“I’m going to start eating healthy!” is a sentence I say more than I should. Sure, it is easy to say… But much harder to do.
I start off great every Monday — confident, you know? Then the week proceeds, and 40 hours of work later — plus exercising, housework and my cute, yet monsterish six-month-old chocolate Lab — and by Friday I feel like zombie.
So Friday night dinner consists of whatever requires as little work as possible, which usually means unhealthy and greasy.
It is definitely easy to tell ourselves that we are going to start eating healthy, but then it gets difficult, really quick. It doesn’t feel like there are enough minutes in the day to get it all done; planning, going to the grocery store and preparation all take too much time.
So, to help anyone who find themselves in situations like mine, here are some tips from Allegra Hart, a naturopathic doctor, to help making eating healthier and simpler.
1. Use spices
Stick to core foods, but use a variety of spices to give them different flavors. Stick to basic roast meats, says Hart, then you can add coriander or the basic salt, pepper and garlic; both can go a long way. To get recipe ideas, visit Hart’s website.
2. “Is the ingredient list a small novel?”
If you look at the nutrition label, and there are ingredients that you cannot pronounce, you probably shouldn’t eat it. “If it is a small novel,” Hart says, “it is not a good option.” So stick to things that either have a very short list of ingredients or have no ingredient lists at all.
3. A rule of thumb
“If you want to get really simple,” Hart says, “you can point to it on your plate and know what it is, you’re good.” This rule of thumb applies to meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.
4. Substitute the cravings
As all of us know, we all experience cravings. To help direct those cravings elsewhere, Hart asks what other options are there? Can you substitute that Reese’s Peanut Butter cup for a piece of dark chocolate dipped in some almond butter? “If you eat enough good fat and protein, cravings go way down and they don’t bowl you over,” says Hart. “When cravings flare, that typically means you don’t have enough good fat on a daily basis.”
5. What qualifies for a good fat?
“Forty percent of your diet should be healthy fats,” says Hart. “It will help create a good baseline to feed our hormones.” Some healthy fats are avocado, eggs, meat, nuts, nut-butters, and fish. To find more, check out this shopping list from the Whole 30 website, which provides plenty of different options.
6. “Keep it simple, keep it real.”
Once you try to get super fancy and complicated, things can move very rapidly and it becomes difficult to maintain, says Hart. “So keep it simple and keep it real.”
Allegra Hart, a naturopathic doctor, has been practicing for six years and is located on Maiden Lane in Wenatchee, across from Walmart. She has just released a new book Nourishing Space Within: Essentials of Self-Care which you can buy through Amazon.