If you’ve now got a good sense of nutrients and healthy eating lifestyles, props to you.
Don’t let it slip away. “Staying on the healthy eating bandwagon is often more challenging than getting on it,” says Laurie Mitchell, RDN, assistant vice president of health and wellbeing at Unum.
This is the 15th installment in a new WorkLife series, Healthy Living Basics for Everyone. The sanely paced plan helps you with nutrition, exercise and lifestyle and includes a mental component that helps clarify goals and identify what might hold you back.
Here’s some food for thought (pun intended) from Mitchell to keep you on course:
1. Keep it simple. Healthy eating is pretty straightforward. You’d do well by simply leaning toward a plant-based diet. That can mean including fruits or vegetables at every meal. And shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Do it with a grocery list in hand, so you stay on task.
2. Aim for progress, not perfection. You might not have absorbed the details of micronutrients yet. You might still be decoding food labels. That’s okay. If you’re not going backward, you’re doing great. Learn a little more every week, and then put it to use.
3. Be you. Find what works for you. You don’t have to eat anything you don’t like, but be open to trying new foods and new ways of preparing foods. You’re almost guaranteed to discover a delightful surprise at some point.
4. Use your smarts. If anything— a food, a diet, a guru — sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Oldest trick in the book, yet businesses and people peddling fantasies still make money with it.
5. Go wide. There are countless (free!) sources to turn to for easy and healthy recipes, not to mention inspiration. Mitchell’s favorites include Food 52 and Eating Well.
If you still feel a little lost and want live guidance, don’t be shy about asking a pro for help, namely a registered dietician or registered dietician nutritionist. It can be “as much for guidelines and ideas as for dispelling all the urban food myths,” Mitchell says.
Or maybe you’d feel empowered with live guidance that teaches you kitchen skills. “Take an intro cooking class with a friend to learn basic food prep techniques, knife skills and recipe hacks,” Mitchell suggests.
Remember, you get to chart your own path. Find one that offers you the energy, joy and health you’re looking for.
Journalist Mitra Malek regularly creates content for wellness-focused outlets, including Yoga Journal, where she was an editor. Learn more at www.mitramalek.com.