7 Steps to Mastering Healthy Eating Habits
1. Slow, steady and consistent
Changing up your diet and developing healthy eating habits also requires one to change their daily routine, which can be overwhelming for some. I recommend doing it a little bit at a time. Start by adding in one new food a week; or, focus on establishing a healthy breakfast routine first, then move on to lunch and dinner once you feel like you’ve mastered the first meal of the day. Starting out slowly and being consistent can lead to an overall healthy lifestyle change.
2. Batch cook and plan ahead
Batch cooking, or doubling/tripling up a recipe saves you time and a whole lot of stress, thereby ensuring healthy eating throughout the rest of the week. Simply portion out your meals into freezer containers then grab, reheat, and go!
3. Swaps and substitutions
Enjoy healthier versions of the same meals that you love. These are some of my quickest, easiest swaps and substitutions:
- Nut or cashew cheese recipes instead of dairy cheese
- Zoodles (not noodles), or try kelp or black bean noodles
- Rice paper or nori wraps instead of processed wraps
- Almond flour instead of bread flour for breading
- Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce
- Avocados for blending instead of mayo
4. Blood sugar balance is key
Make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand for when you’re having cravings or when you’re hungry between meals, and when you’re not at home. I recommend mixed nuts, my homemade protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, and berries.
5. Be intentional with your choices
Being prepared, especially when it comes to eating out. Checking the restaurant’s menu in advance will help you to make an intentional, healthy choice. You can also call them to see what kind of substitutions they offer. You might be surprised with how accommodating they can be.
6. Be kind and forgive yourself
Remember: Eating is for enjoyment, for our daytime fuel and for the longterm. It is only human to have some off days or meals (for me it would be about pizza and dessert). What makes the difference is picking up wherever you left off and starting again! Focus on PROGRESS and not perfection.
7. Get support
Making a change is always easier when you have the support and encouragement of those around you. It is also beneficial to enlist the professional expertise and support of a Clinical Nutritionist who can review your health and nutrition history, lifestyle factors, personal wellness goals, and health issues that have been affecting you and develop a plan for success.
5 Steps to Get Back on Track with Healthy Eating
Despite our best efforts to eat healthy, chances are that at some point, we’re going to indulge a little too much. Don’t stress… this 5-step plan will support your blood sugar balance, gut microbiome, and energy levels to get you back on track, as quickly as possible.
1. Hydration is key
Water is essential to nourish our brain, body and cells so the first step in your recovery plan is to hydrate with water. I recommend to my clients to start the day with a glass of water before your first coffee/tea and before each meal. A new study published in The Lancet shows that good hydration is also linked to healthy aging.
2. Exercise and choose what you like
Get your body moving. We all need different forms of exercise depending on our age, stages of life and goals. Exercise can help you tone and strengthen your muscles and bones as well as aerobic activity for our heart . Studies have also shown that exercise is good for balancing the gut microbiome, so it will help support your body’s recovery in more ways than one.
3. Focus on gut health
Alcohol, sugar, stress and food sensitivities can have a negative impact on one’s health, therefore, fermented foods—like sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi. as well as a diverse selection of fibre rich —or a probiotic supplement can help restore a healthy balance. Everyone has different needs and needs to be individualized with gradual changes.
4. Carb cycling or low carb can be beneficial
Processed and refined carbs are less nutrient-dense than protein and fats and will generally leave you feeling less satiated. Depending on your goals/concerns, carb cycling or eating a low-carb diet for a period of time may help to reduce inflammation and reset your metabolism.
5. Your next meal is what counts
Focus on what you can do TODAY to get yourself back on track with mastering healthy eating rather than becoming overwhelmed. Making gradual and consistent changes with the proper knowledge and implementation leads to success.
Marsha Fenwick, C.N.P. R.R.T.
Marsha is not your typical nutritionist. She began her career 20 years ago as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Later, she earned her certifications as a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner, Certified Nutritional Practitioner, and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner. Marsha is also a Certified Cancer Coach. Her clinical practice specializes in: sustainable healthy weight loss, digestive health, women's hormones, diabetes, heart health, and cancer prevention and recovery. For more information and to book a FREE 15 minute consultation go to www.marshafenwicknutrition.com