Switching to a whole foods diet can be a transformational step that will bring you closer to becoming the happiest, healthiest version of yourself. However, making this switch can feel daunting, especially if you are accustomed to the Standard American Diet, which is comprised mostly of the many highly-processed foods that are so easily accessible today.
Let us reassure you that making the switch doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may sound, and it’s never to late to start. With the right guidance, transitioning to including more whole foods in your diet can actually be smooth and enjoyable. Here are some tips that will help you get started.
1. Make Changes Gradually
Research shows that making gradual lifestyle changes in four different areas can help prevent a vast majority of major health concerns, and your diet is one of those areas. By making changes gradually, you’ll make it easier to integrate the changes into your daily routine without the feelings of stress or overwhelm that come with big, dramatic transitions.
For example, you may start by choosing to swap one can of soda for a smoothie or cup of fresh juice each day until it feels natural. Or maybe you decide to switch from beef as your main dinner protein and use seafood or chicken instead. As you go along, you will quickly realize that these small changes are becoming more natural, which will make it easier to implement even more small changes and transform your diet.
2. Read The Labels
Even once you’ve fully committed to a whole-foods diet, there may still be times that you will choose to buy packaged or pre-made foods. When you do, just make sure you check the label before adding it to your cart. Reading the label will allow you to see not only the nutrition breakdown of the product, but also the ingredients. Scan the ingredients list and see how long it is and if you recognize the names of everything. If the ingredients list is long or contains things you don’t recognize, chances are that item was made with chemicals or additives that you want to avoid. Also make sure you note how much sugar and sodium the product contains so you can factor that in before making your decision.
3. Incorporate More Plant-Based Ingredients
One sure way to make the gradual switch to a whole foods diet is to start adding more plant-based ingredients into your meals. For example, add some extra fruit, nuts, or seeds to your salads or smoothies, put an extra serving of roasted vegetables on your dinner plate, or use whole grain pasta in your next casserole. Small changes like these allow you to easily add more plant-based foods to your diet without making big changes to your normal meal plan.
4. Consider Meal Prepping And Planning
For nearly all of us, day-to-day life is busy. We have work or school, family, friends, errands, and housework to tend to, and all that hustle and bustle can make it tempting ot opt for fast food or pre-packaged meals simply for their convenience. Being proactive by planning and prepping your meals now can help you avoid falling into that old habit later. By setting a meal plan and preparing as much of it as possible ahead of time, you will find that it’s easier to stick to eating healthier meals, and as an added bonus, you’ll also save a little money by not ordering take out.
5. Avoid Common Pitfalls
Anytime it comes to switching to any kind of healthier diet, there are a few common pitfalls that you should be aware of so you can avoid them. For starters, one of the most common ones is mistaking foods that are labeled as “low-fat” or “diet” as being healthy. In reality, these foods are often highly-processed, contain artificial sweeteners, or have unnecessary ingredients like extra sodium added to them.
Another common pitfall is not considering the big picture when choosing a meal. More often than not, people fall into this when ordering food at a restaurant, where they aren’t the one preparing every aspect of the meal. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and order a salad that’s full of fresh veggies, nuts, fruits, and seed. A perfect whole-food meal, right? Well, that depends on what type of dressing comes with it. If the dressing is one that is high in fat or sodium, then that salad won’t be quite as healthy as you think. With that being said, choosing a salad over chicken strips and french fries is still a win, no matter what kind of dressing you use.
6. Find Healthy Recipes to Try
Not everyone is a chef in the kitchen and it’s not uncommon for people to avoid preparing healthier meals because they aren’t comfortable in the kitchen. If this sounds familiar, rest assured that the internet is one tool in your toolbox that can really help you out. Not only can you find videos that show you how to chop and cook different types of food, but you can also find a surplus of simple and delicious whole food recipes to try. For example, you can have a spinach feta wrap for breakfast, a mushroom and shrimp quinoa risotto for lunch, and a vegan pad thai with tofu as your evening meal.
Live the #NewEarthLife
Whole foods are the way to go to keep yourself healthy all year round. For the best results, you can complement your meals with a supplement from New Earth. Made with all-natural whole food ingredients, these supplements will work perfectly with your new whole-food diet and help supply your body with any nutrients you may still be missing out on. No matter what you choose, we hope you will join us in living the #NewEarthLife by making small, sustainable changes to your diet today.