Usually, when I think of healthy eating, I think of dieting. And dieting makes me think of harsh rules, starving myself, and eventually giving up. However, I’m learning that there are a lot of little changes that can be incorporated into my meals and my lifestyle that aren’t restrictive or difficult. In fact, some of these little tricks and tips don’t have anything to do with what I eat, but rather how I prepare the food or drink! Check out some easy ways to eat healthier in the list below.
Put a Lid on it
How easy is this first tip? If you’re an avid tea drinker, or even if you only have tea when the mood strikes, then this one is for you. The next time you prepare your tea, make sure to put a lid on it while the tea bag is steeping. A lot of the benefits from the tea, especially herbal teas, escapes with the steam. So, in order to get the most benefit from your tea of choice, simple put a lid on it!
Sprout Grains & Legumes
If you keep up to date on the latest health trends, you may have heard of “sprouting.” This is pretty much what it sounds like – growing little sprouts on legumes and grains. Why would you want to eat sprouts? Well, first of all, it ups the nutrition factor, giving you lots of additional benefits. Secondly, the sprouted grains and legumes become easier to digest once they’ve sprouted. The only drawback is that this takes some planning and time to prepare ahead of time. You’ll want to wash the food and then pour it into a bowl with enough water to cover everything. Let it sit for up to 24 hours. Then, rinse off the grains or legumes in the morning and at night for two to three days. Yes, it takes time, but the actual work itself is easy. If you’re a meal planner, just make sure to start on this and plan your weekly meals accordingly!
Use Veggies as a Base
This is a tried and true dieting tip. Instead of carb-loaded pasta and rice, try a few meals using spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Cauliflower is also a great substitute for rice and even as a base for pizza crust. There are lots of tools out there to help make preparing the veggies easier, and with the rise in popularity of these techniques, you can even find riced cauliflower and zucchini noodles in the frozen section of some grocery stores.
Let Some Veggies Rest
This is such a simple trick. For veggies like broccoli, onion, garlic, and kale, it’s best to let them sit for a bit after you chop them up. The reason behind this, is that these veggies have enzymes that are only activated after they are chopped up. Letting these veggies simply rest on your cutting board for about 10 minutes will allow these enzymes to fully activate, thus giving the veggies the max amount of nutritional value for your meal!
Pair Vitamin C With Iron
Here’s another easy tip to keep in mind, especially when planning meals or prepping snacks. Pairing foods with vitamin C with iron-rich foods helps your body absorb and digest more of the good stuff. Some easy ways to do this include squeezing some fresh lemon or orange juice onto a spinach salador having a side of strawberries or apples with a lentil-based dish.