3 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier This Year

It's a new year and we know that many are going to begin new diets, new eating habits and a focus on health in general. I never claim to be a perfect, little organic eater because I promise you that I'm not. But I strive my best to eat as healthy and whole as possible (snacks are a different story here lately). There's days with this pregnancy where that is easier said than done, but I still strive hard when it comes to the meals that we cook (and the snacks that my child eats).

Let's take a look at three easy ways you can eat healthier and improve you and your families' health.

Shoot for whole, real food.

Whole foods are easy --- you're just looking for any and everything that is grown or raised. Limit your amount of processed items such as boxed dinners, instant items and snacks. While you'll always be able to find a couple of boxed items in my cart (usually a snack or two and maybe a Taco kit). I always try and judge the success of my shopping and weekly meal menu by how much whole food I have versus processed food. Eating whole foods are amazing for your body and reduce all of those nasty chemicals, toxins and artificial ingredients that we either

do know

of the negative health effects or still

don't know

about the negative health effects. Children need to see much more fruits, vegetables and "real" food on the table than boxed items. This can help reduce your possibility of having a picky eater and it ensures that they are getting more vitamins and nutrients. Chances are, this will lower your grocery budget and provide many more meals for you that may include more leftovers. If you're going to buy processed, there are alternative brands out there such as Annie's that can provide you with healthier processed items. 

Strive for organic that is affordable.

A lot of consumers think that shopping organically is a major increase in budget. Truth be told, for the most part it is really not. There are some items (such as shredded cheese) that has major prices differences, and that is just when you decide which organic items are important to you. For instance, I put organic produce at the top of my priority list and then work organic milk, eggs and tomato sauces into our budget. From there I pick and choose where I can/want to invest in the organic items based on importance. If you can't afford all organic items (not many of us probably can) then strive for produce. Then if you can't afford


organic produce, strive for purchasing the

dirty dozen plus

organically. These are the items that always come back from testing and research as containing the most pesticides and chemicals. 

Drink real stuff.

Not artificial juices, not powerades, carbonated drinks and Red Bull. Drink water, drink milk and drink 100% fruit juice when appropriate. There's no need to put so many additional sugars and chemicals into your body. An artificial juice will have quite a few ingredients whereas real juice usually has about two ingredients. Save these things for an occasional treat if you must and you'll enjoy it so much more!

That's it. No fancy diet, no crazy tactics...just real food for your body! 

Is eating healthy a goal for you this new year?