Now although I am a plant-based advocate, I am not always the healthiest eater. Trust me, I know I am going off the rails when I start craving deep-fried foods and end up finishing an entire bag of chips all by myself (yes, a large one I’ll admit). But luckily for us, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve which always manages to bring me back to a healthy lifestyle.
It is also important to remember that there are often moments in life that are unpredictable and result in us having to make unhealthy decisions. In my case, I often feel like a hypocrite for eating foods I am too ashamed to post a picture of on my Instagram page. What I have recently come to terms with is that moments like these will happen, and what is important is knowing where to draw the line and making the healthiest possible choice within the situations we find ourselves.
So let’s get to my tips on how to avoid making bad food choices.
- Stock up and clear out
I have learnt that the one space that will always be the easiest to eat healthy in, is your home. Why is this? Because in this space we have all of the control. When I first became plant-based I immediately had to stock up on plant-based foods and clear out all of the foods and condiments I no longer wanted to eat. The same applies to healthy eating! Stock up on delicious and healthy foods and snacks, and get rid of those things you shouldn’t be eating or have no self-control over! The chips, chocolates and 2-minute noodles (a secret old friend of mine).
Stock up on tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, interesting greens and legumes. Make sure to display these foods in a beautiful way to keep yourself visually stimulated by all of the beautiful fresh produce! I like to put my grains, nuts and seeds into glass jars, and display my fruit on the countertop in a bowl, ready to grab for a snack.
Trust me, you’ll be grabbing for an apple and nut butter instead of that bag of chips in no time!
- Keep it simple with easy go-to recipes
As I have mentioned before in various posts, Pinterest is your absolute best friend when it comes to planning what to eat and being inspired by plant-based meals. There are so many delicious and insanely simple recipes to choose from that will make your life so much easier, and healthier too! It is as simple as typing in “Plant-based dinner ideas” into the search bar and you have won half the battle. Be sure to create a page like “Healthy Plant-Based Meals” and pin away! You’ll have your shopping list planned in no time!
- Plan ahead of time
This tip goes hand in hand with tip number two! I highly recommend being inspired by delicious and simple meals you have found in a recipe book or through Pinterest before deciding what to eat in the week. Have a piece of paper with you or use the notes on your phone to jot down meal ideas for your week. Use these ideas and online recipes to make a grocery list and hit the shops with a clear vision as to what you’ll be buying for the week (stick to it)!
Another way to plan ahead of time is to meal-prep. So once you have returned home with your delicious ingredients, be sure to prep them to ensure cooking is a breeze. Wash your greens and fruits to have them ready to grab when reaching for a snack or preparing a salad. Or my personal favourite is to prep breakfast and lunch the night before! This is so easy when you have a few great jars on hand to make some overnight oatmeal in or to throw a salad jar together for work.
Make sure you are stocked up on tons of healthy snacks. I love having rice cakes on hand, healthy quinoa or other vegetable crisps, bliss balls (which are so easy to make), fruit, nuts and seeds, dates, peanut butter, bars, whatever you like really. The point is to have easy to grab, guilt-free snacks which will help tie you over until lunch or dinner.
6. Allow yourself outings to naughty food spots
Instead of being resentful towards your healthy diet, make sure you allow yourself those naughty meals every now and again. My biggest advice to do this well is to make sure you make a real outing or planned evening around this meal so that it becomes more about sharing in the fun with others than giving in to a craving. If you are just sitting on your butt at home craving naughty foods, you’ll create a negative association with these foods – and we don’t need that kind of guilt in our lives!
As I mentioned before, I often go off the rails when it comes to eating a healthy diet, but through these derailed moments I have learnt to use the above six tips to my advantage and stay on top of the chaos that is life! It is so important to remember that life is meant to fun and shouldn’t cause feelings of anxiety or disappointment on a daily basis. Have fun with your food and turn your fear of food into excitement!
It is so important for me to emphasise that eating healthily has absolutely nothing to do with being hungry or feeling unsatisfied. Rather, it is the opposite. Eating whole plant foods means eating incredible portion sizes and feeling more fulfilled than you have ever felt before. When you are hungry, you eat!
I hope my top tips inspire you to take hold of the reigns and get started on a new and healthy food journey, as there is nothing more empowering than being in control of your own health and happiness.
All my love,
Amber Gisele X