4-Week Plan to Eating Healthier in 2021
A little planning to turn your healthy eating goals into life-long habits can help! I know … it is easier said than done, but it’s worth it!
During last month I tried three research-backed and expert-recommended habits that can make our lives healthier without resulting in a feeling of total change.
Be gentle to yourself, and try it. I am sure you can benefit from:
– Eating more fruits and vegetables.
– Eating less red meat.
– Balancing out sugar and alcohol helps everyone, but in particular people with autoimmune disease, like me.
Here are some tips on how to implement these habits in your routine:
Week 1: Eat (More) Fruits and Vegetables Every Day
Add greens to meals you already love. For example, add spinach to a fruit smoothie, sweet potato to a beef chili, or add some veggie noodles to spaghetti and meatballs. These small additions are easy ways to add servings of veggies quickly and deliciously.
To eat more fruit, thinking about substitutes and snacks can be helpful. Instead of berry-flavored fruit snacks, try munching on a handful of red berries. Add an apple to your lunchtime routine. Or plan to drink a fruit smoothie as a breakfast or post-workout snack.
Week 2: Eat Less Meat
Meatless Monday has been a well-known slogan for years, but for many, the concern around a meatless meal is usually about a lack of protein and a feeling of fullness. Plant-based proteins like beans and tofu are good sources of protein and other nutrients like fiber.
Look at finding new protein sources as an opportunity to try new recipes. In addition to new flavors and cooking techniques, you may also find yourself saving money on your grocery bill when you’re buying less meat — especially red meat.
Week 3: Reduce Indulgences Like Sugar and Alcohol
Are you having more than one alcoholic drink per day? Consider drinking only on weekends or swapping the second glass of wine for a glass of water. If you love a glass of red with dinner, you don’t need to give it up entirely. But more than one glass puts many people over that 15% mark before factoring in added sugars or saturated fat.
You can also portion out a serving of your sweet snack in a bowl, and once you finish, give yourself a few minutes to decide if you want more. You can also consider swapping a sugary snack for a piece of fruit to reduce your intake of added refined sugar.
Week 4: Put It All Together
Having a plan for what you’re going to eat for the week can make healthier choices even more effortless. Create a meal plan around new recipes you want to try and snacks you know you’d prefer to eat. Even factor in a cocktail hour on Friday, if you can drink.
Keep your fridge stocked with fruit, vegetables, and easy-to-grab snacks like hummus cups, apples, and high-protein hard-boiled eggs. If you can easily access the healthier options, you’re more likely to choose them instead of searching for chips in an overcrowded pantry.
And finally, don’t forget to hydrate. Many of the times we reach for a salty or sugary snack, we’re actually dehydrated. Get a big water bottle and fill it up in the morning to finish it before bed.0 Like