Eating healthy may seem like a daunting task for many, but it's not all salads, fruit smoothies and protein shakes. With a few quick and healthy eating tips, you can start gradually switching your diet around for a permanent, healthy lifestyle change. It doesn't mean crash dieting, and it doesn't mean denying yourself all of those sweets or fried foods you enjoy.
Healthy eating is a process of eating consciously. Rather than look at your whole diet, focus on the food right in front of you while you're eating or shopping. How can you improve the health of this one item?
The biggest eating problem in most developed countries today is portion control. As restaurants and prepackaged food retailers do battle with each other over the best "bang for your buck," consumers have slowly lost sight of what healthy portions look like. If necessary, measure out recommended serving sizes. You may be surprised how small they look -- and how quickly your hunger pains go away. Eating isn't about being stuffed; it's about being sated.
Limit empty calories
In the world of biggest diet-killers, soft drinks and prepackaged snacks are king. These calories offer nothing of value to your diet, and often do very little to make you feel full. Even zero-calorie soft drinks can be damaging to your healthy eating, as studies suggest that artificial sweeteners stimulate your appetite.
Make smart substitutions
Consciously change up your groceries and daily consumption. For weight management, food with the best balance of carbohydrates and sugars are recommended. In other words, choose foods with a lower glycemic index. Instead of that loaf of white bread, opt for a high-quality whole grain. Rather than that double chocolate muffin for breakfast, try something with a little fruit in it, like blueberry or banana nut. Rather than popcorn shrimp for dinner, order grilled shrimp or shrimp in a light marinade. Have some fresh fruit or vegetables in every single meal.
Above all, make sure you consume no less than the recommended daily amount of water. Water is essential for your body's overall health, especially for flushing toxins from your body. It also will help you feel fuller during the day.
If you've ever tried to perfect your soup stock skills and have come up short, here are some suggestions and tips for making the most delicious stock you will ever taste. My recipes are only a guideline, so feel free to add your own herbs and vegetables to make a truly unique stock.
Pasta e fagioli is an Italian soup-stew. Save broken pasta (such as lasagna) and leftover beans to use in this pasta e fagioli recipe. It's thrifty, flavorful and versatile. It can be made from just about any kind of pasta and beans, and can be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using vegetable stock. Serve half the batch for dinner and freeze the other half for when you need a fast meal.