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My 7 Rules of Healthy Eating

1. Always Eat Breakfast

This is one that most people miss. Breakfast is my favorite time of the day! I always load up on whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and some form of protein. My breakfast is what keeps me satisfied and gets me going in the morning. Skipping breakfast may slow down your metabolism and work against your body’s natural processes. Your body needs energy in the morning to be able to function properly. Skipping breakfast may put you at risk of overeating during lunch and dinner because you didn't get that energy boost you needed in the morning. Try to include fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein in your breakfast, this will give you the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep your energy up!

2. Stop Dieting Start Eating Healthy

You don’t have to restrict your cooking and eating habits instead expand and enhance them. When you start dieting you are most likely not going to stick to it (many of us can relate), rather make a decision to create healthy cooking and eating habits. It’s easier and more satisfying. Your mental health is as important as your physical health, when dieting, most people feel depressed, left out and under pressure. Calling something a diet doesn't feel like a lifelong commitment but a quick and painful way to change your life for a short period of time. Instead, create healthy cooking and eating habits one day at a time and make it a part of your daily routine and lifestyle. Eating healthy will naturally put you in the best shape of your life and have the healthy body you deserve without even trying.

3. Swop out Processed Snacks with Natural Goodies

Instead of processed snacks like store bought potato chips, candy, and chocolate bars, try a serving of fresh or dried fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Processed foods are filled with sugar, saturated fats, and empty calories that give you a short term energy buzz but wear off quickly, leaving you unsatisfied and hungry. These processed snacks will actually slow your metabolism, and decrease your energy throughout the day. Try snacking on some energy packed fruits and protein filled nuts. Healthy alternatives will give you the lasting energy you need. Personally I love dried fruits like apricots and figs or almonds and walnuts as quick snacks.

4. Drink Lots of Water During the Day

This one is a no brainer. I start my day with a glass of lemon water in the morning. Most of our body is made up of water so drinking plenty of it throughout the day will allow you to function properly. Water is one of the best metabolism boosters; in fact an easy way to avoid overeating is to drink a glass of water before meals. On top of all that you get the added benefit of having super hydrated and beautiful skin that glows naturally. Seriously water does wonders for your bodies throughout the day so drink plenty of it. I always carry a stainless steal bottle with me everywhere I go and I alternate between lemon and cucumber water.

5. Stop Drinking Soft Drinks and Artificial Flavored Juices

I get asked this every day, Sona is it ok to drink sodas ones a week? Honestly guys, my answer is NO! Healthy eating is all about enjoying your food and bringing out the natural delicious flavors in your ingredients. Sometimes it’s ok to cheat a little and satisfy a craving but soft drinks are a big NO NO! It’s one of those things that’s easy to avoid and quit entirely! Soft drinks are filled with chemicals and unnatural ingredients that you just won't find in your pantry. As a general rule of thumb, avoid artificially sweetened juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, and diet sodas. These are filled with refined sugars and artificial sweeteners that work against your body’s natural metabolic processes making you hungry when you are not and keeping you from reaching your healthy eating goals. If you are craving something on the sweeter side, natural smoothies are always a great choice. I personally love blending mangos, bananas, and pineapples for a delicious mid-afternoon drink, freshly squeezed juices with no added sugar is also a great alternative.

6. Eat High Fiber Foods

I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve spent eating a wonderful bowl of oatmeal with ground flaxseed and fresh blueberries! Fiber is one of the most important parts of building healthy eating habits. Foods high in natural fibers are great metabolism boosters and help with digestion. Fiber in your body is like oil in a car engine, it keeps everything moving smoothly. Because of its amazing metabolism boosting abilities, overtime fiber will help you lose excess weight and maintain your desired healthy weight naturally. It’s one of the easiest and simplest ways to regulate your waistline because of how abundant fiber is in natural foods. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and legumes are all fabulous sources of fiber. All of my recipes have healthy servings of fiber from all kinds of sources.

7. Make Every Meal and Snack Count

Pay attention to what you eat during the day because it’s the small things that count! It may not seem like much but a bag of oily chips or a sugar filled chocolate donut with your morning coffee is a recipe for disaster. Extra snacks add up by the end of the day, and they add to your waistline too. 25% of our daily calories come from eating without feeling hungry. Mindful cooking and eating is one of the best things you can do for your body right now!

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