For most, the road to eating what most would consider a healthy clean diet, is a challenging one. Information and advice can be found anywhere and everywhere. For the most part this information and advice focuses on what to eat, and not on the relationship that food has with our everyday life. It usually doesn’t focus on how food is grown and the socioeconomic impact of how we eat. For the majority it is very challenging to make significant and consistent positive changes to an eating regimen or nutritional lifestyle. Food is not only a part of our physical health but also, our emotional and social health.

Below you’ll find 7 tips to help you get started thinking about “eating healthy” in a whole new way:

  1. Know you! Be honest with yourself, and set yourself up for success by setting small attainable goals that fit YOU. The perfect plan is not the “perfect plan”, but, the perfect plan for YOU, is the one that you can consistently stick to.

  2. Use the 5/2 rule. Out of the 7 days of the week, 5 of those days your food should be prepared by you. Think clean, simple, and healthy. These same 5 days should also match your personal goals. On the other 2 days’ food can be enjoyed in a more casual setting whether it is prepared by you, or prepared by someone else.

  3. Eat real foods. Avoid and/or limit processed, packaged and canned foods.

  4. Fresh food tastes better. Buy local, the less the food has travel, the more nutrients it has and not to mention it’s more delicious!

  5. Eat organic when possible. Food that has been grown without hormones, pesticides or GMO’s is more nutrient rich and in turn, healthier for you. In the process you will be part of the movement to save the environment by being an economic participant and reducing your own carbon footprint.

  6. Cook! Plan ahead and cook for the week. Keep it simple, focus on the macros that fit your needs and goals. Use the 5/2 rule. By putting in the time to cook for the week you will be less likely to make poor choices and enjoy your other 2 days without guilt.

  7. Don’t be afraid of food, enjoy your food! Let dinner be a celebration, either with your partner, friends or family. Set the table, gather up, enjoy the food, enjoy each other, have a glass of wine, and start the conversation.

Healthy clean eating does not have to be a one-way street, or a dead end for that matter. Improve your relationship with food, allow it to be one of your physical and health cornerstones, allow it to be a social voice and reward. By having a relationship with food, rather than a goal attached to a mindless number, food will gain a much bigger meaning, it will become part of who you are, a part of your LIFESTYLE.