When you try to “get healthy” does your mind just start spinning? Yeah, I get it. In today’s world there is an overwhelming amount of information, opinion, and even science behind why and how to get healthy. You’ve got everyone and their dog swearing by the Keto diet, 75% of your friends are strictly gluten free, and it feels like there’s a new plant-based documentary out every 6 months.
That would make anyone’s head spin.
With so much information out there, it can be hard for you to know where the heck to start. Do you go on a diet? Which one? Do you change your eating style? Vegan? Vegetarian? Dairy Free?
Well, I’m here to tell when you’re just starting out you don’t have to do any of that.
Don’t get me wrong. If you’re goal is to lose some major weight then a diet, eating style change, and exercise is really the only thing that will get you there. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? A million times Yes!
But starting out you need to just keep it easy and here’s why.
If you start your health journey and the first thing you do is adopt some crazy strict eating lifestyle or go on some calorie counting food canceling diet, then you’re going to give up faster than Lorelai Gilmore can down a cup a coffee, and that’s a promise!
By keeping it simple you will have much better odds of actually achieving your goals. Start by picking one thing to work on at a time. Once that becomes a habit then you can adopt another simple change.
Here are my favorite healthy and easy food swaps you can start adopting today. Some can even help you break a bad habit.
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Sparkling Water for Soda
This can be a hard change but it’s so worth it. If you need some help just read these articles on why soda is bad for you. Not fun but necessary.
I know I know, sparkling water isn’t the most palatable, especially if you’re a regular soda drinker. The thing is, just like anything else you will acquire a taste for it. Just ask my husband and I. We both regularly drank soda and then decided the habit had to get kicked. We slowly started drinking flavored sparkling water and over time began to fall in love with it. Now I crave it all the time.
TIP: If you want to make it sweet you can add a few drops of liquid stevia. See #2!
Not too long ago we went out for lunch and the place we ate didn’t have tea, lemonade, or even Gatorade. Our only option was water or soda. We decided that 1 soda wouldn’t be bad, so we got some good ole’ Dr. Pepper. Two sips into it and I was ready to throw up. The overwhelming sweetness made my stomach turn so fast and it gave my husband an instant headache. We looked at each other and said, “Well, I think we are fully converted.”
Stevia for Sugar
I’m from Texas. That means I’m no stranger to sugar, especially in my Sweet Tea. If you’re from Texas, been to Texas, or know someone from Texas then you probably know that we like our sweet tea SWEET. Here’s a visual for all you non-Texas readers.
When my husband and I first got married we would put a full cup of sugar in a gallon of sweet tea. A FULL CUP! I know crazy, but we loved it.
Over time we kept cutting back the sugar until it was just plain unsweetened tea. Now I just put two drops of liquid stevia in my large glass of ice tea and love it.
If you’re brave enough then you can even swap out sugar for stevia in your baking. Just google or search Pinterest for some fun recipes to try.
DISCLAIMER: I have not tried baking with Stevia. If you do, then comment below and let us know how it went.
Homemade for Take Out
One of the easiest swaps you can make is to stop eating out and start making more of your meals at home. Research has found that those who make more of their meals at home eat less sugar and less processed foods. So this means less calories and less useless crap your body has to try and digest.
Not only that but they have found that it actually makes you happier.
Check out my post ‘5 Must Follow Food Blogs for the Every Day Mom’ for some great places you can find wonderfully delicious.
Organic vs Non
This is a pretty easy swap as long as your budget can handle it. Yeah I know, organic is more expensive but I can promise you that you will be able to tell the difference in the quality of the item. I, along with many others, can physically taste the difference. For me I can really taste it with milk and for some reason bananas. I know it’s weird, but it’s true. One time I tried to eat a non-organic banana and with just one bite into it I had to spit it out.
Here are some articles that will help you learn about the health benefits of eating organic!
Fresh Fruit & Veggies vs Junk Food
When your craving a snack try to reach for something fresh like an apple, banana, a bunch of strawberries, or even some cut up vegetables. Mine and my kid’s favorite way to eat cut up veggies is with a dip like ranch or homemade hummus. Honestly, I think that’s how I’ve gotten them to try a lot of different vegetables. Nothing beats a good dip!
Plant Based Meal Vs Traditional Menu
Wait…I thought you said I wasn’t going to have to change my eating style? Yes, I did, and I still stand by that.
I’m not saying go totally vegan, but you should incorporate 1 or 2 plant based/meatless meals a week. I’m not saying meat is bad for you or that you shouldn’t eat it, but just like any good thing, moderation is best. One of the biggest reasons I think this is a healthy swap is that it forces you to eat more veggies and if I was to guess, I’d say your probably not eating enough of them as it is.
TIP: Pinterest has great options for you to try but here are my favorite Vegan Food Blogs for you to check out.
Getting healthy doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. Just remember to start small and make one change at a time. Once your change has become a habit then adopt another one. Once this has become easy for you, then you can start attacking something much larger like working out 5 times a week.