Adapting, pivoting, transitioning—however you look at it, making a change is difficult, even when you have the best intentions. When it comes to our health, we may look at incorporating a new way of eating or other new habits in order to live a more vibrant life. How do we get started? Where do we begin? Here are four easy steps to help you create healthy eating habits.
1. Know Your Why
Grab a journal and jot down why this new lifestyle or habit is something that you want to pick up. Maybe it’s so that you can be healthy to play with your kids, or maybe it’s because you want to one day run a 10k, half marathon, or full marathon. Maybe you want to stop the cycle of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease that you see in your family. Whatever the reason is, get clear about it and write it down.
Here are some prompts to help you get started: How do you want to feel when you wake up? If you felt this way what would change in your life? What would changing these habits allow you to change in your life?
2. Know Which Foods You Should Eat
We are all different and even “healthy” foods can have you feeling sluggish, bloated, and overall bad. Pay attention to these cues and adjust accordingly. Keeping a food journal is a great idea. After you eat, simply jot down what you ate and how you felt. You can do this in the notes on your phone or in a dedicated journal.
3. Practice Mindful Eating
Creating balance and bringing in more awareness, positivity, and using your body signals to determine when and what to eat is a mindful way of eating.
Ensure when you sit to eat, there are no distractions around and that you are fully relaxed. Taking time to give gratitude to the food that you are about to enjoy and chewing your food 25 times (yes, 25 times) helps you relish in all the flavours your meal has to offer, not to mention aid in digestion.
4. Learn Key Skills
Investing some time and energy into learning some key skills in the kitchen will go a long way. Like, learning to roast your veggies or making a simple homemade sauce.My favourite is a super simple combination of olive oil, lemon, and balsamic vinegar that goes great on veggies, salad, or tossed with some roasted chickpeas.
Changing your lifestyle takes time, as you will be doing some things that you haven’t done for years or perhaps your entire life, so your brain is going to want to go to what is familiar to it. Remember to give yourself grace and that this is a marathon, not a sprint.