1. Eat More Veggies. So often, we think eating healthier means restricting ourselves in some way. What if you flipped that idea around, and focused this week on adding something, instead of taking something away? Vegetables are the most nutrient-dense, low-calorie food available. Try eating more of them at every meal and see how you feel.
2. Eat Better Meat. If you’re a carnivore, this week, try making a conscious effort to choose meat that’s antibiotic- and hormone-free, and that comes from animals that were grass-fed. Here’s one reason why:
Over-use of antibiotics in animals (often at big factory farms) creates resistant bacteria, making antibiotics less effective in treating human disease. Also, excessive consumption of antibiotics has been linked to obesity, as it affects the balance of good-for-you flora in your gut. Shop for better quality meat at farmers’ markets as well as Whole Foods and other conscientious grocery stores; and, if you live in New York or LA, use Clean Plates to find restaurants that source these high quality meats.
3. Take Tea Time. If you’re a coffee drinker, try replacing one cup of Joe each day with a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea, which has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. In addition to these health benefits, green tea has less caffeine than coffee — while some studies suggest caffeine may have positive health effects, I believe that for many people, generally reducing your caffeine intake is better for your body.
4. Take a Break from TV. Nourishment goes beyond just food. Many of us use TV as a numbing escape. This week, try spending more time on a favorite hobby and/or with people who energize you, and less time in front of the tube. See how it feels.
5. Read Food Rules by Michael Pollan. This easy-to-use guide is based on Pollan’s research showing how “different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food.” With one simple tip per page, Food Rules is a friendly primer that will help you on your path to healthy eating.
Does one of these tips seem especially daunting? Let me know, and I’ll offer additional tips and suggestions to help you meet your goals. Good luck this week, and enjoy!
Image courtesy of iStockphoto.