Do you feel like you are living a pretty healthy lifestyle, but you’d like to take it to the next level?
My clients are always looking for new simple habits that they can easily start implementing that will have a huge impact on their health.
It’s easy to get stuck in eating a certain way and sticking to our routines, but it’s also a good idea to change things up once and awhile.
This is especially important when you notice that you are lacking energy or having digestive issues.
I’ve compiled a list of some of the easiest ways to change up your diet for increased energy, better digestion, and increased metabolism.
Here are 10 Simple Diet Changes to Uplevel Your Health
1. Start Each Day With Hot Water With Lemon
After a long night of sleep, it’s important to start your day rehydrating. The benefits of hot water with lemon are endless. It is a great way to cleanse your digestive system, boost your Vitamin C intake, and aid your metabolism.
2. Green Smoothies for Breakfast or Mid-Afternoon Snack
I love to have green smoothies for breakfast on days when I need to quickly get out the door. It is a great way to pack in some extra vitamins, minerals and fiber into your day. This is also a great mid-afternoon snack for when you are starting to feel tired and need an energy boost. By choosing a green smoothie as opposed to more coffee or a sugary snack, you will avoid the inevitable blood sugar crash that usually comes after the coffee or junk food.
3. Salads Before Meals
A great way to increase the amount of greens you get into your diet and to help you feel more full with each meal is to have a salad before each meal. This is also a great way to achieve more balance if you decide to have a pizza for dinner, but start it off by having a salad first. Not only will you be getting more nutrients, but you will likely eat less pizza because you will fill up on some of the salad first.
4. Take a Daily Probiotic
To be honest, I had been hearing about probiotics for years, but only recently started taking them on a daily basis. This is actually one of the only pills I take each day. There are a lot of benefits for taking a probiotic daily which can include better digestion, urinary health, allergies, immunity, gut health, and stress. Not all probiotics are created equal so make sure to do your research and get a good quality probiotic. I currently take these and have heard good things about these.
5. Snack Less
You may be surprised by this one, but it is important to snack less and let our bodies rest and digest in between meals. It is also a good way to start tuning into your hunger cues. A lot of times when we eat every couple of hours it becomes hard to tell the difference between true hunger and not full. Once we can connect with our true hunger cues, I definitely think it’s important to eat when you’re hungry and not wait until the point where you’re starving. But I believe if you are eating complete balanced meals with a salad then you really shouldn’t be that hungry in between meals.
6. Reduce Processed Foods
I think it’s safe to say that everyone is aware that highly processed foods are not good for our health, but that doesn’t mean we need to completely eliminate them from our diet. In an ideal world it would be best to eat a diet full of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains, but sometimes you just want that bowl of cereal or those Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (my fav). It’s great to reduce processed foods as much as possible, but try not to focus on restriction - and if you’re craving something processed then by all means go have it.
7. Choose Organic As Often As Possible
I understand that buying organic foods is often a lot more expensive than non-organic foods, but I do think it can help uplevel your health if you choose organic as much as possible. Perhaps, it’s only once a week or only when you buy strawberries. Each simple change can have an impact. I strongly recommend using the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list as a reference for what is more important to buy organic.
8. Consume Less Dairy & Gluten (or try eliminating completely for 30 days)
There is a lot of information and research suggesting the negative effects of dairy and gluten. They are both inflammatory foods which may be affecting your digestion and stomach issues. Sometimes it’s a great idea to give your body a break from these foods and try eliminating them for 30 days to see if you notice a difference in your body. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a lifelong change especially if you do not experience any negative side effects from dairy or gluten.
9. Eat Seasonally & Locally
A great way to stay in tune with nature is to eat the vegetables and fruits that are in season where you live. When you eat with the seasons and locally, the flavor and nutritional value is of better quality. This is also a great way to save money because seasonal foods are often in abundance and therefore cheaper.
10. Reduce Alcohol & Caffeine
Lastly, a simple and effective way to up-level your health is to reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can deplete us of nutrients and can have long term negative affects on our liver. Alcohol and caffeine can also contribute to increased anxiety and stress which is never good for your health.
Now, I’m a firm believer in only trying to add one new change or habit at a time. If we try to change to fast or incorporate a bunch of new habits all at once, we will most likely feel overwhelmed and it won’t be sustainable. I recommend picking one of the habits above to start adding to your daily routine and once it becomes second nature, then you can go ahead and pick a new habit to work on.