Want to eat healthy but don’t always feel like it? Here are tips to help!
Hi there! It’s Hannah again, Teri’s assistant at A Foodie Stays Fit. I’m honored to be writing another guest post, and I’m really excited about this post’s topic: eating healthy when you don’t want to. Teri and I joke all the time that I’m the guinea pig when it comes to testing to see if her healthy recipes actually taste good. Teri is someone who regularly drinks green smoothies, and most healthy recipes naturally taste great to her. Not so much for me, so I’m the one who makes sure the recipes she shares tastes good for those who don’t necessarily love eating healthy!!
Anyone who knows me well may laugh that I’m the one who’s writing this post. At school, I was known for making a small salad and then finishing off my meal with a bowl of Lucky Charms. However, I did grow up with parents who really value healthy habits, including meals. We eat family dinners as often as we can, and my mom has always made recipes with healthy alternatives. (Fun fact: Teri and I actually met through my mom since they run together!)
Since going to college, and now that I’m married, I’ve realized how much eating well matters. Obviously, this isn’t news to you. But throughout high school, I was always playing sports and didn’t think too much about what I was eating. Not the case now. I’m working really hard to make healthy choices each day since I am the only one responsible for my health. Healthy eating is a habit the whole world is getting behind. And so while the world accelerates forward with non-dairy creamers and avocado toast, I’m starting to catch up.
Before we dive in you should know that I think it’s important to note that I am a huge advocate of enjoying ALL foods ;). I love dessert daily (maybe not the best idea, but that’s just how I feel), and I also love grabbing food with friends, no matter where they want to eat.
In fact, I have an entire Instagram account devoted to food and drinks that I love called Hannah Holding Things. Here are some favorite posts of mine.
See what I’m working on there? 😉
Like I said, I love ALL foods. Here are some of my tips for making sure to get the right balance in your life.
Here are my tips and tricks to eating healthy foods when they aren’t what I’m craving.
This has been the #1 way that I’ve taught myself to eat more greens. I don’t typically like salad, but I knew that it was one of the easiest ways to get healthy greens in my day. I’ve started making a salad for lunch most days, and I don’t really mind. The deal I made with myself was: If you want something else for lunch, make a salad first, eat that, and then eat the other thing you wanted. This way, I end up feeling full after the salad and then only want a small portion of whatever else I had planned. I still have the yummy lunch treat I envisioned, but I had to eat the salad first. If you HATE salad, choose something you enjoy! You won’t stick with a habit if you’re miserable.
BTW, did you know Teri has a free course on “5 Hacks for Healthy Eating”? It includes a SUPER helpful ebook on how to build better salads. If you haven’t taken that course yet, subscribe here (it’s free, so why not?).
This is a trick my mom uses. I LOVE rice, y’all. I mean, I truly love it. And I prefer white jasmine rice over any other kind, but my mom rarely uses white rice while cooking. She sticks primarily to brown rice. She’s taught me that brown rice has actual nutrient value. Rice itself is essentially just carbs (which ARE important), but brown rice is also a whole grain, so it contains a fibrous bran and a nutritious germ, which are removed from white rice. So, if you like rice with your dinner, making the switch to brown rice is an easy way to choose a healthier alternative. Maybe you aren’t a rice person at all, but there’s likely something you love that you could find an alternative for.
It’s much easier to continue choosing healthy foods when I notice a difference. The quickest indicator that I need more greens or healthier foods in general is my skin. I’ve struggled with my skin for most of my life, and one of the most effective things for keeping it clear is eating clean and drinking water. It’s so simple that it actually makes me mad, haha! I also notice my digestive system feels better when I’m eating healthy foods – shocker. (Teri has a post with 12 healthy habits for clear skin and sure enough diet and water are on her list!!)
If you’re struggling to eat clean, you might need to switch up your menu. A few weeks ago I was in a recipe rut. I felt like I had exhausted the things we had in our pantry, which left me feeling uninspired (one of the easiest ways to slip out of a good habit). Spending 10 minutes on Pinterest was exactly what I needed to feel excited about some new recipes. I especially love Half Baked Harvest and The Defined Dish. And Teri has a ton of healthy recipes too! Even if the recipes I notice aren’t “healthy” recipes, you can always find ways to switch things out. As long as you’re excited about what you’re making, you’ll be more likely to stick to the things that make you feel good.
If you workout regularly, you’ll notice a HUGE difference in how you feel when you’ve eaten well the day before. I think this goes without saying, but it’s worth stating. You might not feel like salmon and a sweet potato for dinner, but you’ll thank yourself during your run if you chose that over Lucky Charms or fast food. To win the battle in your mind, take mental notes of how great you feel when you’re more energized and what you ate leading up to that. I’ve even made a note on my phone after a strong run that I could go back and read when I was uninspired to eat clean. Do whatever it takes!
I’m much quicker to snack on unhealthy foods when I let myself get to the point of “hanger” (hunger/anger). If I wait until I’m cranky, there’s a slim chance that I’ll choose a healthy option. The easiest way to beat this is to make sure you have a healthy snack available. I keep cashews in my car (Trader Joes has the BEST nuts), and I generally have an RX bar in my purse. These help me stay ahead of my hunger so that I don’t get desperate.
If you’re a devotee to healthy foods, these tips probably seem obvious, but if you’re looking for tangible ways to inspire healthy eating in your life like me, I hope these help. My mom says there’s a ton of power in “deciding a thing”. Make the decision and let your yes be yes. Be true to your word, just like you would be to a friend.
If you missed the guest posts I wrote prior to this, you can find them here and here.
If you have any other tips, I would love to hear them in the comments. And as always, you can find me over on Instagram here, or Hannah Holding Things, here.
Healthy Eating Helpers
Leave a Comment
3 responses to “Eating Healthy When You Don’t Want To”
Honestly the best way i can think to get them in is the whole seeing what you can stomach and what you can’t try either hiding it in food that you already are used to eating and mask the flavor and also use low flavor foods we well as like smoothies and blends and stuff only down fall is being picky and not having the machines to blend or process or puree fruit and veggies.
[…] Eating Healthy When You Don’t Want To – How you want to feel is everything. […]
Hi! Thank you for this! It can really be hard to eat healthy sometimes especially when there’s a lot of temptation (junk foods). Anyway, this is a great post. Looking forward to reading more from your blog.