Healthy Living

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Are you a healthy eater?

Do you even know how to eat a healthy diet?

If you’re like most people, you might feel like you could do a better job in the healthy eating category. Truth be told, I live with people who could tweak their daily eating habits and make small changes that would impact them significantly.

Hummus on whole grain toast is a great snack.

But, eating healthy is an individual choice. I can’t do it for you, just like I can’t force my family members to make healthy choices each day.

The good news, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.

I was putting this together for a close friend of mine and thought I would share it with you. I consider myself to be someone who eats very healthy. This doesn’t mean I’m perfect.  I absolutely allow myself to splurge and don’t deprive myself of anything I really want to eat.

What I’m committed to doing, most days of my life, is making choices that are good for me. It’s important to me and really does matter. What you put inside your body, what you feed yourself, has a direct impact on your overall health, your energy level and how you feel.

I’m not interested in diets or the latest food fad. Instead, I’m going to tell you how to make healthy choices, each day, that can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

By the way, you might want to talk to your doctor if you’re going to change your diet.

Dara’s Healthy Eating Plan:

I eat 6 times a day, almost everyday. My meals are mostly plant based, incorporating as many vegetables and fruits as I can. It takes a little time to organize, because I always need to have access to healthy fruits and vegetables, but you’ll get the hang of it. I promise.

It’s a good idea to rotate your foods.

What this means, is that you don’t want to eat the same fruits and vegetables each day. You want to expose your body to a variety of produce because of the different vitamins contained in fruits and vegetables. I try to eat at least 10 serving of fruits and vegetables a day, buy organic, and pay attention to this list of recommended foods to always buy organic, even if you’re on a budget.

You might be thinking, “10 servings a day is a lot.”

And, it is.

If you’re someone who works hard to get 4 servings of fruits and vegetables into your body, start slowly. Maybe, try to increase your plant consumption to 5 servings a day. Before you freak out, I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially once you get a clear understanding of what a serving size really looks like. Here’s an article by Eating Well, showing pictures of what a serving size of a lot of different fruits and vegetable look like. 

I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan but there are many days when I don’t eat any meat. I get most of my diary from cheese, because it’s delish,  and a few times a week I eat nonfat organic greek yogurt. I use almond milk or coconut water when I make smoothies or oatmeal.

When I do eat meat, I make sure it’s organic/grass fed and comes from a reliable source. I try to only eat wild fish.

I rarely drink alcohol but adore drinking hot tea, especially green tea. If you’re taking any kind of medication, especially chemotherapy drugs, make sure you talk to your doctor before starting to drink green tea. It’s been proven to interfere with some drugs. This just shows how powerful it is.

I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. When I do, they’re usually organic options that don’t have a ton  of ingredients.

When I eat out, I typically eat wild fish or vegetarian.

It’s important to have a strong digestive system. Eating fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles is an easy and healthy way to do this. There are many other ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. I encourage you to have fun exploring.

I almost never skip a meal and tend to travel with healthy snacks.

Here’s a typical food day for me:

When I wake up, I have hot water with lemon, usually about a half of a lemon. Sometimes, I add apple cider vinegar and raw local organic honey with a sprinkle of ginger.

My 2 favorite breakfast choices are:

oatmeal with tons of berries and nuts, cinnamon and sometimes a little greek yogurt. I often add dried coconut and chia seeds to my oatmeal.

2 organic eggs with tons of vegetables and whole grain toast with 1/2 mashed avocado.

Snack:

It’s easy to get hungry and eat something unhealthy. This is why you have to plan. Here are some of my favorite snacks:

Carrots/celery sticks with hummus

Hummus on whole grain toast or crackers with vegetables

Sliced fruit with almonds or walnuts

Organic yogurt with berries

Almond butter or peanut butter with fruit or whole grain toast sprinkled with cinnamon

*Fresh green smoothie (A smoothie made with spinach or kale, almond milk or coconut water and minimal fruit.)

*Fresh green juice (Fresh pressed juice made with vegetables and minimal fruit.)

*I try to have a green smoothie or green juice once a day. Usually, around 3:00PM. I tend to get tired around this time, and have learned this helps my energy level.

Lunch:

I usually eat a huge salad with a grain (brown rice or quinoa) and beans, sprinkled with turmeric for extra goodness. When I eat at home I make my own dressing.

It’s super easy.

Here’s how to make a healthy salad dressing:

Use equal parts of olive oil and either freshly squeezed lemon juice/vinegar/apple cider vinegar and 2 garlic cloves, mashed. Add salt and pepper.

Snack – see above

Dinner:

This can get a little complicated because I have a picky husband and teenage daughters. I try to always make a big salad and at least another vegetable. They tend to like it when I roast vegetables, so we usually have this. I always make some kind of grain, whole wheat pasta or wild rice. We typically have chicken, wild salmon, buffalo meat or beans. I try to use spices and fresh herbs for flavoring or marinades made out of real food. Pay attention to sauces. You’ll be surprised at how many hydrogenated ingredients are in a bottle of sauce. For dessert, I usually have a couple of squares of organic dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa. It’s full of antioxidants and something I adore. Deeply.

Snack – see above

Remember, start slowly and try to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. The longer you eat healthy, the more fun you can have, adding in new foods and experimenting with healthy recipes. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy healthy eating,

Dara