While it may seem like the only time we truly eat healthy is when we can literally pick the veggies off the vine, there are many steps to healthier eating we can follow year-long. Eating healthy is not only a positive step for your physical health, but for your mental and emotional health too. These steps to healthier eating can also change many other parts of your life for the better.
1. Indoor and Outdoor Farmers Markets
The popularity of farmers markets has grown exponentially in the past several years. Whether it’s January in Milwaukee or August in Texas, you will find a place to buy some home-grown goodies and baked wholesomeness to help you with your steps to healthier eating. There is even a website to find the farmers markets closest to you: nfmd.org.
2. Can You Can-Can?
You can keep summer with you all year long if you can it. Those beautiful tomatoes can be canned into numerous forms, whether as a chunky salsa, a beautiful spaghetti sauce, or a delectable bruschetta topping. Those cukes are just as variable. Even fruit has more than a cat’s quantity of lives with jellies, chutneys, and pie fillings to start.
3. Portion Size
All year long, the fight between our eyes versus our stomach is a battle we can ultimately win. Whether it’s keeping in mind a picture of that swimsuit we would like to wear at the beginning of summer rather than at the end, or just wanting to be the healthiest weight we can, portion size is a free way to work out your self-control.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an excellent way to partake in the bounty (and we do mean bounty!) of the season, without having to grow it yourself. Simply pay your share to your local CSA, and each week of the growing season pick up a bag of whatever is ripe at that moment. Usually you can choose between a small (2 people) or large (4 people) share. For most, it will feed more than this. It also gives you the opportunity to freeze or can what you won’t use before the next bag arrives. And let’s not understate the importance of supporting the local economy and buying from your neighboring farmers.
5. Veggie Potlucks
A great way to eat healthy is to share the wealth. The next time you have a get-together, whether for friends and family or for the neighborhood block party, why not try to make it vegetarian smorgasbord? While it’s true even veg-head food can have an exorbitant amount of fat and carbs, it doesn’t have to. Challenge yourself and each other to find the healthy in the veggies.
6. Scratch It
Food made from scratch comes not only with loads of love in each spoonful but also less preservatives than processed foods. Instead of heading to the frozen food section, test yourself to see what you can make from the fresh fruit and veggie aisles.
7. More Color, Less White Food
You will be amazed at how much of a difference it makes if you say "So long" to white rice, sugar, flour, and potatoes for a month. Your sucrose-soaked heart may be a-quiver at the thought, but the real shock to your system is when you realize you don’t miss the white stuff. The boost to your energy is as addictive as your old pal Sugar too!
Whether you’re making a giant leap or taking baby steps, the path to healthier eating will lead you to a spectacular new life. What are some of your favorite ways to eat healthier?