It's a new year and a fresh start! With the new year comes new resolutions, and many of those resolutions include getting healthier in one aspect or another. Healthy eating affects our bodies from the inside out. It can help boost your energy, improve your mood and even lower your stress levels. The benefits of healthy eating are some of which you have to feel to believe. Once you begin your new year diet plan, you'll start to feel the small effects almost immediately. Simple swaps like replacing a sugary breakfast with a protein-filled one may help you stay more focused and full throughout the day. In the same way, avoiding sugary sweets in between meals can keep you from that post-lunch sugar crash.
If you want to learn how to change your diet for the better this new year, then you've landed in the right spot! We believe that healthy eating starts with healthy choices. Though you may not need to (or want to) change your diet up completely, there are simple steps you can take to start the path to eating healthy in the new year. Follow this guide to start your new year diet plan and learn how to eat healthy in the new year.
Load Up on Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies, ever heard of them? We thought so! We all know that fruits and vegetables are great for you, but did you know that they should be incorporated into every meal? While this may seem like a challenging task, it's actually quite manageable. Because of their delicious taste, it's easy to find ways to sneak them into recipes without it changing the entire flavor of the meal.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which have a variety of health benefits. They're so great for you that eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of certain diseases like heart disease and help you maintain healthy blood pressure.
Mix them into smoothies, serve them as a side or turn them into the main dish. Fruits and vegetables can be included in just about any dish. As of late, fruits and vegetables are being used in various vegetarian and vegan recipes as a replacement for meat, and serve as a great alternative. Cauliflower can easily be turned into a pizza crust or rice, while jackfruit can be cooked and served up as a sloppy joe! When thinking of ways to incorporate this essential food group into your new year diet plan, we urge you to think outside of the box! Whether that means replacing traditional noodles with spaghetti squash or swapping out the meat in your burger for a big portobello mushroom. These simple ways on how to change your diet are not only fun, but they're also incredibly flavorful!
Don't Shop Without a List (or on an Empty Stomach)
Though this may seem like an easy task, it's often a forgotten one. Grocery shopping can make or break your new year diet plan. The food that you have readily available in your house is the food that you will be indulging in daily, so make sure it's nutritious! Before going to the grocery store, try planning out healthy meals for that week. Look at the ingredients you already have in your kitchen and the ones that you'll need. Also, think about any unhealthy ingredients that you might have that you can swap out for a healthier alternative. Sit down and write your list out, or add it to the notes section of your phone. Whatever you do, just make sure you have it when you go into the grocery store.
When writing out a grocery list, we love to categorize items into different groups like fruits, veggies, grains, etc. Categorizing your list will help you stay on track when walking through the aisles, and keep you from bouncing from section to section. Knowing what you're going to buy before you enter the store will allow you to focus on the wholesome items that you need, and stop you from reaching for the sweet and convenient snack foods. If you do want to have snack food on hand, choose a nutrient-dense snack. Berries, grapes, homemade trail mix, greek yogurt, apple slices and peanut butter are all healthy snacks that you can add to your grocery list.
Another critical thing to remember when grocery shopping is to never shop on an empty stomach. When we're hungry, almost anything looks appealing, especially grab and go treats and chips. Hunger also activates a "need" feeling within us. We "need" food, calories and sweets. This need not only causes the shopper to grab items that they wouldn't usually, but it also causes them to grab more of it! The next time you're grocery shopping, try going on a full stomach. A full belly will ensure that you have a clear mind as you enter the store and will help you avoid buying unnecessary or unhealthy items. If you don't have time to eat a full meal before going grocery shopping, make sure you eat a healthy snack beforehand so that you don't shop hungry.
Try at Least One New Healthy Recipe Per Week
We understand that deciding what to eat for dinner each night can be frustrating. With the abundance of dinner recipes out there, choosing a meal can be an overwhelming task. In an effort to not be overwhelmed, when individuals find a meal that they like, they tend to stick with it and eat it over and over again. This process can leave people cooking the same recipes on autopilot for years!
It's time to get out of your comfort zone and allow your creativity to kick in! Instead of looking at eating healthy in the new year as a chore, why not look at it as a fun challenge? To change up your routine and keep you from getting bored, try to make at least one new healthy recipe per week. Doing so will keep you from getting stuck in a recipe rut and help introduce you to new flavors you might love!
If you're not feeling all that adventurous just yet, then choose a meal you know you enjoy and search a healthier recipe for it! When making your new year diet plan, there are so many great healthy alternatives and swaps for traditionally unhealthy dishes that you're sure to love! This Spicy Veggie Burger recipe is one of our favorite healthy recipes for well-loved comfort food. Made with our Brown Rice Farina, it's a protein-filled meal that's bursting with flavor! The brown rice helps add a meat-like texture to these veggie burgers that is delicious and filling.
Eat Greens First
If you're worried that you're not getting enough greens in your diet, then start serving them as a starter. By indulging in delicious greens before the rest of your meal, you're likely to eat more of them! Eating your greens beforehand will also help fill you up and prevent you from overeating during your meal. Vegetables have also been shown to help slow down the speed at which carbs are absorbed, which has beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.
If you know that your dinner that day won't have a sufficient amount of greens, then we recommend starting your day off with a delicious green smoothie like this one. Adding vegetables to your breakfast is a great way to jumpstart your day and sneak these nutrient-rich veggies into your diet. When combined with our Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster you'll enjoy a breakfast that will keep you energized all day long!
By now, we assume that you know breakfast is an essential part of your day. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of your day, but it also provides your body with the boost it needs to stay energized until lunchtime. Breakfast is an essential part of eating healthy in the new year because it's breaking the fast your body entered into while you were sleeping. The foods that you fill your body with when you wake up replenish it of the vital nutrients it used during sleep.
When choosing what to eat for breakfast, we recommend a breakfast that's high in protein. Oats, eggs and even greek yogurt are all great breakfast choices that will keep you fueled and full until your next meal. If your mornings are rushed and you don't have time to make a full meal, then try prepping these breakfast bars beforehand. Made with Muesli, they're a great source of protein and fiber and the perfect quick meal or snack on the go!
At Bob’s Red Mill, we firmly believe that what you put into your body matters. If you are looking to revamp your diet in the new year, start with these helpful tips above. Beginning with small adjustments to your diet will not only help you stick to your new eating habits, but it will also get you one step closer to reaching your goals.