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Healthy Food Challenge

If eating healthier is hard, you’re doing it wrong

We’ve all been there. You set a goal to eat healthier yet find yourself snacking on something that would make your prior enthusiastic self-cringe. That’s because your bad habits of choosing not so healthy food options have become automatic responses.

So, stop them! Give yourself a plan and start changing your unhealthy eating habits today.

First, let’s start with some basic rules…

1. Stay away from processed foods. Generally, the more your food looks like something in its natural form--the less processed it will be.

2. Eat in moderation and a variety of foods. Sure, blueberries are good for you but using them as your only fruit choice is not best practice. Eating a well-rounded diet will ensure you’re getting the different nutrients you need.

3. Be aware of how much you’re eating. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Also, take note of your portion sizes. If you’re in doubt look up serving sizes to see where you compare.

When you’ve been living off a steady diet of ramen noodles and take out, the smallest step of eating healthy feels amazing. But if you’re not taking a couple minutes to find different ways to prepare healthy foods that quickly fades.

You’ll find when you’re in a pinch it’s easier to go back to your old, unhealthy eating habits.

Change your eating habits by planning ahead and making good choices more often.

Find your health foods

You can do a simple internet search to look up the trending health foods of the current year. This is a good method since it is a current trending health food there will likely be lots of different blogs with information on new ways to prepare it.

Or you can go to your local health food store to see what’s in season. I like health food stores because they are generally more passionate about eating healthy and you can ask an associate what they like to eat, what’s in season, and how they prepare that specific food.

What do I do with this (insert random health food)?

1. Figure out how to store it- Americans waste tons of food every year by not consuming it before it goes bad.

2. Find a few ways to prepare it differently or search for other foods it mixes well with.

Here are two of my favorite healthy foods...

Beets

I’ve actually loved beets since I was a child. They speak to my soul. They have a brilliant red color and just the right amount of sweet. Plus their health benefits are amazing from anti-inflammatory properties to circulation support.

Obviously a beet is rather hard so eating raw is probably not recommended. They are easy to roast in the oven as you would any other root vegetable. After that you can juice it, add it to salads (it’s so yummy with feta), or cut in slices before roasting to make beet chips.

Avocados

Avocados are like the t-shirt of the health food world. They go surprisingly well with many different foods and tastes.

1. Sub it for mayo. Tuna salad with no mayo is sad. Tuna salad with smashed avocado is creamy, delicious, and much better for you.
2. Make it into a pudding. Sounds weird, takes a minute to acquire the taste but due to its creamy texture it makes an excellent substitute for milk.
3. If an avocado is about to over ripen, cut it into chunks and freeze it. You can use these chunks later to add to your morning smoothie.

The challenge

Buy a different healthy food item every week. You don’t have to choose unusual items every week-just remember to find new and exciting ways to prepare the item. And don’t forget to do a quick search on how to store it so it doesn’t go bad before you can try it!

What are some foods you are going to try this year?

Here’s a list to get you started:

-Matcha
-Miso
-Arugula
-Chia seeds
-Chlorella
-Hemp seeds
-Blackberries (look up “nice cream” and add frozen blackberries chopped in the food processor)
-Tahini
-Sardines
-Swiss chard
-Walnuts

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