Are you working out consistently, but not seeing the results you wish to see? If so then it is likely that your nutrition is holding you back from making the progress you would like to see. Just like working out, healthy eating does not have to be a chore, but rather positive experience where you get to focus on your needs. It is possible to eat healthy, have dinner parties, make great family meals, feel full, and not break the bank. 

Like any new habit eating healthy will require some work at the beginning, but once you find a groove it will not take much time at all. Plus you will end up saving money by not eating out as one meal could cost $20, but the same money spent on ingredients can be used for multiple meals or hungry family members. If you need inspiration, the internet is full of great recipe ideas so no need to go out and buy all new cookbooks for the kitchen.

Keep things simple at first and then explore new horizons once you establish a base. Similar to building a house, your diet requires a solid foundation. Have your staple items that you get consistently at the store and then work towards spicing them up as you learn more. Bell peppers for example, make a great addition to so many meals. They can be used in salads as well as Mexican, Italian or Eastern dishes to name a few, and are available year round. Onions and garlic are also a great addition to any meal as well because they add flavor without having to add extra sodium.

It is helpful to explore some recipe options prior to going to the store, and then make a list of items that you will need for however many hungry stomachs you have to feed. You can also revamp your current recipes with healthier options too. Remember though that the list is essential because it  will help you avoid any impulse buys, and that it is best to go to the store with food in your stomach as that will reduce any craving purchases as well. Additionally, shopping and cooking in the same day can make this process feel like a chore, so try to have one day where you shop and another for preparing the food.

When you finally make it to the store fill your cart with produce and whole foods first as this will leave less room for processed foods, which are items that have a shelf life or come in a box or bag. If you have those crunchy chip cravings try substituting for carrots and hummus; you will feel fuller and more satisfied, plus you will be getting far more nutrients. If you are tempted to eat sweets or salt, then do not buy them at the store or utilize nutrient based alternatives. A great desert substitute for example, could be ground cinnamon with a dash of honey on a couple of dates with a few almonds, a frozen banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Ultimately, the cleaner your cabinets and fridge are, the cleaner your eating will be, and the closer you will get to achieving your goals! 


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