28/06/2019

My Best Tips To Eat Well (+ Simple & Healthy Meal Ideas!)


Eating healthy can be a challenge sometimes. Here's how you make it easy!

Although my diet is far from being perfect, since I have embarked on my health journey I have changed my eating habits a lot. I could actually scream in horror at how bad my diet was a few years ago - lots of processed food, no consistency, and a lot of alcohol. Needless to say I am now an actual grown up, so it has kind of helped. But I still find that no matter how old you are, eating healthy can be very difficult. However, it is achievable by anyone - no, you don't need to be a fitness guru to eat healthy! This post is here to give you advice on how to start eating healthier, so keep reading for my best tips and meal ideas! 

DON'T BRING UNHEALTHY FOODS AT HOME
When you go food shopping, don't buy the unhealthy things that you could live without, but that you would usually still buy because why not. Say no to the fizzy drinks, the crisps, the industrial brownies full of sugar, and the ready meals. If you don't have all those things in your house, you simply won't eat them! If it's there, you may eat it just for the sake of it. Get rid of those foods that make you unhappy, and you won't eat them anymore. 
If you're anxious about feeling deprived, you can always buy some healthy snacks to have around when you crave something. Dark chocolate, nuts, granola bars (sure they've got lots of sugar, but still much better than industrial muffins!) or sorbet. Just leave out the stuff that's bad for you. After all, if you know it's bad, why have it when there are so many delicious and healthier alternatives?

COOK EASY MEALS WITH SIMPLE INGREDIENTS - IDEAS BELOW!
I'm not a cooking person, but I do enjoy preparing healthy meals for myself. My rule is this: I buy staple ingredients in three big categories: protein (meat or meatless), carbs (potatoes, rice, bread) and vegetables (frozen veg is great, but I also buy tomatoes, peppers, cucumber every week). With a few simple ingredients, you can create a variation of recipes that take very little time, and that are stripped off the nasty processed stuff. The simpler, the better - see all the photos in these posts for recipe inspo. 
Sticking to simple, whole food ingredients will make meal prep easier, faster, and you will monitor more easily what you are having each day, whether you are having enough protein and fats, whether you are having too much salt or not... It's all down to you, because you know what's in your plate. 


THINK ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT FOODS MAKE YOU FEEL
Eating healthy is also about knowing how food makes you feel. You are nourishing your body, and your body will tell you what it needs and wants - and what it doesn't agree with too much. If you sometimes feel bloated or uncomfortable after certain meals, think about the possible reasons for that. It may be a food you ate, or maybe you have lunch too fast when you are in front of the computer at work, or maybe you don't digest milk as well and haven't realised it yet. I would suggest keeping a note of the days when food doesn't make you feel as good: write down what you ate, at what time, and after a few days a pattern may stand out. 
Because we are all so busy all the time, eating becomes such a small part of our routines that we don't pay attention to it anymore, and thus you may miss out on why your body doesn't feel well sometimes. The more you listen to your body, the better you will know what to eat to feel your best.

HAVE A ROUTINE
Although this may be controversial (I may be a control freak...) I do think that having a routine really helps if you're getting started on a healthy diet journey. More and more people meal prep these days, and there are very little downsides to meal prepping! Although I don't have the time and space at home to prep meals for days and days ahead, whenever I go shopping I think about the meals I want to prepare that week, and write down a list of exactly what I need to buy. That is part of my routine, and it helps me buy the right foods.
Another routine you could have is to think about a typical day to plan what and when to cook. Do you eat more for lunch or dinner? Which days do you need to eat more generous meals because you work out or have a longer day at work? When do you need to prepare snacks because you're having your meal later than usual? Plan your meals in your timetable like you would plan tasks on your to-do list, and it will help you feel more in control of your stomach - and what goes into it!


FORGET THE IDEA OF CHEAT MEALS
I hate cheat meals. The whole concept of it makes me so angry! Not only is the phrasing of it conductor of guilt, but it also suggests the idea that you have to restrain yourself all the time, and go all out on that one meal - which is a pretty unhealthy thing to do in itself. Eating healthy doesn't mean restricting yourself or eating foods you hate. Eating healthy means finding the diet that's good for your health and body, but also for your mind. The diet that makes you happy and gives you the fuel you need. If you implement the idea of cheat meals, you will find yourself mindlessly craving foods just because it is cheat day, and your mind will tell you "now is the time to go crazy and have all the bad stuff, because that's what cheat meals are for." But to be healthy *and* happy, you have to find the routine that allows you to eat well, but eat what you like. 


BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT
The truth is, eating healthy is difficult because like most things, it needs to be work for. You don't wake up one morning craving vegetables and hating sugar for the rest of your life. In the end, it all comes back to how willing you are to put your health first - put it before the tempting McDonald's burger, before the ice-cream-for-dinner, before the daily can of coke. Invest in your body and save yourself some expenses too! 
The sooner you realise that you are in control of your body and it is your lifelong job to take care of it, the better. A healthy body, along with a healthy mind, are just what you need to move forward, be confident with yourself, and take on all the challenges that will come your way. So work on healthy eating like you'd work on a job!

What are your tips to eat healthy? 
Do you have any healthy meal ideas to share?
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14 comments:

  1. I love simple and quick meals. People think that cooking takes so much time but it really depends on what you're cooking. I prepare a lot of Italian dishes and they only take half an hour to prepare on average.

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    1. Exactly, cooking can be very quick if you keep to simple recipes. I love Italian! xx

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  2. I struggle with eating healthy, mainly because I don't like cooking, but having kids motivates me. I want them to eat healthy and balanced, so I get in the kitchen. Or hope that Mr. Loca will be home in time to do that.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Cooking can be a chore, right? We've got to build good habits though, for us and for others! xx

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  3. Love your post!

    I think people are scared of cooking, without realizing how easy it is to cook. Eating healthy is very easy as well, as long as you don't have those "cheat meals" you talked about. Pasta can be healthy for example. This is what I cooked yesterday. I thought it would be nice to make Mac&Cheese on 4th July because I love it. But, instead of adding lots of cheese, I made the sauce with boiled cauliflower and lots of nutritional yeast. I've added a bit of cheese, less than 70g for 4 servings! But it had over 200g of cauliflower (raw, before boiling) in each serving. My husband loved it so much, he said he had no idea I've put cauliflower in it. With the spices and the yeast, he couldn't taste the veggie. How amazing is that. A dish that in theory is unhealthy, can be made into something really healthy and delicious at the same time. I didn't take pictures, but I'll make the dish again, so I can share it on my food blog.

    That was just an example, but so many things can be made healthier. I agree with you on snacks too. I don't like granola bars, but I love those Nakd bars that are made with dried fruits and nuts. For those it doesn't even matter the sugar content, as it is from fruits.

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    1. There are great vegetarian/vegan alternatives for everything! It's easy to educated ourselves and it's a whole journey to improve our eating habits. Thanks for your comment Anca! xx

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  4. Not bringing unhealthy foods into the home is great advice; if they're not there, we're far less likely to crave them! Your healthy meals look delicious in this post Julia :)

    aglassofice.com x

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  5. Your peppers, egg, mushroom meal looks so vibrant & delicious! Don't bring unhealthy foods home was a game-changer for me. Also, not eating the food that people used to bring to the company break room to share (cakes, cookies, etc.) :]

    // Carmen

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    1. Thanks Carmen! It's so true what you say about food and snacks at work, I can never resist them but it's often so bad for our health, you're right to avoid them! xx

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  6. These meals look awesome. I've been struggling to adjust me eating now that I'm working full time. I wake up so early that I have no time for breakfast, I definitely need to try these meals out. x

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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    1. With full time work, the key is meal prep! Online you can find a lot of easy recipes of breakfast foods you can make ahead of time and take with you to work! Good luck! xx

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