, start shopping at the right places. Luckily, more and more grocery stores are offering better quality products. But be mindful of where you are shopping and take the time to check out the back of the packaging and read what is in the product you’re considering to purchase. My best advice is shop around the perimeter of the store! Everything in between will most likely be pre-packaged and processed. Go heavy on the produce, check out the bulk section and buy delicious and healthy items like quinoa or basmati rice. Check out the meat counter and see what fresh and local proteins they are offering. Fresh will always be better than frozen! Also, try to make it a habit to go to the grocery store weekly… when you are buying fresh, whole food ingredients you are going to have to go a lot more often!