The witching hour is almost here, little goblins may soon grace your doorway, and the holidays are just around the bend! It is a special and exciting time, but it can sometimes cause us to get on the wrong path with our eating habits. Just one little treat from the Halloween basket and the trip down the path to eating 2 months of sugary foods suddenly begins. Many of us have been there and done that, and as tasty as holiday tidings are, they leave us feeling a little less on track with our goals than we'd like. That's when the resolution making begins. Sound vaguely familiar? But what if I told you that there is a different path you can travel over these next few wonderful, busy and tasty months? You can choose a new path and still enjoy every bit of the holiday season.
The key to looking and feeling your best is to keep it uncomplicated and simply focus on clean eating. In case you've heard the term "clean eating" but haven't quite understood what it means -- clean eating is all about consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed junk. Whether you’re ready to jumpstart your clean eating now or you’re wondering what it takes to get started, I've got super-simple steps for a no-fail progression into clean eating.
1. Focus on your inner motivation -- "Know Your Why".
Whether you’re determined to race in the Boston Marathon next year, or you have seen first-hand loved ones suffer as a result of poor eating habits, be clear about why you want to embark on this new path. Whatever it is that is motivating you to eat clean, bring it into your direct focus so you will be more successful in sticking to your plan.
2. Take a look at what you currently eat -- without judgement or guilt.
Before you begin your clean eating journey, it helps to journal for a few days about what you’re eating before beginning. This way, you can truly see what it is you actually consume and look for patterns. Are you skipping meals? Are you eating large meals at night? Are you constantly snacking?
3. Set realistic, measurable and specific goals -- Pick up 'one red crayon at a time'
When people make changes to things in their lives such as a change to their eating habits, they can set themselves up for significant failures if they don’t take it step by step. That means that if you want to be successful in the long-term, you should tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks, so you have a better chance of sticking to your plan. For inspiration check out my blog post the Lesson of the Red Crayon.
4. Clean out your pantry
This one can be hard, especially if you have a family and not everyone is on this new path with you. However, you need to take an honest look at the kinds of foods in your pantry. How many foods are processed or have more than 5 ingredients on the label? If you are committed to this new path, Be ruthless. Discard or donate the foods that will not nourish you on this new journey.
5. Refocus your grocery shopping strategy -- Buy real food.
We’re creatures of habit, every one of us. When we go to the supermarket, we usually follow the same path every time. Shake things up and head straight for the produce section. You really should be avoiding almost all of the middle aisles of your supermarket anyway because that’s where those processed food pitfalls lurk! I know you have heard this before, but it works -- shop the perimeter of the store.
6. Master meal prep -- don't let meal prep master you!
One of the easiest ways to dive right into clean eating is to prep your meals. You’ll find tons of healthy meal prep plans online that even give you shopping lists to use. If time is a factor, learn how to cook in batches and freeze for other meals or use for leftovers. Meal prepping will save you time and money, and you will be eating healthier.
It only takes small changes over time
to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle!
I’d love to hear your plans and cheer you on every step of the way!
In Health and Balance,