The decision to start a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming. Especially if you have no clue where to begin. I found myself in that same situation…confused and overwhelmed (and my ADD addled brain wasn’t helping). I decided to take all the knowledge I was bombarding myself with and break it down. I would research one particular aspect of diet and nutrition, and apply it over a period of time.
The first step I took was getting rid of the chemicals in our food. By chemicals, I mean preservatives, MSG and other “flavor enhancers”, artificial food dyes and other non-food ingredients.
Read this post where I explain exactly what preservatives and MSG are, and the foods they contaminate.
Does this seem like a lot?
Break it down!
When you make your trip to the grocery store this week, leave out the processed snack foods…bagged cookies, snack cakes, fruit snacks, flavored crackers, and chips. In other words…no Keebler Elves, Little Debbie, or Chester Cheetah…anything with a character designed to give you a warm fuzzy.
Now…what to replace these with…
- Apples, oranges and bananas are always easy to find and available.
- Berries are one of the best sources disease fighting antioxidants. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are some of my favorite foods! You can also buy frozen berries and add them to smoothies.
- Wash and cut celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and/or red and green peppers, place them in a a sealed container in the fridge, and snack on them all week. If you or your kiddos aren’t too fond of plain ol’ raw veggies…dip them in some hummus or lowfat homemade Ranch style dressing (click here for the recipe). (Sidenote: To make the dressing lower in fat, use Nayonaise or another vegan alternative to mayonnaise)
- Peanut Butter Protein Balls (click here for the recipe)…only eat a couple at a time, as they are calorie dense, but filling.
- Lowfat, part-skim mozzarella sticks. Add an pear and some grapes for a complete mid-day snack.
- Fresh pineapple slices and shaved coconut.
- Greek yogurt…be creative with your toppings!
(Click here for this recipe)
Not buying it quite yet?
Here are a few of my favorite not-so-bad-for-you snacks. Use these sparingly please!
- Food Should Taste Good cracker/chips
These are a great alternative to chips. They are non GMO, made with whole grain, gluten free, and all natural…no preservatives or fake flavors. My favorites are Sweet Potato chips with a little organic raspberry jam or homemade apple butter, and Blue Corn tortilla chips with BBQ Hummus (click here for the recipe) or fresh salsa!
- Dark Chocolate…at least 70% cocoa
- Fruit leathers are a great alternative to fruit roll-ups and fruit snacks that kids seem to love (mine have never eaten them…haha!). I also enjoy these once in a while, especially when I feel my blood sugar dip a bit and I don’t have a piece of fruit available. I carry them in my huge mom-purse.
- Cookies…made from scratch with whole, real ingredients…cane sugar, real butter, real vanilla, etc.
This will be a 6 part series. I will post once a week to make it easier to incorporate these changes. If that is too much for you, bookmark or Pin the post, and come back to it later, when you feel that you have mastered the previous step.
Has this helped you? Do you have any questions so far? I LOVE comments and questions, so do NOT be afraid to ask!
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Have a WONDERFUL weekend!