Pet Connections

Five Ways to Sneak Healthy Eating into Your Life

by Kristen Lane, Certified Health Coach

You’re a responsible and loving pet owner, making sure that your four-legged buddy gets the best of care, including high quality nutrition. But what about you? 

If you’re like most Americans, you rely heavily on food that comes in a can, box, or bag. In other words, processed food. The more food is processed, the lower the nutritional value. And without good nutrition, you won’t be able to give your best self to those you love. 

Think your busy lifestyle offers no other eating choices? These five simple steps may reverse that thinking. 

  1. Go slow.  It’s all about changing the way you think. Gradually begin buying whole, or minimally processed “clean” food. Start cooking a few meals every week, and increase from there. Crowd out the artificial additives with real foods, and you’ll begin to notice a positive change in the way you feel.
  2. Eat in color. Real colors of nature, not chemical food colorings. Deep green crunchy broccoli, bright blue berries, ruby red pomegranates, sunshine yellow zucchini, brilliant oranges, and crisp purple grapes. See the trend? Fruits and veggies. Nature’s superfoods. 
  3. Become a recipe sleuth. That tofu, flaxseed and yam puree dish is super healthy. Problem is, no one will eat it. There are countless recipes for simple meals with whole and minimally processed ingredients. You know what your family likes. Search online recipe sources and build your own arsenal of good stuff that they will actually eat.  
  4. Avoid fake foods.
    When buying packaged products, become a label wizard. The fewer ingredients, the better. Labels list content in order of highest to lowest, so make sure the first few ingredients aren’t additives or chemicals.  Watch out for product names that include the words “food” or “drink” (such as cheese food and juice drink). This is a sneaky way to disguise the fact that the product has little nutritional value, and is mostly chemicals.
  • Make ahead.

     Plan a whole day to prepare and freeze a week or even a month’s worth of healthy meals. There are plenty of resources, both print and online, that guide you through the shopping, prep and freezing process.

Re-programming the way you eat is not easy.  But it is do-able.  You’ll be a better you, and the wagging tails and wet noses in your life will appreciate it.

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