That’s a question I got the other day. How do you do it? Isn’t it hard? Well, I don’t eat clean ALL THE TIME. Only 90% of the time:)
Honestly it’s easy now, it’s a way of life. I don’t have to think about it. I re-set my auto-pilot a long time ago. But I haven’t always been a super-healthy eater. If you follow me and know my back-story, you know I’ve eaten a whole lot of Poptarts, artificially-sweetened fat-free yogurt, and processed, low-calorie frozen meals in my life.
Healthy eating is just as easy as eating Poptarts was in the past, I just feel a whole lot better now.
Here are 5 habits that make it happen:
- I learned to like to cook. I couldn’t make scrambled eggs when I was in college. The first time I baked chicken was a total disaster. But I kept trying, and I learned to like it. I got comfortable experimenting with new foods. And the more I cooked, the quicker I got. I can whip out a pretty fantastic meal in well under 30 minutes.
- I keep my food simple. My breakfast is generally a smoothie. My lunch is typically vegetables that vary with the season (raw, sautéed, or leftover roasted), avocado, and leftover protein (fish, chicken, or lentils). Dinner is only fancy on the occasional weekend night, otherwise it’s quick go-to meals that I can make in large portions like roasted vegetables, crockpot meals, soups, and fresh salads.
- I always travel prepared. I keep healthy food with me. Whether it’s on a few hours-long car trip or a plane ride across the country, I always have a plan for healthy food and a stash in my bag. Fruit, nuts, packages of wild tuna, protein powder packets…I always have snacks so I don’t resort to junk (or resort to junk to feed my kids). I have even been known to pack grilled chicken salads in Ziploc bags, and I’ve eaten them out of the bag with a plastic fork. Whatever works!
- I’m okay with being a ‘picky eater’. Picky in the sense that I read labels and I make special requests in restaurants. I’m worth it, darn it. And so are you.
- I grocery shop often. I always have pantry staples on hand, but my family goes through a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, so I end up shopping a few times a week. I’ve learned how to work quick trips into my routine, so it’s not a huge deal.
I also love to involve my kids in meal planning and cooking. We bake a lot, so we can enjoy ‘clean’ treats and never feel deprived.
When the 10% happens, I jump back on my plan with my next meal. No biggie.
Eating well really just takes a little planning and a change of habits. If you need a jumpstart, check out my Seasonal Clean-Eating Cleanse.
I would love to hear your tips for how you maintain a healthy diet in your busy life!