Having a healthy diet does not equate to restricting food, cutting out everything you love, or being perpetually bored with your meals. The following five steps will help you tweak your diet to ensure you’re getting optimal health benefits from everything you consume:
1. Identify allergies and intolerances
Some people can handle milk just fine as adults while others lose the ability to digest it. The same can be true for almost any food – you can consume it without a problem for years but then develop an allergy or intolerance to it later in life. Symptoms can range from mild digestive discomfort, brain fog, and fatigue, to acute, life-threatening reactions. Since food intolerances aren’t always easy to spot, speak to your doctor about allergy testing if you’re feeling that something is not quite right.
2. Add a green smoothie to your day
Once you know what foods you can and can’t work with, it’s time to up your intake of greens. Adding a green smoothie to your day (preferably first thing in the morning) will benefit you in a number of ways. On top of the super-high nutrition content, adding a touch of fruit (think apples, berries, or pears) will also satisfy your sugar cravings, making it easier to avoid processed food. You may also be surprised to discover how potent the energy kick of a green smoothie is on an empty stomach. It beats coffee for giving you the bright-eyed energy you need to smash through your goals for the day.
3. Change your relationship with meat
While there are dozens of science-based benefits to going vegan, not everyone is keen on the idea of cutting out animal products altogether. If you decide to keep meat in your diet, then for the sake of your health, you need to rethink your relationship with it. Instead of making meat the base of every meal, cut it back to a maximum of two-to-three times per week. By doing this, you’ll improve your overall health while also having a positive impact on the environment and doing your bit to put an end to cruel factory farming practices. The internet is overflowing with tasty vegan and vegetarian recipes for you to experiment with, making this a fun step to implement.
4. Focus on what you get to add, not what you’re taking away
This one follows on from the last point. It can be easy to feel like you’ve lost something when you cut out or cut back your intake of animal products. The same goes for cutting out processed food. However, if you make an effort to replace everything you’ve cut out with something tasty and nutritious, you’ll be far more likely to stick to your new lifestyle as you won’t feel deprived. This is also essential for your physical health as it will go a long way towards ensuring you don’t suffer from any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
5. Get regular checkups
When making lifestyle changes, it’s important to monitor your progress and ensure you’re doing the right thing by your body. Stopping in to see your doctor twice a year for a blood test is a great idea. The doc will also check your blood pressure and other vitals to ensure you’re in the healthy range for everything. Regular checkups should be a part of everyone’s life – if you wish to live a long and happy one, that is!
Implement these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier future.