Eat Clean in 2015!
Happy New Year! Whether your New Years resolution is to eat healthier this upcoming year, lose a little weight, or improve your overall wellness, a well-balanced diet is the key. Not only will consuming a nutritionally sound diet help you look your very best, but eating well will supply you with the energy needed to conquer your day. To help get you started, here are five sure ways to success for tackling your resolution this year…
Eat Produce at Every Meal: There are numerous benefits from saving a place for produce on your plate. Not only will increasing your daily consumption of produce up your intake of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, eating at least five servings a day is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, and even certain cancers. Fruits and vegetables also aid in displacing foods that are more calorie-dense, an added benefit if weight loss is your goal this year. So help yourself to seconds!
Drink More Water: According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who hydrate with water rather than sugar sweetened beverages tend to have healthier diets overall including a higher intake of fiber and a reduced intake of sugary, calorie-rich foods. Water may also aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite and boosting metabolism.
Choose Whole Food Starches: Aim to swap refined grains for the real thing. An increased consumption of whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Whole grains act to increase satiety levels due to their high fiber content, making you feel fuller longer while regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. Get creative with starches and explore non-grain options such as root vegetables, squash, beans, and lentils.
Watch Out for Sugar: Enjoy your favorite treats in moderation. We have all been tempted by the creaminess of ice cream or the satisfaction of a warm chocolate chip cookie. Rather than depriving yourself during a craving, opt for a healthier alternative such as a square of two of dark chocolate. The success to long-term weight loss lies in finding a balance in just enough sweetness.
Stay Mindful: By tuning into hunger and fullness cues, we can more properly decipher between what our body needs and what our mind is craving. Although eating is essential to survival, reaching for a snack out of boredom, sadness, or simply out of habit is all too common. Try to become more aware of your hunger cues by disregarding any emotional interference.
If tackling these strategies all at once seems overwhelming, focus on one at a time such as drinking an extra glass or two or water each day. Work your way up at your own pace by making feasible changes a part of your daily routine. Remember, you have all year, so there is no rush! It is never too late to make a healthy change, so embrace 2015 and savor every bit!
If incorporating vegetables into your morning routine seems daunting, here is a delicious green smoothie recipe that will make your taste buds rejoice…
Green Goddess Smoothie:
2 cups almond milk
3-4 handfuls spinach
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Blend it up and have a great day!