1. Change your grocery store. Find your local co-op, health food store, or farmer’s market and make this your primary place to food shop.
2. Start simple. Find 5 – 10 things you love to make (that are also health supportive) and stick to them for a couple weeks until you feel like venturing into new food territory.
3. Find your tribe. Who in your life will support you in your choice to live a healthy, vibrant life? Connect with them and chat about the new foods you are discovering and how they are affecting your life and energy.
4. Know that fat is your friend. Include avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and olive oil in your daily diet. This will keep you satiated and drastically reduce cravings.
5. Ignore the marketing hype. If a box or bag has a food claim on it (“reduces cholesterol,” “low sugar,” etc.) recognize it as pure marketing and move on. Real Food doesn’t boost health claims or come pre-packaged.
6. Shop organic. Reduce your toxic load and simplify the grocery shopping process by going right for the organic section.
7. Shop local. Find your local farmer’s market and save time by having your fresh fruits and veggies delivered right to your door step with your local CSA (community supported agriculture).
8. Eat double the amount of vegetables as fruit.
9. Follow the 80/20 rule. You can still include those sweet treats you love 20% of the time.
10. Learn to cook. This is a non-negotiable. Start small with some smoothies, scrambled eggs, and sautéed veggies. Find bloggers who inspire you and reference their websites for simple and healthy recipes.
11. Read labels. Empower your food decisions by understanding exactly what you are eating. Simple rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
12. Make it taste good. Eating well means that the food is both health supportive AND delicious. You can have it all.
13. Lead with love. Check in with yourself before a meal and see whether this food item is in alignment with your higher intentions.
14. Don’t put yourself in a box. You don’t need to put yourself in a dietary box when it comes to eating real, healthy food. Just think, “can I trace this food back to it’s origins?” Use that as your guide instead of saying, I am “vegan,” “vegetarian,” “Paleo,” etc. Let yourself off the hook.
15. Start with what you drink. Water with lemon or orange, topochio and ginger, and kombucha are great alternatives for soda and sugary cocktails.
16. Get prepared. Make sure your fridge is stocked with all the healthy, real food items you love so you don’t get stuck with an empty tummy and no food other than the fast food joint down the road. Make sure you are prepared and setup for success!
17. Slow down. At the speed most of us move today, it’s no wonder we are experiencing ill health. When you have a meal, slow down and enjoy each and every bite, thinking about the journey that food went on to make it to your plate. This exercise will be much more enjoyable with a big green salad from your local farmer instead of a plate of chips and cookies.
18. Know that it takes time. Eating real food is not a diet you adopt to for a certain length of time, it is a lifestyle shift. Start small and be patient. Don’t try and do everything at once. Be patient.
19. Find support. Creating a shift to a real food lifestyle can be much easier if you have a program to follow or coach to support you. Do your research and find a program that aligns with your goals. Here is a good place to start.
20. Clean out your pantry. Getting the food offenders out of your home is a powerful way to ensure you don’t reach for them in a moment of weakness. Clean everything out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer that no longer aligns with and supports your higher intentions of optimal health and vitality.
Have questions? Or more suggestions to add to the list?
Send them on over to Carly@carlyshankman.com