7 Simple Ways To Improve Your Diet This Year

Please meet Karen, a new contributor here. She is a mama to many, with a passion to inspire you to be creative. I hope you will stop by her blog To Work with My Hands! Today she is sharing some simple ways to improve your health. 
7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Diet This Year

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer

Are you one of the many people looking for ways to improve your diet this year?

We all tend to realize after the food overload throughout the last few weeks of the year that we need to realign our diets. The new year is a perfect time to make those “resolutions”. 

But, instead of making resolutions that are often not realized, why not set reasonable, workable goals instead? Making positive changes in our diets is really not that hard when we have a plan with small steps and measurable results.

I’m not here to tell you anything new or amazing. Just basic, common-sense goals that we can implement all year long and make progress toward a better diet.

Nobody needs to be told why we need to eat better. I doubt anyone hasn’t heard of the “Standard America Diet” dilemma which, unfortunately, isn’t limited to the United States. It’s the how that we often get tripped up by.

Today, I’m sharing with you 7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Diet  that will put us on the road to healthier habits.

  Improve Your Diet With Water

 1. Drink plenty of fresh water every day.

Water makes up a significant portion of our bodies, by both weight and volume, so it makes sense that a hydrated body is a healthier body.

Although every body is different, the standard recommendation of 8 glasses of water each day is a great target to shoot for. More is required when you exercise, are sick, or are pregnant or nursing. As your body gets accustomed to being well hydrated, it will be easier for you to determine when you need extra water. 

Improve Your Diet with Whole Grains

2. Consume whole grains.

One of the easiest ways to ditch so much processed food is to make it yourself, and one of the first places I started was with whole grains.

There’s an amazing variety of grains to nourish our bodies with, and the benefits are numerous. The most important is the nutritional advantage that is lost when grains are refined and stripped of most of their nutrients. Consuming whole grains supplies the missing vitamins and minerals that the processed versions have lost.

Improve Your Diet With Natural Probiotics

3. Include natural probiotics in your diet.

While our intestinal tracts already contain beneficial bacteria, at times the population can be compromised, such as when there’s an illness or the use of antibiotics. And during the winter months when there seems to be a an increase in both, it’s even more important to ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy level of beneficial bacteria in your system.

Natural probiotics are a delicious and easy way to boost your population and keep it at a healthy level. Excellent sources include yogurt and kefir, and if you’re culturing them yourself, you can avoid additives that your body doesn’t need.

*Note: You can make kefir at home with this starter here, be sure to follow these instructions

Improve Your Diet With Fresh Fruit

 4. Eat plenty of fresh fruit.

Honestly, this one is easy for me. I have loved fruit for as long as I can remember, and my children have learned the habit too. There’s such a wide variety of fresh fruit to choose from that there is no reason to get bored with just a few choices.

And, by eating a variety, you’re giving your body a wide range of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that aren’t available in processed foods. Enjoying fruit in season is a great way to get the best fruit has to offer, and is easier on your food budget.

Improve Your Diet With Fresh Vegetables

5. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables. 

Eating fresh vegetables is just as important as eating fresh fruit. So many of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to operate well are contained in fresh food.

I’m not a raw-foods only advocate, but I do try to include a reasonable amount of raw foods in our daily diets. Offering some grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery sticks, or cucumbers alongside our lunch menu, or for snacks, is an easy way to get fresh veggies in our tummies, and a side salad with dinner gives us even more fresh vegetables in our diet.

As with fruit, there’s such a large variety of vegetables to choose from that there’s no reason to tire of the same old things.

Improve Your Diet with Legumes

6. Don’t forget to add legumes to your diet.

I’ll admit that this is one I struggle with. While I love the taste of dried beans, peas, and lentils, I sometimes just forget about them until I get a hummus craving.

Since our family is not vegetarian, we get plenty of opportunities to consume protein from meat, but in addition to protein, legumes also contribute healthy carbohydrates and varying amounts of good fat to our diets.

Once again, God has blessed us with such a wide variety of legumes to enjoy, with their varying colors, shapes, and sizes, that there’s no need to get caught in a rut with them either. Try pinterest for great, healthy ideas!! 

Improve Your Diet With Fresh Herbs

7. Season your food with fresh herbs.

I’m not one to season foods heavily, but bland is not very appealing to many people beyond toddlerhood, and I’ve even had a few toddlers who didn’t appreciate their food bland either.

Growing your own herbs is so rewarding and there’s nothing as fresh as stepping out of your kitchen to collect herbs right from your garden to toss into the pot. Even if you can’t grow your own, the availability of fresh herbs is getting wider – even in winter. 

Fresh herbs add not only amazing flavor, but numerous nutrients that our bodies thrive on. There’s a lot of vitamins and minerals packed in those little leaves, and only your imagination can limit the uses in your diet.

I hope you see that eating healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Taking the time to take baby steps and allow them to become habitual – and enjoyable – is the key to long-term success. I encourage you to take your time, and enjoy the journey.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional, nor do I encourage any particular popular diet. I’m talking about a common-sense approach to eating the foods that God has created and provided us with.

I’m also aware that many people have food allergies or health conditions that preclude them form consuming many grains or sources of natural probiotics. It’s not my intention to attack their needs. I’m simply outlining a reasonable plan for people who have no problems consuming most foods. If you have allergies or health concerns that prohibit you from following along, just do what you can and feel the freedom to skip the rest.

I hope you’ll join me in taking baby steps to improving our diets this year. This week, we’ll jump right in with the first one: water. Be sure to visit my Facebook page and follow along for goals, tips, encouragement, and to share your successes.

Do you have anything to add to the list? What do you consider is important to a healthy diet?

About Karen

Karen is a blessed wife and grateful mom to 7 sons and 1 daughter. When she's not homeschooling her 5 youngest children, she enjoys trying new bread recipes, working on DIY projects, sipping a hot mug of tea, or seeking to find the beauty in everyday life. She loves gardening and is passionate about growing from heirloom seeds. Visit her at To Work with My Hands. 

Comments

  1. These are all good reminders for a healthy diet. My mother always said, “All things, in moderation.” I try to remember that – variety is good, and so is portion control!

  2. This is an awesome post Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great tips! The general population certainly could use more of all seven of these ideas!

  4. I love that you include fresh herbs. They make such a huge difference when creating a gourmet meal that’s exciting and high in nutrition. 🙂

  5. My biggest downfall is drinking water. I don’t drink enough. Love the fresh herbs addition as well.

  6. I love this list. So easy and practical. Great post.

  7. Wonderful tips. I love the addition of fresh herbs. I need to get better about drinking enough water. I do good, but sometimes I could do better.

  8. I love your balance. Which is key to making anything “stick”. Great tips.

  9. Great tips. It seems so simple, but it can be hard for a lot of people. My biggest struggle is probably getting enough water.

  10. Great tips here! The only thing I would probably add is to be sure you get enough sleep at night. Even though it may not seem diet related we tend to make better decisions regarding our diet during the day once we’ve had a good night’s sleep. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] plenty of fresh vegetables are one of the steps in the 7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Diet This Year challenge, and it doesn’t get any fresher than growing them yourself. Plus, when you grow your own […]

  2. […] you’ve never cultured kefir before, let me encourage you to give it a try. Kefir is a wonderful source of natural probiotics, and contains many more strains of friendly bacteria than yogurt […]

  3. […] Are you a water drinker? You should be! […]

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