You Want to Eat Healthy? Part 1 | 3 Simple Steps to Kickstart a Healthy and Balanced Diet

New year, new you. Healthy eating is your 2019 New Years resolution? Gotcha. I’ve got you covered! Now that I’ve got your razor focus, I am going to give you a little free online coaching, right here on this blog post to help you eat healthier this year. In the next couple of blog posts my goal is to not only get you onto the healthy wagon, but to also help you find your healthy eating style, and build it along the way for a lifetime!

Making a change isn’t always quite so easy but making a positive change to your life is easier because along with the changes you make you will get positive benefits, which will reinforce you to make more positive changes! The only thing I ask of you is to seriously believe that you can do it. Commit and be consistent. Be consistent with the change you are deciding on making and stick-to-it like peanut butter and jelly, and avocados and whole wheat toast! Once you have nailed that change, you can add more into your tool box! Jokes aside, I believe you can do it because I have total belief in you! You’ve got my 100%!

Step 1 : Reflect and Picture what is a healthy and balanced diet to you?

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What is the meaning of a balanced diet? 

When I think about what is a balanced diet I focus on whether if my meal includes vegetables, a source of protein, carbs, and fat. I also seek for variety in the foods I eat per week so I can get a diverse range of nutrition. I also thinking about how much food I’m actually consuming. Am I eating too little and restricting my diet? Or am I eating too much? If it’s a yes to any one of those above, you’ve got some balancing work to do! :)

The power of imagery

Take a moment to reflect on how your current diet and picture what your ideal plate of a balanced diet is like. I believe the power of imagination is a powerful tool to kickstart action! If you can imagine a plate of healthy food in front of you, it feels more real and you’re more likely to feel it is possible to inspire a healthy change... make it a reality! Yes!

Picture half of your plate filled with two to three different colored vegetables, a quarter of it filled with a lean source of protein, and the last quarter filled with whole grain carbohydrates. Imagine your delicious plate full of vibrant colors and great flavor. Also, I didn’t forget about the fats category. Since most foods are cooked in cooking oil, it is not necessary to look for an additional food item to fulfill the fats category. Unless if you’re eating a salad that is lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil then you may include a side of healthy fats to make the salad more complete, such as avocados and crushed nuts!

Step 2: Cleaning Up in 3 Months

How can you replace unhealthy food choices with healthier ones for a cleaner diet? 

Once you’ve established what healthy components makes up a balanced meal. Now, the next step is to clean it up! Just like cleaning your fridge, we need to first clean out/use all the perishable foods in order to buy new and fresh ingredients to make new dishes. Otherwise, your fridge would be stinky and messy. We certainly don’t want that in our bodies, right? Our food choices work the same way.

Now, this is the part where things can get a little chaotic. Suddenly, you want to change every single bad thing in your diet and frustration of keeping it up can be overwhelming. Here, we are going to work incrementally and clean up your diet in three months! I recommend three months because this gives you room to make small changes every month but also gives you a time frame in which you need to achieve your goals by. 

First, let’s decide what food habits to change and how to replace them with good ones, which are good for your body.

When cleaning out your diet, here are three major ones to start with: saturated fats, excess sodium and sugars. All of which are commonly found in processed foods. So, start replacing processed foods with fresh and wholesome ingredients for a more vibrant you! When grocery shopping, shop around the outside of the aisles where all the fresh ingredients are located. If purchasing packaged/canned foods, look at the ingredients list for added salt and unfamiliar terms that you can’t pronounce. As a rule of thumb, anything you can’t pronounce is most likely a processed ingredient, not a fresh ingredient! Put it back in the shelf. 

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Smart tip: The key success to this entire process is to start small. Take small, manageable steps because before you know it, it will transform into something big. A whole, new, and healthier you!

Step 3: Follow Through and Implement

How to put everything together into a plan?

In this blog post, I want to leave with you how I am planning on cleaning up my diet in the next three months, so you can implement them into your life too! Just a heads up, I recommend start cooking more at home and eat less outside because home cooked meals can be more easily controlled than food prepared outside of home. Also, the following blog posts coming after this one will provide many more useful tips that you can apply when cooking in the kitchen or even meal prepping! Healthy Asian recipes and more! Oh, and don’t worry. I will also be offering tips on how to eat healthy when dinning our too. So now stress! :) I’ve got your back!

Here’s how my three month clean out works:

To retouch what we’ve covered previously. Our three month clean out includes three major categories: saturated fats, salt, and sugar. For now, just focus on eating a balanced meal that includes a vegetables, lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates, and healthy fats! Do this for two weeks. It is ok if your first week is not a perfect week of balanced meals but during your second week, you should be more familiar with this process. :)

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In month one, we will work on replacing saturated fats with healthy fat sources. In month two, we will work on ways to reduce sodium. And finally, in month three we will work on reducing added sugars! Doing this in month to month process will make this process a lot less overwhelming and a lot easier to maintain. Are you in this with me? I hope you are because it’s going to be so much fun. You’ll learn lots!

Final words

Wherever you’re starting from, the tips I am sharing all comes from personal experiences as well as from my nutrition and dietetics education background. If you have any special medical related health conditions, please seek for professional advice for your specific needs. I hope something I share here leaves some beneficial takeaways that you can use in your life!

Lastly, I recommend following through this clean out process step-by-step even if you think you’re eating relatively healthy in one or more of these categories, because you’ll be amazed how easy it is to overlook and allow small things creep up overtime. It’s always good to take the time to reassess!

Good luck! I can’t wait to do this with you! 

Any questions or comments, or things to share? Comment below! I'd love to hear from you! 

xxo, 

Christine Fei