You can start improving your health today. These core fundamentals are designed to get you going the easiest way possible. I use these Simple Steps Principles in all of my courses, currently targeting diabetes reversal with diet.
Steady Progress Wins Every Time, Dear Tortoise
Your goal each week it to do just 10% better than you did the week before, overall. I’m looking for a general trend upward but not perfection. A graph of your progress would look more like the graph of a stock held over a long period of time.
There would be times the stock dipped down in price a bit, but then recovered strongly. In the same way human nature waxes and wanes. Life events happen that throw us out of our regular rhythm. There will be days your diet choices are poor and many more days when you are able to make better choices.
Once you set your minds' intention to just do your best and then let life unfold, you’ll find the healthy choices are easier to make. It’s no longer a punishment to choose incorrectly. You simply flow with the day, use your mindset tools when stressed, and allow your body to guide you. The goal is to generally be improving your choices over time. Consistency is key.
I find there is simply a long learning curve. There is a lot to know to make the most informed food choices for your health today. It’s a lot more complicated now than it was 20 years ago. In that time, we’ve experienced drastic increases in the use of herbicides like glyphosate. There have also been changes in how organic standards are monitored. More consolidation in the food industry means fewer suppliers. All in all, I feel I really have very little control over most of the food available in any major grocery.
So, I recommend buy local as much as possible. Build relationships with friends, neighbors and farmers who garden or grow food near you. Over time you will find major brands and retailers you like but the more you can buy local, the more you build community for yourself and those around you. I believe the future of agriculture is community based.
Last but not least, start to shift away from processed foods toward more whole foods. Think of a whole food as being 3 steps or less from farm to table, with little or no processing. For example, whole potatoes from the produce department are category #1 – best choice. Frozen French fries precut, ready to cook in a bag are category #2, meaning slightly processed but still close to a whole form. These are also a good choice, especially when you are first learning, or feeling overwhelmed and needing some easy options. Frozen veggies and fish are both great items to have on hand for quick easy healthy meals. Both fish and veggies can go straight from freezer to oven, bake for 20 min and dinner is served.
Anything beyond a category 1 or 2 level of processing is best avoided. This is especially true for the ultra-processed food category which includes soda and many snack foods. The trick is swaps. Roast veggies in the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer with your favorite salt to sub for chips or other salty snacks. Indulge in a dip or dressing you like. I recently had roasted carrots with a yogurt dill dip. Delicious. So many ways to experience new fun flavors.
Roasted chickpeas are another great option in the snack category. You are simply swapping a processed food item for a whole food item. Best success will require some basic cooking any beginner can do. Many great food bloggers have fun recipe ideas.
Fun is the key to success. I remember when I was new to diet change. I also had limited cooking skills. It became a new hobby to learn more about cooking. I started watching cooking shows, trying new recipes, trying new foods. Variety is the spice of life and the joy of your microbiome.
Go out there, have fun, and start today with these Simple Steps to guide you.