If you're struggling to eat healthy and/or have been trying to get your family on-board with living a healthy lifestyle, Dylan Foster of Healthwise.com and I go over our best tips to make eating healthy a habit, and not a chore!
Tip 1: Eat Lean Protein!
So you may be wondering what's considered "Lean Protein"? Stick to chicken, fish, turkey and eggs for animal-based lean protein sources. If you’re craving a little red meat every now and then, go for the leaner cuts of meat like pork loin or an eye round roast steak.
Tip 2: Eat More Veggies!
Vegetables are healthy for any diet. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, Whole30, Mediterranean, Dash, Atkins, or anything in between, vegetables are a staple for healthy eating. If you’re trying to avoid carbohydrates, you can substitute your grains with vegetables. For example, you can use cabbage instead of tortillas for a healthier take on enchiladas. You can also use lettuce as a replacement for tortillas and buns for grain-free tacos and burgers. My favorite way to cut down on carbs is to use a spiralizer to make zucchini or carrot noodles instead of eating pasta.
Tip 3: Eat Whole-Grains!
Whole grains are loaded with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer. Those are some BIG reasons to swap-out the white bread.
Examples of whole-grain foods includes brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, and whole-grain or brown rice pasta.
Tip 4: Eat More Legumes!
Beans and lentils are filling, healthy, and packed with protein. Black, pinto, white, kidney and garbanzo beans can easily by added to most meals to make them more filling and nutrient dense. As a healthy alternative to creamy dips, hummus is a nutrient-dense snack made with garbanzo beans and tastes great as a vegetable dip!
Tip 5: Eat Healthy Fats!
Not all fats are created equal! When living a healthy lifestyle it's important to focus on eating mono and poly unsaturated fats, and to stay away from trans and saturated fats as much as possible. This is because mono and polyunsaturated fats have a ton of health benefits including lowering bad cholesterol levels and maintaining optimal brain function and cellular growth. Saturated and trans fats have the opposite effect, increasing your risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Examples of foods high in mono and poly unsaturated fats includes olive oil, olives, nut butters, and avocados. If you prefer to cook with butter, ghee (which is another name for "clarified butter") is a healthier option. As a side note, ghee doesn't have milk proteins which makes it safe to eat if you're lactose intolerant.
Avocados are the magical fruit that's multi-functional, not to mention delicious! Whether it’s a fruit smoothie, a salad, or a sandwich, adding avocado to anything will make it better, at least in my opinion ;). Avocados can also be used as a substitute for mayonnaise, butter, cheese and cream in most recipes, and can even be used to make ice cream!
Tip 6: Have Go-To Healthy Snacks Ready!
Snacking can be a killer for a healthy diet. Most of the time when we get a snack craving the first thing we do is reach for the bag of chips or cookies. Too bad these types of snacks will add a couple of pounds to your waistline while leaving you hungry, tried, and cranky shortly after. Its a lose/lose situation.
Instead opt for a high protein snack like nuts with fresh fruit. Be careful with nuts, however. They are nutrient dense, so anything more than a small handful could contain more fat than you had hoped to swallow. If you're craving fruit, stick to lower-sugar fruits such as berries. They have tons of fiber and nutrients to keep you full and energized until your next meal.
Air-popped popcorn without butter is a good option if you’re looking for a snack with quantity without the calories. If you need some flavor, you can lightly spray olive oil and sprinkle on some low-sodium seasonings. My favorite seasoning is Old Bay!
As you start to develop healthy eating habits, you’ll learn cooking hacks and creative ways to make healthy food interesting and fun. If you need some help with this check out my #1 best-selling cookbook, Eat To Thrive: The Anti-Diet Cookbook. I've included 50 super tasty and healthy recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less to make the healthy eating process as simple as possible!