For someone who’s used to eating a diet full of … well… garbage … the road to healthy eating can be a daunting one.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky that even though I’ve always had a weakness for baked goods, my diet overall has been relatively healthy my entire life. After all, I grew up watching my mother exercising daily for as long as I can remember and her go-to lunch was cottage cheese and fruit (ok, so at the time it was canned fruit, very possibly in syrup, but that was the 70s and things were different then and at least it was fruit!). So, for me, playing around with my diet and weeding out the not-so-quality foods wasn’t that big of a deal.
But, I totally get that for some people it’s not quite so easy – and there are a million reasons why this could be so … crazy schedule, kids, husband, budget, etc. I get it! I do! But that’s why I’m constantly saying, “It really doesn’t have to be that hard!”
Can it be overwhelming if you’re not sure exactly what to eat, how to prepare the food, or even what to buy? Yes! Absolutely!
But, I promise, it doesn’t have to be!
One reason, when it comes to what I refer to mostly as “clean eating”, there are no rules. You don’t even necessarily need a recipe. In fact, I recommend avoiding recipes — especially those ones on Pinterest!Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest! I can spend hours toiling away and pinning one recipe after another, very few of which I’ll ever actually try. Why? Because I too get overwhelmed if there are too many ingredients.
So, put down the recipe, and pick up these ingredients.
- Olive Oil (or another healthy oil of choice, i.e. coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil)
- Lemon and/or Limes — or Apple Cider Vinegar if you like a little stronger acid flavor
- Garlic (or garlic powder if it’s easier)
I use those five ingredients in just about everything I eat and that’s the extent of it. Whether it’s a salad (romaine, iceberg, Kale or other), grains like quinoa, rice or noodles made with quinoa or rice, or veggies, I primarily stick to those five ingredients and it’s so easy.
Want a little more flavor? Keep these in the pantry:
- Indian flavoring: Cumin, coriander, ginger (highly recommended for the doshas that like warming foods, i.e. Vata)
- A little kick: Red pepper flakes and/or cayenne (added benefit that they’re good for the metabolism and building heat)
- Italian flavors: Keep dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
- Asian twist: Tamari sauce, wasabi powder, dulse flakes, sesame seeds or sesame oil
And then, have fun!
When I can’t really decide what I want, I either stick to the basics in the first grouping, or I take something out of the cabinet and take a whiff. If it hits me as appealing at that moment, I sprinkle a little in. If it doesn’t, I put it back and try something else.
It’s honestly just that simple!