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8 Tips for Cutting Processed Foods & Eating Better!

If you’ve been following my wellness journey on Instagram or here on my blog, you will know that over the past year, I have been immersing myself into the field of nutrition. I was recently certified as a nutrition specialist through ISSA online! As a young adult I never really cared about what I ate. I didn’t really care about anything I consumed. From age 20-24 I had a drinking issue and my main concern was consuming alcohol. This of course led to horrible eating habits. When I made the choice to get healthy in February 2017 I dropped the alcohol and I began my journey towards health. This journey has elevated immensely in the last several months. I have truly committed myself to making healthier choices and researching all that I can on nutiriton and wellness. It took me a few years to get to this point. I wasn’t sure where to begin or what to do to eat better. Over the years I have discovered some ways to make eating healthier a little bit easier!

We hear this all the time. Cut processed foods, cut added sugars, eat whole foods, eat your furits and veggies! It sounds completely redundant but IT IS ESSENTIAL! When you initially make the transition to eating healthier, whole foods, you will likely experience difficulty. Maybe you don’t “like” a lot of fruits or vegetables. Maybe you really love your chocolate chip muffin for breakfast everyday! The issue here is that your body is accustomed to eating a certain way. Your body is likely addicted to sugar. However, I am happy to tell you, from experience, that when you make the switch to healthier, whole foods, your body will eventually crave those types of foods. By simply eating whole, healthy foods for a couple of days in a row, you will already start the adjustment process and your body will begin craving healthier, whole foods in no time.

1. Cook your own meals at home.
This one is essential! Stop buying frozen dinners and fast food. If you must, watch some youtube recipe videos and learn some basic cooking techniques! Invest in a $20 blender and make smoothies at home rather than buying a processed, packaged “smoothie” at the grocery store!

2. Start with what you already enjoy!
Eat a banana. Eat an apple. Eat a cucumber with some salt. Don’t feel like you need to go buy some elaborate vegetable that you didn’t even know existed. You can start slow and increase as you become more comfortable.

3. ADD don’t SUBTRACT.
Another method is to simply ADD healthy foods. No need to stop eating your chocolate chip muffin in the morning. However, when you need a snack later, try having a banana. If you still want a cookie after, then go right ahead!

4. Write a success list at the end of the day.
Write a list of what you did during the day to contribute to your healthier eating. When I first began my healthy eating journey, I did this. In the beginning the only thing on my list was “I ate an apple today”. I used to rarely eat fruits and vegetables, so eating one apple was a pretty big deal. Now my list is long!

5. Add a green vegetable to a fruit smoothie.
If you like strawberry banana smoothies, try adding a handful of spinach- I promise you won’t even taste it! I also see many smoothies with added avocado. Avocado contains HEALTHY fat that will keep you full! If you still think fat is unhealthy, I URGE you to do some research on that topic!

6. Make baked goods with vegetables!
Instead of banana bread, make zucchini banan bread! There are a ton of baked goods that can incorporate vegetables without even tasting them! You can search “baked goods with vegetables” on Pinterest and you will be amazed! You can still enjoy your daily pastry, just in a healthier way!

7. Do what’s convenient
Pretty much all grocery stores have pre made salad kits. They are bags of chopped vegetables, nuts, etc. and dressing. All you have to do is dump it in a bowl nd mix it all together! Done! I personlly LOVE the salad kits from Trader Joe’s!
All grocery stores also have pre cut fruits and vegetables. Buy a veggie plate and leave it in the fridge for a snack.

8. Pair with dips and sauces!
If you can’t eat plain carrots, try dipping them in some hummus or ranch! However, be careful with condiments because many of them can be very processed. There are healthier alternatives. You can easily make your own dip! All you have to do is search “healthy homemade veggie dip” or “homemade humus recipe”, or “homemade ranch recipe” on Pinterest. Another option is apples and peanut butter! Just make sure you get a healthy peanut butter that only has 1-2 ingredients: peanuts (and salt-but there are versions without).

I hope you have found some value in this blog post! I also want to add that drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water is sure to benefit you as well! Staying hydrated ensures our internal body processes are working their best, including our minds! When we are even slightly dehydrated, our thinking becomes fuzzy and we aren’t performing to our fullest ability! So if you want to do SOMETHING to start your wellness journey but you aren’t ready to commit to something big, start with water! Go buy yourself a pretty water bottle and get drinking!

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