I live in a world where people say they want to be healthier and eat healthier, but they can’t find the time. They don’t like to cook, they don’t want to feel deprived or they have a myriad of other excuses. It isn’t that hard to do.
In order to make a difference in your eating habits you’ve got to make it a priority. If it is important to you and you know why you’re going to do it, you’ll honor it. Once that decision is made, the actual process is just a matter of learning a new habit.
I’ve heard many times that it only takes 21 days to start a new habit, and six weeks to completely absorb it (kind of like make it a no-brainer). In the grand scheme of things that isn’t very long. Especially when you consider how long you have been eating junk that doesn’t give your body the nutrition it needs.
What many people don’t get or more properly “get to” is how much better you feel when you eliminate the processed food and sugar from your diet and consume high-grade fuel of whole foods. The rewards and health benefits far outweigh inhaling stuff that makes you feel like sludge.
Here are three things you can incorporate into your life to make the process of eating healthier easy.
1. Take 30 minutes and write down why eating healthier is important to you.
This is an important step in order to stick with it. Do you have health issues? Do you want to lose weight before summer so you can hike or play with your kids, grandkids or pets? Would you like to have more energy? Are you sick of being sick?
Write down three reasons “Why” you want to eat healthier on a 5×7 card. Then create a goal that supports your reasons. Set a date and/or time for reaching your goal. “I am enjoying feeling energetic and hiking with the family by June 30, 2013.” “I am feeling flirty at 130.” (Our subconscious loves rhymes.) Put the card near your bed or in the bathroom where you can read it out loud every morning and every night. To help you keep it top of mind.
2. Incorporate the use of a FREE Day in your lifestyle
I learned this from Bill Phillips when I did his Body-for-Life Challenge back in 2001. I’ve heard a lot of people refer to this as a “cheat day.” Why put a negative term on something that supports your goal? Eat healthy six days a week and one day have whatever you want.
The day can move to accommodate special occasions. But plan it ahead and stick with one day. You will soon notice how gross you feel after eating things you haven’t had and the FREE day often becomes a FREE meal.
3. Do food prep on Sunday to eliminate excuses
This is my no excuses method of having fruits, vegetables, etc. ready for the week. When I lived in Southern California I was blessed to shop at a farmer’s market all year round. When I got home I cleaned and cut up everything and put it in zip locks (with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb moisture) and I had no excuses for fixing lunch or dinner. I still do this every time I shop. You can prepare snacks, veggies for stir fry, steaming or roasting and cook up your rice, quinoa, millet for the week at the same time.
By starting with these three simple things you’ll be on the road to eating better and feeling better.
In my next blog, I’ll share more about what to eat, meal planning and healthy snacks.