Are you overwhelmed by all the “diet” and “nutrition” advice you see every day? Does it feel overwhelming to think about doing a complete overhaul of your eating habits? Start small. Here are some easy tips to help you amp up your nutrition and clean up your nutritional act, baby-steps-style. Try a new one every day if you can:
- Brew a pitcher of green tea and put it on ice for the week. You’ve heard the buzz about how good green tea can be for you—its catechins are purported to fight off some cancers and to speed up metabolism.
- Buy some pre-shredded cabbage slaw mix and whip up a mayo-less slaw. Research has linked a cabbage-rich diet (also other veggies in the brassica family like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, and kale) to a lower risk of breast and other cancers.
- Try starting your meal with soup, or an apple. Researchers have shown that if you start out with a low-cal soup or an apple, you will feel fuller so you consume fewer calories. I often eat an apple while I’m making dinner so I don’t “pre-eat” all the other stuff while I’m cooking.
- If you’re having trouble getting enough veggies into your diet, try drinking low-sodium vegetable juice.
- Serve fruits for dessert. They’re sweet, vitamin-rich, and fiber-full. Once you start eating fewer Oreos and other processed sugary-stuff, you really will taste the sweetness in fruits.
- Steer clear of candy with dried fruit. While dried fruit does have a lot of calories and sugar, it does at least have some food value and fiber.
- When you eat grains (breads, cereals, pastas), make them whole grains – a recent study reported that people who consumed whole grains, and bran in particular, as part of their regular diet were significantly less likely to develop hypertension.
Go easy on yourself. It takes a while to establish new habits. A few weeks—twenty-one days. Can you commit to trying some new things for three weeks? We all know how quickly that time can fly by … remember, you don’t have to cut junk out of your life wholesale, just make some incremental changes, and see if you don’t feel better.