6 Simple Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Eating

Roasted potatoes with lots of goodness on top, including cashew sour cream

As the holidays zoom by, we are faced with the idea of making new year’s resolutions.  We regard the new year as a fresh beginning, an opportunity to improve the habits and divergences that plague us.  I am not one to make & announce resolutions in January, as so many of my intentions have met with failure, causing guilt that worsened behaviors.  Instead, I like to quietly get a head start.  

Autumn veggie sauté

For most of my life, I struggled with bad eating habits. I went from eating fast food, processed foods, & refined sweets to eating so little of anything that nutritional deficiencies starting making themselves known. It wasn’t until I made some lifestyle changes that I was able to shift that.  Because these adjustments have worked so well for me, I’d like to share them with you now – before the start of the new year!

  1. Plan your week’s meals in advance.  And write them down or record them in your phone so you can refer back.  This is a foundational change that, once established, you’ll never want to give up.  This practice prevents you from eating on the fly, which is often dictated by what’s quick, easy, and often unhealthy, like pizza, fast food, & overpriced packaged foods.  Go to the farmer’s market or supermarket once or twice a week to purchase the items you’ll need for home-prepared meals. Planning and preparation are fundamental requirements for eating healthy, I’ve found.
  2. Find some healthy options at your favorite restaurants.  These may appear on your weekly meal plan or work as a plan B when you are unable – or unwilling – to stick to the original due to working late, crises, or other diversions.  Go online now to look at menus, noting the dishes that sound healthy and delicious.  Creating your own menu of restaurant options can assist you in prioritizing your health, even when you’re in a hurry.
  3. Prepare a few quick items at the start of each week.  Things like marinated tofu, cooked lentils, steamed or roasted veggies, roasted nuts, a big pot of rice or quinoa, and a special dressing or sauce require little active preparation time and can inspire you to look forward to throwing together your weeknight meals.
  4. Don’t buy candy, cookies or other junk foods that might tempt you.  Make eating the bad stuff inconvenient, and have nutritious snacks at the ready.  Whip up some healthy baked goods or truffles at home.  Or go with fresh fruit instead.  We enjoy dates with peanut butter.  And apple slices with sunflower butter.  Yum!
  5. Find a new healthy recipe to try once every few weeks.  Something about preparing healthy meals just feels nourishing, and sharing your tasty discoveries with friends can be great fun.  New foods bring diversity and excitement to your kitchen and to your gut’s microbiome.  Your happy microbes will reciprocate your good efforts.
  6. Express gratitude for your meals and eat in the calmest possible environment.  Feeling grateful on a regular basis alters brain chemistry for the better, studies show.  And eating in a stress-free environment, being mindful of the process, has been shown to benefit weight loss, mental health, and disease management.  Slowing down and paying attention wins again.
Roasted pine nuts

If you choose to forgo boisterous new year’s resolutions and attempt some quiet, December lifestyle changes instead, I hope you’ll include one or more of my healthy eating suggestions.  You may find that by the turn of the new year, you have already implemented healthier habits, resulting in beneficial changes in the way you look and feel.

Black bean & date cake with avocado-cacao frosting topped with fresh berries

Blessings for Good Choices,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

54 thoughts on “6 Simple Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Eating

      1. You’re very welcome! But I need to thank you for getting me so hungry and thinking about eating even better! Always room for improvement and for a few more mouthfuls!
        Great job you do there!

        One question; any idea way all the people like you who can really put it together and make meals fit for a king don’t seem to be anywhere in sight where I am?🌞

        God bless!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. This is my 3rd attempt at writing a comment. “Like” okay but “comment” has not been responding (all USA blogs that I follow).
    Lisa, many of your tips here my wife follows already. She makes a list of main meals for each week and then buys accordingly. Being retired from work we have the luxury of eating our main meal in the middle of the day rather than in the evening (as when we were both out working). So our greatest difficulty is deciding what to eat around 5-6 pm. We don’t eat after 6 pm. Teatime food has to be light and easily prepared so that our evenings are definitely stress-free!. Expressing gratitude at all mealtimes is something we need to practice more often.
    Have a great weekend 🌹🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Ashley, thanks for your persistence! Not sure what’s up with WP. Your wife is a smart cookie! Having your biggest meal in the middle of the day is the best way to eat, according to Ayurveda, as it makes digestion easier. As for gratitude, I’m often in a hurry to finish cooking & get meals on the table, so I find that most times, I don’t express thanks until after I’ve started eating. We’re all a work in progress, huh?! Hope your weekend is enjoyable, too! 🌞

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  2. Our eating habits changed (positively) when we started to plan our meals ahead. Somewhere during Sunday we sit down and plan our menu for the week – sometimes it’s very precise and other times just a rough idea … but it certainly helps to make sure we don’t rush into junk food during the week.
    I can’t even remember when last we visited a restaurant – maybe in April with my mom’s birthday … and it’s not because of Covid, but because we really enjoy preparing our own food (and to know what’s in our meal).
    Thank you, your list is of a big help and a great reminder of healthy eating habits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Corna, planning is indeed a cornerstone of success when it comes to eating! We don’t eat out often, either, for the same reasons. Plus we’re vegan, so there aren’t a lot of choices anyway! I appreciate your stopping by & joining in the conversation! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some great ideas, Lisa. I remember the first time I tried cashew cream cheese and later ate black bean brownies. It was confirmation to me that healthy foods could also be yummy.

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    1. Hi, Carla, making delicious vegan food is all about preparation, just like any other food. I think all the nasty tasting frozen stuff that came out years ago gave many people the impression that vegan food in general doesn’t taste good. I’m glad you’ve seen the light! Thanks for dropping by! 🌞

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  4. That cake looks delicious as does the salad. Unfortunately we haven’t had dinner yet so they only made me more hungry. These are all good hints, Lisa. Planning in advance works so well…when I remember to do it. Even if you can’t manage to do the entire week, start by doing half the week and then before it arrives, plan the next half. Not buying things you don’t want to be eating is key. I want to get back to trying a new recipe each week. One is quite manageable and more doable than planning too many and getting none done.

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband actually has the weekend off, so tomorrow we’re heading south to go up Mt. Lemmon again and perhaps visit Saguaro National Park once again. The next day we may head up north but not as far as Flag, I’m afraid. One of these days…

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your kind support, Janet. We did have a lovely holiday, thanks, and I hope you did too. Mt. Lemmon is beautiful. I’ve yet to visit Saguaro Ntnl Park, but it’s certainly on my list. Wishing you lots of joyful moments during your weekend travels! I’m looking forward to spending more time exploring soon. Maybe I can plan a day trip down your way after the holidays & you can take me to that lovely place that you’ve taken so many Nature pics! 🌞

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      1. Saguaro is well worth the trip. It would be great if you could come down. I’d be happy to take you to the preserve. I’m looking forward to a weekend of exploring and then to putting up my Christmas decorations.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Lisa! Thank you for this amazing article. Great healthy choices to choose fron. Great ideas. I never make new years resolutions, they never work out. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always, stay blessed and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. not you.. you didn’t struggle. Great tips and suggestions always..
    Wait … does that mean I have to throw out all of these delectable goodies?
    Don’t answer that… lm go eat em first.. 🤣
    The good news is they can sit and I’m not called to them like the sweet monster who used to attack anymore! 👏👏👏💖

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a grand post, Lisa. I appreciate all of your suggestions, and particularly enjoy the planning meals in advance and knowing about healthy options at our favorite restaurants. On the latter, it is good to check menus often if they change with the availability of local produce. Over the weekend, I went to a place at the coast I like to frequent and the options were pretty limited. We made it work, yet it was a good reminder for me to check early and often. I also appreciate your commentary on being grateful and eating in calmness. Such a blessing to read this post today. Thank you for sharing with us! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jeff, you have warmed my heart by referring to my post as a blessing! Indeed, it is important, especially for those of us who are plant-based, to check menus often, especially when traveling! Hopefully that won’t still be the case 5 years from now! Thank you for your lovely comment. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad this is so; it is a blessing as are you. Ah! Yes, I too hope in time to see more shifts to plant based options. You’re most welcome. Always. Have a lovely evening, my dear friend. ☺️

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