Eating a healthy diet: A beginners guide

So on my journey of weight loss and wellbeing one thing which I get asked all the time from people is “how do you afford to eat so healthily, its so expensive”, or “how do you have the time to always make something for lunch, I’m too busy to eat healthy” or “I would eat more healthy but I don’t like….. “  So I thought I would share some top tips for anyone out there who’s bank statement alternates Prep, M&S, Boots, Nandos etc like mine used to or anyone who’s just looking to change their eating habits and doesn’t know where to start. I’ve now lost 4 stone thanks to a healthy diet and exercise. Determination and organization has paid off and at almost 30 I’m the healthiest I’ve ever felt.

A big chunk of eating healthily is in the planning and the prep. Even the prep of what your budget is for the weeks shop, when you are making time to go to the supermarket and what are you going to buy once you get there. I found it really useful to plan out the weeks meals in advance day by day and then writing a shopping list based on what is actually going to get eaten. If you  are smart too try to have crossover ingredients so you don’t buy something use a tiny bit and then the rest goes to waste. Then it’s making sure you have the discipline and motivation to do something with all the produce once you’ve bought it.

But first! Choose where you shop wisely. Doing a proper shop is vital to success and not getting things in drips and drabs and you’ll have more of what you need and aren’t topping up randomly from the more expensive quick express convenience stores. I personally choose to shop at Aldi or Lidl (I’m a real Aldi girl at heart though I could literally be their ambassador I love it so much) They have such a great selection of everything I need for for myself and Jamie to eat well, we are two people with a passion for a good diet and are very active in terms of exercise and for £50 I could feed us well for at least a week and I’m talking 3 meals a day.

Now, I’m no nutritionist or anything like that and the human diet from person to person is the most complex science but there are certain things I know personally you can’t go too wrong with. A well balanced diet will consist of a variety of different foods which will hit different nutritional goals.

I will always grab a protein to build each evening meal around so that would be for us some meat, fish or even eggs or if you’re veggie or vegan you could go meat free a substitute or legume. So chicken breasts, turkey mince, pork, chicken sausages, steaks, seabass, salmon fillets, cod loins, king prawns the options are endless and at their prices you can’t go wrong.

Then I try to eat as much fruit and veg as possible particularly those leafy greens so with my evening meal I will have a good portion of at least 2 different vegetables. Always check the super 6 too if you’re on a budget and want to load up on the veg. Essentials always in my fridge are kale, spinach, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumber, beetroot.

Then you have your carbs, sometimes if I have had a carb heavy lunch I might go for a lighter carb option but if not this will take the shape of either like a quinoa, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta, sweet potato or new potatoes, wholewheat pitta, bread or wrap. A personal fave is the little microwave pouches of wholegrain rice with quinoa and bulgar wheat. I think they’re about 69p and one will do me 3 lunches. I try to keep to a minimum what white carbs I eat. The prepped vegetable rices and noodles are great too if you are doing lower carbs and ares still really filling.

Then in there I’ll add my extras like making sure I’m getting my good fats so for me that would be raw nuts like almonds or cashews which are great for snacking, avocados, olive oil, eggs, seeds. (Try to remember when you’re cooking too that there is 119 calories in a tablespoon of olive oil!)

You can still snack or a healthy diet just keep away from the crisps, chocolate bars and cakes. If I need a snack or I’m having a sweet tooth moment I like to go for some fruit- berries are particularly good (try not too go too OTT with the fruit as even though it’s natural sugar you don’t wanna over do it), natural yoghurt (lush with a drizzle of honey), a square of dark chocolate. Their paleo, raw fruit and quinoa bars are great too for a snack which is just what it says on the pack with no hidden nasties. That kinda thing!

A big tip is don’t forget those pantry essentials which are always handy to knock up some delicious and healthy meals are…I can’t be without- tinned tomatoes, passatta, tomato puree, onions, frozen peas, tinned sweetcorn, tinned chickpeas, kidney beans, salad beans etc. These are all great things to have on standby! And lots of herbs and spices so you can really variate your flavours to keep it interesting.

Once you have planned and done your super healthy weekly shop you can get it home and organize your fridge with all your lovely healthy food and grab your favourite tupperware and start prepping like a boss!

One big tip with having a really healthy diet whatever your motivation- is try to make everything from scratch and do not cut corners. If you make it yourself from scratch you know just what is going into it and theres no hidden nasties that you can’t control. If you buy pre prepped meals out it can sound healthy but it can have all sorts in it if you aren’t analyzing the ingredients.

If you’re making lunches and food to take on your day to day I find it easier and time saving to do a few days at a time so you’re only doing it twice a week! Whether this is mixing it up a bit or eating the same day to day! Big batches of things that keep well are good to do this with! If you want some meal prep ideas for lunches let me know!

Do get creative!

Do snack healthy to keep the machine that is your body fueled!

Do enjoy what you’re eating and making!

Don’t deprive your body of what it needs but be smart!

Don’t be hungry! Eating healthy doesn’t mean being hungry.

Do remember that water is your best friend and make sure you’re drinking a lot of it!

I hope these tips help! When I first started out I wish someone would have written me a shopping list of sorts to point me in the right direction so I hope this does just that. Any questions just ask!

Thanks so much for reading!

H x

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