1. Always Have Snacks
Remember that time when you went to the grocery store and you were starving? So you bought all the junk food. Remember that time you went to work and there was an array of holiday treats in the break room and you had such a stressful day? So you had all the treats. I remember. I remember being hangry. It is so much easier to pass on unhealthy food when you are not hungry. I use a small backpack for a purse, (highly recommend), and in it can always be found some kind of healthy snack. Something simple like a granola bar, a small bag of nuts or dried fruit. I eat when I am hungry (before hangry) and the junk food doesn’t seem so irresistible.
The best foods we can eat for healthy living are obviously vegetables. We can always add more vegetables into our diet. Vegetables are the best things we can eat. Have I stressed vegetables enough? Vegetables. Vegetables. Vegetables. Great, but also, they are annoying. They take time to prepare and given the choice between carrots and a burrito… well most of us will choose the burrito.
The best way I have gotten myself to eat more vegetables is to make hummus. I take a little time every week to make hummus, and there are so many different variations to make. From sriracha and honey to roasted red pepper, I never run out of hummus. Hummus makes me excited to eat vegetables and I end up eating more than I normally would. Eating a lot and a variety of vegetables has boosted my health more than anything. If you’re not a fan of hummus find any kind of veggie dip that will make you want to eat more vegetables.
3. Prepare on a High
There are times of the day, week, and even over an entire month where I feel like I am on a high. My hormones are on an up and I feel like I can take on the world. Then there are times when I feel low, or just less motivated. I would rather watch some TV and eat chips than take on the world. I strive to utilize the energy I have when I am feeling up to prepare for when I will feel down. I prepare vegetables and healthy food that I can easily grab for when I don’t feel like it later, trying to think of future Mimi. Then, when my energy levels go down and I don’t feel like making hummus or cutting vegetables, I can see that past Mimi has already put those things in the veggie drawer and I can easily grab that instead of going to the store for junk food. This is so much easier than trying to force my tired self to prepare healthy food.
4. Keep Healthy Food in Sight
Place healthy food everywhere. Keep a bowl of fruit on the table. Keep nuts and crackers on the counter. When you are hungry, those will be the first things you will see and therefore be much more likely to grab and eat. Make it harder to find treats and unhealthy food. Even better, don’t have it in your house. Make it so you would have to leave your house for junk food. Nine times out of ten I would rather eat an apple than go to the grocery store for candy.
5. Start Your Day Right
Start your day healthy. Eat some fruit or avocado toast. Put in your yoga or exercise. Have some energizing tea. Starting your day off right will make it so much easier to make healthy choices for the rest of the day. Then, even if the day doesn’t work out the way you planned it, you can at least go to bed knowing you did something healthy. You can remember you had a healthy breakfast or that you did yoga that morning. Focus on that instead of feeling guilty because you bought ice cream after work and finished it before you even got home. Focus on the good and try again the next day.
6. Lie to Yourself
There are days when I do not want to eat healthy. But, I followed my own advise and all I have in my house is healthy food. I could go buy some cookies… or I could lie to myself. Lying to myself sounds something like this, “I love radishes. Radishes are the best, I am going to eat all the radishes”. Yes, it is as fake and sarcastic as it sounds. But you know what? It works, I ate the fucking radishes.
7. Have a Healthy Treat
Sometimes you just need a treat and there is no way around it. If I find that I really want some cookie dough and no amount of lying is going to get me to eat those radishes, then I eat some cookie dough. Correction, I eat some healthy cookie dough. Cookie dough hummus! Or any kind of healthy treat. Pinterest is full of recipes for healthy treats and making them also gives me some creative energy! It’s a win-win!
8. Read The Labels
This one is simple. I am quickly turned off by candy or junk food when I read what is in them. If I come across a word I don’t understand I look it up and wish that I stayed ignorant, but it does helps me choose the healthier option.
Make home cooked meals whenever possible. Plan ahead of time, buy all the ingredients and cook. Even if what you cook isn’t all that healthy, it is likely healthier than packaged food or eating out. It is also so much more satisfying. Give yourself a lot of affirmations and praise for cooking. See that soup? You made that soup. That is a damn good soup. Snap it, Instagram it, ignore the haters. You made a good soup.
10. Get Excited
Even if it starts with lying to yourself, get excited about healthy food. Get excited about all the colors and the variety. All the preparation and discipline may not feel all that great, but eating healthy makes you feel AMAZING! All those nutrients will change you and after a time, you will find that you prefer the healthy food. It is worth it and it is exciting!