Healthy Food Habits in 2020

by Jessica Locke

The New Year brings with it the promise and excitement of a “fresh start”. And for many of us that “fresh start” often begins in the kitchen (pun intended!!). This is the place throughout the holidays we’ve gathered with friends and family and indulged in food and drink that doesn’t always do a body good. We recognize that this is all part of the holiday spirit and we’ve got no regrets – but we also realize that for many of us – it’s time to clean it up a bit and support the new year (and our bodies) with some healthy food habits.

If a renewed focus on healthy eating is one of your 2020 goals we’ve got some tips to help ease the transition! But we’d like to state first that we fully acknowledge there are endless modalities of eating these days. There’s literally a cornucopia of choices when it come to eating styles or diets and these change constantly. We too change as our physical needs, tastes, budgets, beliefs, geographical locations, and lifestyles all ebb, flow and transition. So we understand the very personal nature of these choices and want to support your endeavors to be whatever YOUR definition of healthy is.

We hope these ideas might be useful.

  • First thing first – start with a clean slate. While emptying out your refrigerator and pantry isn’t practical or economical – we do suggest you give the kitchen a bit of an overhaul. Out of sight – out of mind isn’t 100% true – but it sure does help! Clean out whatever you deem is junk and make room for healthy additions.
  • Treat yourself to some new kitchen goodies. New storage containers, bright shelf paper, fresh dishtowels or some new measuring cups will help spark joy.

  • Get serious about portion control. Whatever you're eating - make sure you understand how much of it you’re consuming. Those new measuring cups will help with this, as will “snack size” baggies and an inexpensive food scale.
  • Here’s your excuse to scroll! Dive into Pinterest and start a new board for foods, recipes and shopping lists that work with your food goals. Gathering healthy and inspiring options will make meal planning easier and more enjoyable.
  • Enlist a partner! Odds are you have a friend, neighbor or coworker that shares your goal for healthier eating. Partner with them – not just for accountability (which is vital) - but for sharing recipes, coupons, trips to Costco and maybe even cooking. Wouldn’t it be great if once a week you could cook a larger portion and share between two families?
  • Spice it up! Many of us (unknowingly) miss the salt when we cut out fast foods and packaged foods for those offered by Mother Nature. To combat this – explore the wonderful options in the spice aisle. These days there are lots of spice blends and specialty products that really amp up the flavor.  We love Flavor God and Better Than Bouillon

    Image result for better than bouillon
  • Begin with an “additive” mindset. This means you focus on adding in good, healthy supportive foods instead of “eliminating” things you consider less than optimal. And remember – it doesn’t have to be an all at once endeavor. This isn’t like ripping off a bandaid (unless you want it to be!) For most of us - small changes and compromises work best for long term success.

    For example:

    • If you’re making the switch to a more macro-conscious ice cream – maybe you mix that last gallon of Eddy’s in with a new container of Arctic Zone. Wean yourself off the indulgence and prevent that spent money from going to waste while you do it.
    • Same with sodas – cutting out Coke? Start cutting it down with seltzer water. Before you know it you’ll be guzzling more seltzer than soda!
    • Incorporating more organic foods – start with one thing – like chicken or beef. You can move into canned goods and fresh foods when you see sales. Also- most grocery store chains now have their own line of organic foods. Start with those – as they’ll automatically be less expensive that the larger, U.S. brands.
    • Incorporating nutrient dense fiber into your eating pattern. Like suggested above – begin by mixing what you have on hand (and what your taste buds are used to) with your new choices. This is also a smart way to introduce “new” fibers to your digestive track! 

Lastly, I can’t emphasize enough how critical planning is. Meal planning helps with all sorts of things – efficiency of time at the grocery store, budgeting, tracking macros/calories. Etc., and actual time in the kitchen of course! Use your planner to prep for the week ahead. It will lesson decision fatigue as you get busy during the week and the Uber Eats app starts looking pretty good AND it will motivate you to stay consistent with your smart choices. Remember – the secret to success is to make failure the harder choice. Set yourself up ahead of time so that the right choice is the most convenient one! And you know – we’ve got a plan for that!

Any successful tips that work well for you? Please send them along – we’d love to know what you’ve got cookin #kitgirl!