The new year is in full swing. Everyone is back at work, kids are struggling to wake up for school, and laid back mornings have been replaced with stressful ones. Before you get carried away in the rush of life, now is a good time to think about what you want to achieve this year or in your life going forward. The new year always feels like a fresh start, so use this time to organize your intentions.
Healthier eating habits and exercise are usually at the top of the list of new year goals. To achieve better nutrition, here is a list of steps to take to help you achieve this goal. You do not need to follow them in any order. Pick one step at a time and try it for one or two weeks or until you are ready to add a new one. Of course they are not the only things that will keep you healthy throughout the seasons. A healthy life is a balanced one and incorporates all aspects such as self-care, relationships, exercise, work, spirituality and food.
7 Steps to Better Nutrition
- Drink more water.
- Cook more. That's right, bake, roast, grill, steam or boil. Find a method that's fits into your busy life and practice it as often as you can. The more you cook, the better you will get at it, and it's healthier for you too.
- Whole grains. Swap out some of that white rice or white pasta for whole grain versions. When it comes to rice, it is also beneficial to soak it overnight or even for 30 minutes, if that's all the time you have. If you are sensitive to digestion issues, this can help your body break down the food. Remember that some softer grains like quinoa or millet don't need to be soaked and just rinsed really well instead.
- Eat more sweet vegetables. If you're prone to having a sweet tooth in the afternoon, try adding sweet vegetables for lunch (before the cravings usually appear) like sweet potato or pumpkin.
- Eat more leafy greens. Experiment with various greens to find your personal preference - kale, spinach, chard, fresh herbs and don't forget salad greens too like rocket, watercress, baby spinach.
- Experiment with protein. Aim to get your protein intake from a variety of plant sources and occasionally meat. Protein isn't only meat, there's a lot you can do with beans and lentils too.
- Eat less processed foods. The bulk of your food shopping should consist of whole foods, which can be found at the perimeter of your local supermarket, famers markets or organic food shops.