So you wanna transform your eating habits?? But you don’t know what to buy or where to begin. This post is for you!! It’s still the beginning of the year and there’s nothing wrong with changing your diet in order to live out a more healthier lifestyle. I don’t like the word diet, but more so prefer the term lifestyle. A diet automatically makes me think of being hungry, not being able to eat what I want and just all out suffering. But changing my diet as apart of my lifestyle gives it a more refreshing outlook. Think of it as changing one aspect of your life for the better! Now, where to begin???
Well, of course you should start at the grocery store. Have you ever walked into a grocery store and just gotten immediate anxiety? Now imagine walking into one in a completely different country with a language you don’t speak. Ha, there’s a challenge for you. The grocery store is my FAVORITE place to be. I feel at peace there. I literally plug in headphones and just…shop. I love a colorful grocery cart stocked full of fresh fruits and veggies. Below are some of my favorite staple things that are healthy, versatile and darn delicious!
My love for avocados transcends all things! It’s considered a healthy fat and has a very high potassium level, higher than bananas!
- They are loaded with fiber which translates to a better, overall digestion process as well as a healthy gut! Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the world and avocados have been proven to help mitigate heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides.
- Avocados also have anti-inflammatory benefits that can be used to help reduce arthritis pain or swelling.
- It can be used for yummy guacamole, as a cooking oil, as a salsa topping on tacos or when cooking fish, as a puree, as baby food, and even in place of mayonnaise! Avocados are a great breakfast food as they are filling and will definitely hold you over to lunch.
*Tip: When trying to determine whether an avocado is ripe or not, simply try to make a dent in the avocado with your thumb. If you can push it in, it’s ripe! If the avocado is hard, letting it sit out for a few days will ripen it up. You can always buy already ripe avocados as well!*
2. Sweet Potatoes
There are SO many uses for a sweet potato!
- Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A & C, which help maintain healthy skin and vision and boost your immune system, respectively.
- They are also an EXCELLENT source of fiber.
- They are high in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure
- They are rich in anti-oxidants which help fight free radicals that can cause cancer.I
*Cooking Tip: Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and cut sweet potato into half for easier cooking. Wrap both halves in foil and pop in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. When done, unwrap, let cool for about 2 mins and add a small amount of butter. Voila, done!*
3. Brown Rice
Brown rice takes a lot of heat, mainly due to its flavorless taste. However, brown rice is another must-have if you want to change your lifestyle eating habits.
- Brown rice has that good ol’ fiber which helps you stay fuller longer and helps with your digestive system.
- It is also another heart-healthy food and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
- If you or someone you know is battling diabetes, brown rice has a lower glycemic index than white rice, which has less of an impact on blood sugar.
- It’s gluten free!
I love brown rice as apart of rice bowls and soups!
*Tip: Cook brown rice in chicken or veggie stock! It helps improve the flavor. I also like to add onions to the broth to give it a sweet onion flavor!*
Blueberries are low-caloric and high in antioxidants, so high that blueberries takes the cake when it comes to anti-oxidant rich fruits and veggies.
- They help protect out bodies from free radicals which contribute to cell destruction, aging and diseases such as cancer!
- Blueberries make for the perfect snack! I love putting blueberries in smoothies and eating them right out the carton. You can also spice up greek yogurt with fresh fruit such as blueberries and raspberries.
- Ladies, blueberries also can help prevent the dreaded UTI, like their sister friend: the cranberry.
*Tip: Adding blueberries into your eating habits can significantly reduce the risk of cancer, improve your heart health and slow down cognitive decline*
Bananas are potassium in fruit form as well as rich in that good fiber!
- It is a nutrient POWERHOUSE containing everything from potassium to magnesium to iron.
- Bananas house nutrients that help moderate your blood sugar level and reduce your appetite making you feel fuller for longer.
- Bananas are a low calorie-nutrient dense food, perfect for helping curb your appetite and watching your caloric intake.
- Bananas can be consumed fresh or thrown into a smoothie, baked into muffins or eaten with yummy Nutella!
- If you are vegetarian or vegan, you and chickpeas are probably best friends. Right now, Jon and I are on a pescetarian only eating lifestyle and it’s almost been a month! He wants to continue it for the rest of his season (another 3.5 months). Literally last week, I discovered what I think are chickpeas in the grocery store. I’ve already been here 5 months. Crazy, I know.
- Chickpeas are a great meat replacement. They hail from the Middle East and are commonly used in dishes such as chickpea curry and the all famous hummus!
- Chickpeas are PACKED with nutrients such as magnesium and potassium and are another high-fiber, appetite satisfying treat.
- They are low caloric and incorporating them into your diet will make you feel full for longer. If you’re trying to manage your weight or lose weight, chickpeas are for you.
- Chickpeas are inexpensive and VERY versatile.
These are just some of the few must-haves if you want to kickstart a healthy eating lifestyle! It’s never too late to change and transform. What else are some of your healthy lifestyle must haves??