Yesterday, I posted a question about where you guys need some more motivation for eating right.
The most common answers were:
– “meal plans”
– “eating healthy 98% of the time”
– “healthy eating”
– “struggling right now to eat healthy”
As you can tell, eating healthy is something many of you are striving towards, yet finding it tough to stick to.
And that’s ok. Remember, you’re battling years of conditioned eating habits and not-so-good food choices – so it takes time.
And if you slip once and a while or every day, then don’t fret. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing the best you can.
Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. I certainly am not. I do my best to let you guys know that I too am human and make some pretty horrific food choices every now and again (like the chicken wings that I had last week).
Each day is a new day and a new chance to start fresh. Don’t let yesterday’s choices affect today’s, ok?
With that said, I want to give you a healthy eating checklist that can help you stay on track throughout the week. As you’re about to see, planning and preparation are the key.
It’s actually ironic that more structure leads to greater freedom (in all areas of life). The less thinking you have to do, the better off you’ll be.
This is same reason why pilots do the same pre-flight inspection before every flight. And they don’t do it from memory – they simply follow a pre-defined checklist. You can do the same with your diet.
Item #1 – Kitchen Walk Around
Is your kitchen full of unnecessary clutter? Can you even see your blender or bowl of fruit? If not, clean up the mess. Get rid of that pile of dishes, put away what doesn’t need to be on the counter, and give yourself some breathing room.
A cluttered space creates a cluttered mind. And a cluttered mind can’t think straight, let alone figure out what to eat.
Item #2 – Keep The Essentials Within Reach
Which appliances do you use most – a blender, juicer, food processor, other? If you’ve got space in your kitchen, keep those visible and within reach.
As silly as this may sound, if your juicer is packed away in a cupboard, you now have one more obstacle in your way of making a fresh juice – the act of opening the cupboard and taking out the juicer. Yes, we humans are pretty lazy.
Keep whatever you use more often visible and put away the rest. If you never make coffee, then put away the coffee maker (note to self).
Item #3 – Compile a Weekly Grocery List
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we mostly rotate between 7-10 go-to meals. Even if we follow a diet (like Eating for Energy) which has tons of recipes and meal plans, eventually we default to a select number we enjoy most.
And that’s fine. It can actually make your life a little simpler sometimes.
So let’s say you’ve got 7-9 recipes that you eat throughout the week…
What are the ingredients needed to make them. Write these foods/ingredients down and the quantities of each.
Remember, get all the thinking done ahead of time.
This then becomes your master list which you turn to each and every week. Even if you try a few new dishes each week, you’ll always have your staples taken care of.
Item #4 – Chuck the Crap
Rule #1 of healthy eating: if it’s in your house, it will be eaten, especially if it’s a not-so-good treat.
For your body’s sake, go through your fridge and pantry and remove the treats and foods you know shouldn’t be in your home.
Here are some helpful tips:
– if it’s in a box, you probably don’t need to eat it.
– if it’s been advertised on TV, please burn it or return it.
– if it has more than 50 ingredients, don’t touch it.
– if it has a health claim or health check (ie. low in fat, “heart healthy”, etc…) then it’s doing nothing more
than deceiving you.
As you can tell, pretty much all packaged/processed foods will fall into this category.
Item #5 – Stock Up
So what should your fridge and pantry consist of then? Well, here are the fundamentals, which should make up about 90% of your foods.
– tons of fresh fruits and vegetables
– unsalted, raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews
– fresh (from the butcher) grass-fed beef, free run chicken eggs, organic meat, (if you like animal products)
– organic nut butters
Now you’ve got a solid base from which to work.
by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN Author, Eating for Energy
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES