Hello everyone! Today I’m talking about something that I’ve been trying to get better about for years: eating well. When I say “eating well”, I don’t necessarily mean dieting or cutting out foods or whatever. Sure, diets work sometimes and some people are better about cutting certain types of food out of their daily eating habits, but I find myself getting wrapped up in the details a little too much…to the point of getting overwhelmed!
I like to think about my eating habits as, well, decisions. I can decide to eat however I want and say fuck it, but I find that I feel like garbage when I do that. Lately, I’ve been making better food decisions for my own health, like choosing lactose-free foods and more veggies. I thought it might be a good topic to talk about today, since I know lots of us are trying to adjust to better health habits in the new year!
Of course, I’m not a nutritionist and I’m not qualified to tell you how to eat. These are just my own opinions and my own trials and tribulations in the world of eating!
Listen to Your Body
First and foremost, you should always pay attention to how you feel after a meal. Bloated? Feel like garbage? You probably ate too much, or ate something that’s not super good for you! For me, I feel the worst after I eat anything dairy. It SUCKS because I love cheese and dairy-based foods, but lately I’ve been tweaking recipes and making them dairy free so that I can still enjoy them.
If you don’t pay attention to how you feel both during and after a meal, you may eat too much too fast (a problem both Matt and I have). When I met Matt, he always ate “until he hated himself”, according to him. Eating to excess is never good! You can control portions and make a point to only use serving sizes, but that gets hard when you go out to eat. Instead, I like to eat until I start feeling full. Drinking water with a meal helps that process, and I end up eating about half of what’s in front of me almost always. The leftovers are usually Matt’s lunch in our house, but do what you will with what you have leftover! Get creative!
Eat More Fresh Food
One thing that has helped me so much in terms of eating better is cooking at home. Obviously, people say that all the time! My thing is, you can cook at home but still make unhealthy food. Canned veggies are great for quick cook times, but I’ve noticed that some brands have wayyyy too much salt. My friend rinses his canned veggies before using them, and I really think that it helps cut that salt intake.
I was raised on fresh veggies and fresh food in general, so I tend to avoid canned veggies. I used to avoid frozen veggies but I think they’re yummy if made correctly! Of course, I will never fault anyone for using canned/frozen veggies because at least you’re eating some green.
I will say, though…fresh veggies really do taste different. I’ve been broadening my horizons in terms of vegetables lately, so I’ve been learning how to cook all sorts of different greens and goodies. I highly suggest looking for veggies out of your comfort zone and looking into how to cook them. Curious about eggplant? Buy some and roast it! Not a fan of cooked carrots? Try slicing some up real thin and throwing them in a soup. There’s lots of different ways to use fresh veggies, and Google will be your right hand man in telling you how to use them!
This might sound easy and silly, but plan your meals in advance. Even just two or three days in advance makes all the difference. After a long day at work, the last thing anyone wants to do is figure out what dinner is going to be. I’m real bad at planning ahead, but I’ve been making an effort to at least plan two dinners in the week…that alone has made all the difference in my house!
If you’re not a good cook, don’t worry! Start by looking up how to make something you already like. You like spaghetti? Don’t know how to make it healthy? There’s a million recipes online about how to make spaghetti sauce without lots of salt, with lots of veggies in it, simplified, with all sorts of different ingredients…the possibilities are endless. I guarantee you’ll be able to find a simple, good-for-you recipe online for anything you’re curious about trying to cook.
Once you’ve figured out what sounds good to you, make a grocery list focused on those meals. This is especially good if you’re trying new meals. I’ve been very into Japanese comfort food lately, so I’ve been structuring my grocery lists around different spices and sauces than what I usually have in my house. If you end up not liking what you’ve made with those “specialty items”, you can always look into what else you can do with the ingredients. We don’t waste!
Planning meals ahead of time may also mean prepping food in advance. The idea of cutting up vegetables to roast all at once sound intimidating after a long day at work? Do it the night before! That way, you can come home and throw everything into the oven in no time at all. It sounds awful to plan ahead in theory, but when you get home the next day and realize you’ve already done half the work, life feels a little better.
I hope my suggestions helped you guys brainstorm about how to make better eating choices! I’m real bad about sticking to healthy eating, but I’m determined to change my diet for the better. When I make better food decisions, I feel better and I’m able to let myself enjoy the “bad for me” food a lot more when I know I’ve been on the healthy track regularly.
Like I said before, I’m not qualified to give you actual factual advice. However, I’m always happy to share what’s going on with me, and lately I’ve been attempting to eat healthier! I’m stubborn, so I don’t like giving up food I love. I’m also willing to try to make the food I love healthier, and I think at the end of the day, that will make a positive difference in my life. Why not share that with y’all??