With summer approaching, many people feel a renewed sense of motivation regarding the food they eat. Now more than ever, we can use our time at home to prepare for the coming months, reset our diets, and develop new mindsets toward the foods we eat. The last thing you probably want to do is jump into a difficult-to-follow diet. The truth is, not many people do, and if they do, it can be hard to stick to a burdensome plan. Instead, try developing habits that are easily attainable, and won’t disrupt your normal eating practices. What might those look like?
Write a healthier grocery list
Now that you’ve got more time on your hands, you can spend a few extra moments thinking about the meals you’ll cook in the upcoming week. Instead of grabbing the quickest-but-not-always-healthiest choice on the shelves, you can think about new recipes you’d like to try, meals you’ve been wanting to cook but haven’t had the time, and healthier meal-prep meals or snack options that will leave you feeling more energized throughout the week.
Add a few antioxidants to your diet
Though the coronavirus is in the forefront of our minds these days, we shouldn’t forget that we should also be protecting our bodies from other potentially harmful agents as well. Fortunately, antioxidants, nutrients our body absorbs from certain foods we eat, can reduce risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods will increase the amount of agents in our bloodstreams that fight these harmful diseases. Luckily, many foods filled with antioxidants are delicious, and they may already be a part of your diet! Dark chocolate, pecans, blueberries, strawberries, beats, and several dark greens are full of antioxidants and other great nutrients for our bodies. So instead of a handful of M&Ms for dessert tonight, break off a portion of a dark chocolate bar instead!
Eat foods rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C is power for our bodies. It aids in growth and development, as well as repair for our tissues. It builds our immune systems, protects against heart disease, and even keeps our skin glowing. This important vitamin keeps us well and helps prevent sickness—though when sickness comes, it can aid in the healing process. Try adding a few foods that are naturally rich in this vitamin to your diet. Many fruits and vegetables have high amounts of vitamin C, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and many more!
Take vitamins daily
One sure-fire way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients you need without eating anything new, is to take vitamins daily. Vitamins like C, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium are well known and wonderful for your body, but what about the less-talked about vitamins? The list is long, and it’s hard to keep track of all the great things your body needs. That’s why a multivitamin is greatly beneficial, especially for those who may be limiting their diet, decreasing their nutrient intake. Even if you’re not dieting—you just want to make sure your body has everything it needs—pick up a multivitamin at your local drugstore!
Replenish your fruits and veggies freezer stash
A lot of times when we buy produce, we’ll purchase a whole bag of vegetables or fruit, but it can be hard to eat it all before it spoils. Freezing your produce is a great way to reduce waste, and also to have nutrient filled food on hand. It may not be fresh, but frozen fruit is great for smoothies, while frozen veggies can easily be thrown into soups and casseroles. If you’re not already freezing your produce, spend some of your time at home filling up a few freezer bags with fresh food. You’ll be encouraged to eat more produce if you’ve always got it on hand!
There are a lot of options when it comes to eating healthier—ones that are sometimes easier than what we’re used to cooking. Spend some time thinking about how you can reset your diet this week, making room for better options that will leave you feeling better about your body!
“Mindful eating is about awareness. When you eat mindfully, you slow down, pay attention to the food you’re eating, and savor every bite.” Susan Albers, Psy. D.