“Eat healthier,” says every doctor and life coach we’ve ever listened to. It’s also the one thing we always roll our eyes at, remembering the last time we tried the whole ‘healthy eating’ thing. With all the fad diets and contradictory advice, how do we even know what healthy eating is anymore? To make matters worse, trying to eat better usually involves looking up a bunch of “simple” (read: super complicated and fancy) recipes for healthy meals online.
Who has time to buy chia seeds or whip meringue when all we’re trying to do is replace the freezer pizza in our diets? Here at K-Chill, we know exactly where you’re coming from. The good news is that building healthy eating habits is way easier than the online recipes and diet fads make it sound. With a few tiny changes to your eating habits, you can increase your health without the hassle.
Let’s dive into our top ten favorite ways to make healthy eating easy this year:
1. Embrace the Dip
Adding some dip to your life is the number one way to switch from unhealthy snacking to healthy snacking. A little ranch can make an entire carrot and a head of broccoli disappear into your face with pleasure. If you dig hummus, that whole-grain pita doesn’t stand a chance. Healthy fresh foods you never thought to be a part of your diet are easy to eat when you have the right dip (and maybe a few containers full of pre-chopped snack portions).
Embrace the dip. Find dips you like, then explore the produce section and whole-grains aisle to find healthy things to put in your dip. Replace your potato chip and cheese puffs habit with some zesty dip snacks instead.
2. Eat a Complete Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—don’t you ever doubt it. If you skip breakfast, you’re way more likely to have unhealthy cravings later. The same goes for simple starch-and-sugar breakfasts like pop tarts or jam toast. So put a little effort into Meal 1 in the morning.
If you’re not a morning person, mix a pitcher of scrambled egg and spice (we like Greek Seasoning mix) and just pour it into a hot oiled pan in the morning. Throw in a few pieces of chopped broccoli and mushroom to make it a veggie scramble. Or enjoy a hearty breakfast muffin. You can even rock a few greasy breakfast slices of meat alongside.
3. Have a Weekly Prep-Festival for Ingredients & Snacks
Cooking fresh meals is a huge pain when you’re not used to it. So here’s the big clue all those internet recipe chefs never share: Prep Day.
When you come home from the grocery store, get the family together for a big chop-up. Chop up your veggies to quickly throw in the pan later or eat as dip-snacks. Slice up or patty your fresh meats for pan-ready cooking. (Press’n’Seal is a time-saver!). Pre-portion everything into Tupperware or baggies so that cooking later on takes basically no time at all.
4. Practice-to-Pro Your Favorite Well-Rounded Recipes
Practice making those meals you really do like to cook at home. Get so good that you can make your favorite casserole, soup, or chicken-and-veg dishes with your eyes practically closed. Practice makes simple, wholesome meals a no-brainer. Pick one to start with and branch out from there.
As for your selection, make sure these are meals that feature the food groups: protein, veggies, and starch for a nutritious and filling meal each time. Even better if you can make big batches to portion and enjoy all week.
5. Start Making Smoothie Bowls
Smoothies are the definition of getting healthy the easy way. Throw some milk, fresh fruit, and yogurt in for a quick blend-up of something delicious and nutritious. You can also throw in some truly amazing add-ons like protein powder or nootropics like K-Chill for an all-natural boost to your breakfast or dessert smoothies any day of the week. Here’s an awesome smoothie bowl recipe that makes the best use of our natural K-Chill powder:
Blueberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl
In a blender, mix:
½ cup of frozen Blueberries
1 whole frozen Banana
1/3 cup Almond milk
½ cup plain/vanilla Yogurt (I use vegan yogurt)
2 pitted Dates
1 tsp of K-Chill
Blend. Once blended, pour into a serving bowl.
Stir in 1-2 additional dollups of yogurt.
Top with granola, coconut flakes, blueberries, and blackberries! Enjoy!
6. Up Your Salad Game
Ever enjoy a salad? If you like a good Caesar, club, cobb, or zesty southwestern salad, it’s time to up your salad game at home. A few pieces of sliced-up lunchmeat and a sprinkle of cheese can turn a salad into lunch. Or a well-made bowl of Caesar can help reduce dinner portions for the whole family.
Don’t just make boring little lettuce salads. Zest it up with the ingredients and dressings you like best, and don’t forget the proteins!
7. Serve on Smaller Plates and Bowls
Speaking of portions, here’s how to reduce them without feeling like you’re skimping: Use smaller dishes. No, really. Start serving on salad plates and skip the giant cereal bowls when it comes time to spoon up servings.
Seeing food on giant plates makes us want to fill the plates and then empty them dutifully into our faces. With smaller dishes, you’ll start with smaller portions. And you can always get seconds if you’re hungry 10 minutes after finishing the first plate.
8. Switch to Natural Cooking Oils
If you already cook at home and want to get healthier, switch out your ‘default’ ingredients. Replace canola oil and butter with olive oil and coconut oil instead. These natural oils come packed with a few extra nutrients like Vitamin E and carry fewer heart-unhealthy fats in their oily depths. Not to mention bringing a richer flavor.
Word to the wise: Buy olive oil and coconut oil in bulk. They are so much cheaper than the little bottles. Reuse smaller bottles or even buy your own kitchen dispensers on the cheap.
9. Take On the Daily Water Challenge
Of course, the one thing everyone can do to reduce cravings and desire for food is just to drink water. If your tap water tastes nasty, get yourself a Brita filter pitcher instead. Try to drink just a few more glasses of water each day. In fact, sugar cravings are often your body saying you need water, not sweets.
Challenge yourself to chug a glass in the morning after you wake up. Drink a half-glass every time you want sweets—even if you snack, it’ll be healthier. Keep a cup of water at your desk instead of soda or sports drinks. Chug another glass of water about an hour before bedtime, and you’ll wake up feeling surprisingly fresh. Not to mention that mid-day water will kill the cravings for mid-day carbs.
10. Exchange Soda for Orange Juice or Sparkling Water
Last but certainly not least: reducing our shared craving for soda. Soda—especially caffeinated colas—is an addiction pretty much everyone shares. But it’s healthier to reduce your intake to a can or less a day. So the next time you crave a soda, pour yourself some OJ or sparkling water instead. If what you desire is the cold sweet fizz, chilled (sweet) sparkling water can fill that need with a lot fewer carbs. If what you crave is a thick, sticky sugar drink, then OJ is an excellent nutrient-packed alternative.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need a crazy diet or to follow some all-too-fancy internet recipe. Just a few small changes to how you do food at home can make a big difference to your overall health. From the K-Chill family to your stomach, we wish you good health with all your cravings satisfied.