It’s January 1st, 2015 and your New Year’s resolution is to start eating healthier. You go to the store and you buy the food items you normally eat………meat, bread, milk, pizza, chips, etc. Except now that you’re trying to eat healthier, instead of buying what is cheapest or tastiest, you buy items labeled organic or natural to get the healthier items. When you check out, your eyes bulge at the total dollar amount showing. But, you tell yourself, I’m eating healthy, it’s going to cost a little bit more. After a couple weeks of “eating healthy” you make the decision that it simply cost too much money and takes too much effort so you go back to eating how you were before. Does this sound like a potential scenario for you?
How can you make your New Year’s resolution not only come true but stay true? It is absolutely 100% possible to eat healthy on a cheap budget. It is also possible to eat delicious healthy food that doesn’t take a lengthy amount of time to prepare. However to eat healthier and cheaper, you must be willing to change how you eat. You can’t expect to eat like a typical American, even if it is organic or natural food, and expect it to be healthy. Eating healthy is a process and as I get older, I continue to become smarter and evolve how I eat. I try to eat healthier every year and if you look at how I ate in 2012 compared to 2013 to 2014 to how I will eat in 2015, you’ll see a linear progression to healthier and healthier.
So what diet should you follow? Should you go paleo, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, vegan, etc? Should you listen to Bob at your local supplement store or Mary your local dietician or your friend’s mother who is a nurse and knows everything about diet. The possibilities are endless! And, so are the promised results! I think that sometimes people get too drawn into a specific diet and are easily burned out resulting in a quick reversion to old habits or comfort foods. I don’t necessarily follow a specific diet, instead I focus on several guidelines that I’ll list below.
Dr. Damhoff’s General Guidelines to Eating Healthy
- Don’t buy anything in a box
- Eat organic and non-GMO as much as possible
- The less ingredients the better
- Eat more fruits and vegetables than meat or anything else
- Limit dairy and grains
- Limit sugar
- Stick to drinking water or tea
- Get your nutrients through your diet, not your supplements
- Never eat fast food or consume soda
- Steam your vegetables
- Avoid the microwave
- Eat healthy at least 90% of the time
If your resolution is to eat healthier in 2015, make the commitment and don’t look back. Remember that it absolutely is a process. You’ll figure out what type of healthy foods you like and you’ll figure out how to prepare them in a timely fashion. Maybe you’ll even be like me and eat food that you used to think tasted good and think, well that doesn’t taste as good as I remember. You can never go wrong eating healthy, good luck my friends!
-Dr. Brian Damhoff