New habits take time. In fact, repeating something over and over for 21 days is the average duration it takes to create meaningful changes, and for this reason many people fail despite the many new year resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and jump into a different lifestyle.
3 Easy Ways to Empower Healthier Food Habits
Change and convenience go hand in hand, and that’s why we’ve put together a list of ways to make meaningful changes. Maybe you want to lose weight or lower your cholesterol or blood pressure. Maybe evening out your blood glucose levels is a major goal. Maybe you just want to have more energy and fewer aches and pains! Choosing the right food is the key to accomplishing all of these simultaneously.
Create Your Daily Snack Bar
Even the best of intentions get buried if they aren’t convenient, and the same holds true to eating more fruits and vegetables. How many of us have unwrapped or bagged up produce that never sees the light of day after the refrigerator door closes?
Each day in the United States approximately one pound of food per person is wasted. This equates to 103 million tons of food waste generated in America in 2017, or between 30-40 percent of the food supply, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Break the cycle, friends! Make a habit each morning of unbagging and washing enough produce for that day and then set it out on the counter in beautiful bowls or pack it in a portable container to take with you.
At home, your partner, spouse, or kids will begin to reach for the healthier snacks, too, if they are readily accessible and visible on the counter. And best yet, you can place any unfinished produce right back in the refrigerator to be pulled out again the next day.
If at work, have that produce sitting right on your desk to help ward off trips to the vending machine. Either way, a daily “snack” bar is an extremely effective way to ramp up your healthy intake of daily produce.
Start with Changing Up Just one Meal
Embracing an entirely plan for eating can be daunting. It means a different shopping list, prep and cooking time, as well as the decision on what to make in the first place. So, let’s dial it back and start with just one meal. Breakfast is the obvious place to start, and can get your day off to a positive start when you feel energized and ready to seize the workday.
Perhaps your current breakfast (if you eat one at all) is full of high-protein, high-fat foods (think eggs, bacon, avocado, sausage) which most likely leaves you feeling sluggish. If you are living with diabetes, this first meal of the day is important because it establishes your blood glucose control in preparation for the rest of the day. Plus, the foods you choose are crucial for giving your muscles and brain the energy they require to perform optimally. Head to this article for four simple salad recipes that will help you stay on track.
Eating a generous portion of foods rich in whole carbohydrate energy is a simple way to kickstart your day. Here are a few excellent breakfast options:
Fruit Bowl Topped with Chia or Flax
Many people avoid fruits because of the carbohydrate load but in reality eating a carbohydrate rich breakfast containing fruits does not cause blood sugar spikes or weight gain.
- 3-4 servings of any of your favorite fruits: 1 banana, 1 cup of berries, 1 cup grapes, 1 cup small fruits like figs, etc.
- 1 tbsp of freshly ground chia seeds or flax seeds
- add spices like cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, etc. to flavor for taste
Add in Leafy Greens
You can also add in high fiber, nutrient dense options for breakfast. Start with that fruit bowl and add in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, or even celery.
Add in Whole Grains
For a fiber-rich, nutrient dense addition, you can add in intact whole grains such as quinoa, barley, or wild rice. You can even enjoy legumes, lentils, and peas as part of your newly-energizing breakfast meals.
Yes, this breakfast switch will take a little planning and perhaps a new shopping list, but by making this a daily habit, you will find a system that works well for you and the daily energy levels and improved health benefits will pay you back tenfold.
Boost Your Daily Antioxidants
The science and medical worlds tout the wonders of antioxidants and how they aid your body. Whether you're looking at bananas, quinoa, kale, goji berries, turmeric, or any of the other foods that currently fall under the "superfood" umbrella, you can find extensive research that supports one common fact -- these foods are almost as much a medicine as they are a part of a balanced diet!
So, how can we easily incorporate getting enough antioxidants into our daily routine? Go for the one fruit that has the most antioxidants available - the amla berry! Amla is one of the most powerful antioxidants on Earth. In fact, compared to blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, acai berries, raspberries, and even turmeric, it's several times more potent!
The one problem with amla? It tastes extremely bitter. BUT, that is why we developed Amla Green. You see, when amla is mixed with oolong dark green tea, it tastes delicious. (That’s our secret!) So just one scoop a day mixed in your drink, smoothie, or even sprinkled over your favorite recipe provides a powerful boost of antioxidants. It's also a great option to drink while intermittent fasting, whether you’re fasting for its health benefits or religious reasons. Now that’s a daily habit that’s easy to keep!