10 Simple Switches to Make Your Diet Healthier
Our health is our greatest asset and implementing a better diet and lifestyle can have enormous benefits! According to the Cleveland Clinic, food can greatly affect how you feel; certain foods actually help manufacture the neurotransmitters in your brain. These neurotransmitters help “jog your memory, improve performance, increase pain tolerance, improve sleep and boost your mood.” Sounds pretty good to us!
Although “getting healthy” can seem like a daunting process, a sacrifice to our taste buds, a challenge on our bank accounts, and a threat to a lifestyle we’re used to – it really doesn’t have to be an intimidating or complicated change!
Here are 10 simple and healthy switches you can make to your daily routine to take the first step on your road to a new, more invigorating and rewarding lifestyle!
Instead of the breaded and fried varieties, look for skinless lean chicken or turkey breasts. Swap bison burgers for your traditional beef hamburgers during your next BBQ (they contain less fat and more protein)! Or try a vegetarian friendly option: a bean burger! They typically have fewer calories than meat varieties.
2. Cook with olive oil or coconut oil.
Switching your oils can provide healthier fats than regular butter. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known as anti-inflammatory agents. Although coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fat, it is a medium chain triglyceride, which contributes to enhanced metabolism. Plus, the coconut oil can add a new flavor to the food you are preparing!
3. Put a little lemon in your drink!
Besides adding a little flavor and variety to your water, lemons are known for numerous health benefits. Not only do lemons have strong antibacterial and immune-boosting powers, they’re also a digestive aid and liver cleanser, which helps with weight loss! Turns out this sour little yellow fruit is pretty sweet after all!
Think Gluten-Free are a fad? The truth is that Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance are a lot more common than you think! And unfortunately they often go undiagnosed! With an abundance of symptoms (including abdominal cramping, bloating, intestinal discomfort, tingling in hands or feet, mouth ulcers, depression, bone or joint pain, and fatigue) it can often be hard to pinpoint the cause. So give gluten-free a shot, see how you feel!
5. Change up your snacking habits!
This can be a delightful and easy change- as fibrous fruits and veggies tend to be more filling than a greasy and salty bag of chips! Swap one snack out a week, and increase as you go! Since fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory, and full of vitamins and minerals the body craves, we suggest trying an apple, grapefruit, cup of mixed berries, an orange, or a veggie mix of carrots, celery and cucumbers! Soon you probably won’t even want those chips back!
6. Try a breakfast sandwich
Instead of the regular bowl of cereal in the morning, swap it out for a breakfast sandwich, which will provide a great source of protein to start your day. Piling eggs and veggies on a toasted piece of Udi’s gluten free bread is a great option. Or try our Open Faced Salmon Breakfast Sandwich!
7. Switch up your salad dressing
When you’re looking for a yummy salad, skip the creamy dressings and go for a lighter option like a balsamic vinegar and oil or homemade variety made with lemon juice instead! If you’re enjoying a taco style salad, plain salsa is a great low calorie way to add some extra flavor!
8. Say ‘NO’ to soda!
We all know “soda is bad for you.” So instead of opening a can, try some flavored water instead. If you crave the carbonation, try a sparkling mineral water variety and sweeten it with your favorite juice, such as lemon, lime, or pink grapefruit!
9. Ditch the salt shaker.
If you glance at the nutrition label on your next meal or snack, you may be surprised by just how much salt is in your food already! The USDA recommends that sodium intake for one day should not exceed 2,300mg. So think before you shake! If you must use salt, opt for a more pure variety such as Himalayan salt or sea salt, as these varieties are less processed.
Getting your vitamins from whole food sources, such as fruits and veggies, provides your body with a more complete nutrient profile! Also, since the vitamin balance happens in nature you don’t have to worry so much about overdosing on a certain vitamin. So tomorrow morning switch your chewable tablet for a Mean Green Juice, a refreshing smoothie, or how about a Berry Protein Shake?
- Cleveland clinic: Food and Mood: January 2010
- University of Minnesota. Taking Charge of Your Health, Why is Fitness Important?
- American Institute for Cancer Research
- University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter
- Nutrition Review
- Celiac Disease Foundation
- Alkaline vs. Acid Food list
- Antioxidants in Fruits and Vegetables
- Himalayan Salt
- Mayo Clinic on Vitamin Supplements vs. Whole Foods