It seems everybody is making some kind of change around this time of year – whether it’s to be more organised or do more exercise. I know as well as the next person that big changes are hard to make, and old habits die hard.
What does help, however, is having actionable steps or tasks you can implement straight away, that will help move you closer to your goal. Think of them as the signposts on your new journey. Though there’s rarely a ‘destination’ (lifestyle changes are ongoing), these smaller actions and habits will help keep you on the right path.
If there’s one life change I am pretty familiar with, it’s choosing to eat healthier. Improving one’s diet isn’t always the fast life tweak it’s cracked up to be and sometimes it really can take months, or even years, to change lifelong eating habits.
As a food and health lover myself I know how hard it can be to change old familiar patterns, especially when the world is full of commercial temptation and social expectations. Therefore I decided to put together this list of tips, not just for eating healthy but for making healthy eating easier, so you’ll spend less time thinking about it and more time just enjoying it.
1. Forget all ‘diets’
Healthy eating shouldn’t be about restriction and deprivation, or indeed, unnatural or strange eating patterns. Healthy eating should be a lifestyle that you sustain over time and that you find enjoyable.
It makes sense to follow various ways of eating when trying to reach a specific goal; for example, becoming a bodybuilder or competing in a bikini competition. But for all-round health and vitality, ask yourself a) ‘How long can I sustain this?’ and b) ‘How do I feel when I’m doing this?’
Once you stop obsessing over the latest diet fad trend, the pressure to be perfect will melt away. You can then enjoy getting back to the fundamentals of basic nutrition and common sense.
2. Have relatable role models
It’s awesome to follow influencers on blogs and social media for inspiration, but it’s generally better to make sure they’re relatable.
By this I mean how their overall lifestyle (so environment, responsibilities, resources etc) relates to your own. If somebody’s diet seems too ‘perfect’ (using that in inverted commas here) or their workout routine relentless, I tend to steer away from those people because they are just not standards I could hope to keep up. More importantly, I wouldn’t have any interest in doing so!
When you find someone with a similar attitude to yourself living out your desired habits, it makes those goals seem much more tangible and achievable.
3. Know where your local independent foods store is
Independent or world food stores are a hugely overlooked part of buying, cooking and eating well. They provide so many essential ingredients needed to cook some the healthiest dishes in the world (from Asian cuisines), and for much cheaper than your regular supermarket chain.
They’re also a fantastic supplier of veggie and vegan food products, and can be a goldmine for more unusual foods like mung bean pasta and buckwheat flour.
4. Always cook for a tribe
Whether you’re cooking for one person or two, try to always cook as though you’re feeding more. This can mean cooking the full recipe even if you’re the only eating, or even doubling it up if possible so you’ll have plenty of leftovers. The other portions can be put in the fridge for the next day or frozen, so you’ll always have tasty, home-cooked food in the freezer to eat.
5. Order a regular veg box delivery
This one won’t be for everybody, but having a regular delivery of veg to your doorstep can be hugely helpful for some people (not to mention exciting!). Not only does it take a load off your mind regarding groceries, you can also enjoy knowing it’s all organic and fairly sourced, and can discover new vegetables and recipes you didn’t even know existed.
Suppliers like Abel & Cole* also provide organic cupboard staples, dairy and deli items, so if you wanted to you could get your whole week’s shop delivered!
6. Bulk buy superfoods on Amazon
I will start here by saying that superfoods are NOT essential for a healthy, vibrant diet or lifestyle. But sometimes they can be fun to experiment with, and for many they become a great source of vitamins and minerals they might otherwise struggle to get.
If you are going to buy superfoods on a regular basis, it’s always better to bulk buy them on Amazon. Most superfoods from various brands are sold here in 1k or even 2k bags, which work out much cheaper than those little piddly packets in your local Holland & Barrett or supermarket. You also won’t need to worry about finding a brand you like, or running out unexpectedly. Delivery will also very often be free.
7. (I don’t, but should) MEAL PREP
Meal prep is something that pretty much any health enthusiast will advocate, as a way to save time, minimise costs and keep cravings at bay. If you always have a few basic grains, veggies or dressings cooked or prepared in the fridge, it becomes so much easier to throw a meal together when you don’t much feel like cooking.
I first got the inspiration for meal prepping from Gaby Dalkin, but it is still something I fail to do very often as I’m so impulsive when it comes to choosing what to eat for dinner. Still, if you can do it, it’s a great habit to get into. Hopefully Gaby will have you feeling inspired like I was!
What are some of you guys’ tips for eating/staying healthy? I want to hear your tips so please leave them in the comments below!
Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Abel & Cole. This means that I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from them. As I only recommend products that I use and love myself, you’ll know you’ll be in good hands.