(StatePoint) Improving one’s overall well-being is often top-of-mind when New Year’s resolutions are made. Positive lifestyle changes are heavily rooted in the kitchen — start there and take simple steps to achieve better health.
Whole Foods Focus
Fresh, unprocessed foods are the cornerstone of a healthful diet. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds — all presented in their purest forms, free of unnecessary additives such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.
Build a recipe for success with an ongoing grocery list that incorporates natural foods you’re excited to try, and begin to make small swaps. If it seems like an adventure, you’ll be inspired to avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, and stick to those that provide energy and key disease-fighting properties.
Excellent examples of power-packed foods include bananas, dark leafy greens, black beans, avocados, strawberries, peas, quinoa, almonds, chia seeds and rolled oats. Shopping tip: these foods are typically located around the perimeter of the market.
Mealtime Magic at Home
Take a few minutes each week to make meal plans. Preparing and consuming mostly home-cooked meals will train your palate to enjoy more healthful fare. And it’s worth the effort to know exactly what’s in each dish. Over time, you’ll learn to cook creatively with whole-food ingredients.
Heathy eating can be a breeze with a wealth of mealtime ideas that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. A high-performance blender, like the Vitamix 780, makes it easy to whip up plant-based concoctions like smoothies, soups and whole-food juices — even healthy sorbets made from nothing but frozen fruit. The blender has five touchscreen pre-programmed settings and an LED control panel to quickly create recipes with a single touch.
Stick to It
Now that you’ve committed to a whole foods-centered eating regimen, ensure old habits stay in the past. Take a few moments to write down scenarios that might sidetrack you and how to avoid them. For example, partner up with friends or loved ones to form a support system and encourage each other to make healthy choices when getting together for occasional meals out. And lastly– it’s okay to indulge here and there. You will be successful if you are happy about your choices and don’t feel restricted.
Focus on this new approach to eating to set out on the right course to optimal health. Understand what whole foods are, how to include them in your diet, and work with a support system. You’ll be well on the way to long-term success.
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Kalman & Pabst Photo Group
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