Around the first of the year I always get asked a lot questions from people on my Facebook and Instagram about things they can do to live a healthier life if they’re not ready to go fully plant-based. So, I thought I’d share some baby steps that you can start doing TODAY to live a healthier life. Whether it’s weight loss, decreasing inflammation, detoxing or just feeling better these steps will help you.
- Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Eating organic foods is better than non-organic because it cuts down on the pesticides and other chemicals that are used on crops. Some of those chemicals have shown links to cancer, hormone imbalance and weight gain. But know this – eating a non-organic avocado is better than eating an organic pop tart. A lot of people think that being organic means it’s healthy. That is not the case. Stick with eating real, whole foods that come from Mother Earth. Now, if you can’t find organic produce then make sure you wash it in a saltwater wash. Studies have shown that using 1 part salt to 9 parts water actually gets rid of more pesticides than vinegar or those fruit & veggies washes sold in grocery stores.
- Read Labels!
Most people just look at the calories on food when they should be looking at the ingredients. Just because something is 100 calories doesn’t mean it’s healthy. I’ve had to retrain my eyes to look directly at the ingredients list whenever I buy anything in a package. I rarely look at the calories because if it has good stuff for my body then I’m going to buy it. So many people don’t realize all the junk in food they think is considered “healthy.” I just saw the other day a “healthy” vegetable soup that had high fructose corn syrup in it and a bunch of other crap that I couldn’t even pronounce. No thank you! My rule now is if I don’t know what it is or how to say something on a food label, I don’t eat it.
- Get products to make things easier.
Good quality kitchen gadgets can really make healthy eating easier. A healthy step you might want to take is to drink a smoothie each day. Buying a good blender will help make that goal easier to achieve. If you want a good one that’s not crazy expensive, I recommend the Ninja. If you want one of the best then definitely go with the Vitamix. I love eating soups because they are easy and can be made extremely healthy with a load of nutrients. My immersion blender has made soup making SO much easier. If you love fried food then I highly recommend the Air Fryer. It gives you the same great taste and cuts the fat and oil out.
- Cut out this!
In 2015, the World Health Organization announced that processed meats (such as ham, hot dogs, bacon and lunchmeat) were a group one carcinogen. This puts processed meats in the same group as cigarettes, asbestos and plutonium so should we really be eating them? Just because you won’t see the effects of cancer right away doesn’t mean it won’t show up down the line – same as those cigs. Not only that, processed meats are a big cause of inflammation in the body, which leads to other health issues like arthritis and some auto-immune diseases. I highly recommend cutting this out.
- Find healthier versions of your favorites.
Nowadays, with so many healthy recipe blogs, like here at MegUnprocessed, you can find healthier versions of your favorite dishes. I encourage everyone to google “healthy” and then the name of the dish you are craving. If you’re going dairy-free then add that before the name of the dish when searching. Plus when you make your own food you know exactly what’s going in it. No hidden sugars or MSG or things you don’t know how to pronounce. I’m not saying you have to make every single meal, but eating most of your meals at home can be extremely helpful with getting healthy. Luckily, there are healthier and cleaner food choices at the grocery store now – just make sure you read the label!
I hope you or someone you know can use this guide to gaining a healthier life. If you have other steps that have helped you, I’d love to hear them below. Please feel free to ask me any questions too.