If you've been watching my instagram, you know I'm on the journey to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The quarantine made me so lazy and gain extra unnecessary weight (oops!). I've been going to the gym several times a week, but being healthy is more than just working out - it's also eating right. I've slowly been converting my food and exploring new options, but it isn't cheap. Plus, you really need to do your research because what is claimed as "healthy" may actually be harming you. I'm going to share a few of the tips I've learned and key things to watch out for! Eventually I'll share some recipes with y'all, but this girl needs to learn how to cook first! (LOL)
Tip #1 - If a product has over 10g of sugar, stay away.
If there's more than 10g of sugar, you can guarantee that most of those sugars have been added. It's normal for a product to contain sugar, especially if it's a fruit with natural sugars, so you don't need to eliminate it completely. Besides, natural sugars are good for your body. We need them for energy. However, we DO NOT want additional, unnecessary sugar added to our diet.
Tip #2 - Stay away from sweets!
This one should be obvious, but it's so difficult sometimes when the holidays approach. You don't need grandma's cookies or that fruitcake your aunt just made. You don't need that tub of ice cream when you're PMSing or that chocolate shake when you're sad. I know these indulgences can be tempting, but they're terrible for you! If you are still going to eat these things, find healthier alternatives. I'm an avid ice cream lover, so I made it my goal to find ones that were delicious, but still better for you!
Tip #3 - Limit your dairy intake.
Calcium is good for your bones, but we should eat dairy in moderation. Dairy is the main contributor for bloating, inflammation, and digestive issues. These rules also apply for gluten! Yogurt and milk are good for you, but try to find healthier options. For me, I have been switching to dairy/lactose-free products and I feel so much better! Fairlife and So Delicious are great brands, so I highly recommend those.
Tip #4 - Say no to the dressing.
We all know that salads are good for us, but did you know that adding dressing instantly makes it unhealthy? It's true. Many salad dressings are loaded with sodium and added sugars. It basically eliminates the point of eating a salad at that point. If you absolutely can't live without dressing, try to look for a healthier option like a fat-free ranch or an olive oil drizzle.
Tip #5 - Avoid soybean and canola oils.
These are also inflammatory agents that can leave us feeling blah. I don't know about you, but I feel like inflammation is one of the key reasons why we feel unmotivated and unenergized! If you need oils to cook with, turn to avocado or olive oils. These are much better options for you!
Tip #6 - Stay away from red meat.
What? No red meat?! I know, I know. It's hard and it sucks, but red meat is full of grease! Try switching to chicken, ground turkey, or chicken sausage as alternatives! I made a stir fry with ground turkey instead of beef last night and it honestly tasted just as good, if not better! I didn't have to drain my meat after cooking it either, which was super nice!
Tip #7 - Limit your carb intake.
Carbs are not necessarily a bad thing, but too much can impact our health. Many of our healthy foods and proteins contain carbs already, so it's important to either limit how much pasta/bread we eat, or simply switch to healthier options. I've been obsessed with Barilla's Lentil Pasta and love mixing it with a pesto sauce! If you can't live without sandwiches or bread rolls, find either a wheat or multigrain option. I found a delicious multigrain bread from Trader Joe's that I'm absolutely obsessed with!
Some of my favorite healthier alternatives
There are a lot more health tips out there, but it starts with eating! You can workout everyday, but if you're not eating right, you're never going to reach your full potential. You don't need to give up everything you love, but try swit
ching things up and cutting back on others. Your body will thank you for it in the end! Staying healthy and fit can be hard, so I would love to see your progress or even read any suggestions you have! We're all on this journey together!