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If you believe that “Do as I say, not as I do” hardly ever works, just try it when it comes to eating healthy!  Your kids will not gulp down a plate of broccoli nor abstain from eating 20 cookies if they don’t see you doing it.

So, if you want to eat healthy both for your sake and theirs, here are 3 simple steps you can take right now.

1. Include 1 Veggie or Fruit Per Meal (even snacks)

Many nutritionists will instruct you to get four servings of vegetables and three of fruit per day. Although individual needs vary, that can be a good rule of thumb.  Fruits and veggies provide vitamins and minerals that your body needs. In addition, many have high fiber content which aids your digestion and helps you feel full longer, making it easier to not over-eat.

The Smoothie Solution

Having a daily fruit and veggies smoothie is a great way to pack fruit and veggies in since most people love smoothies and it’s not difficult to make a habit of preparing and drinking them.

Don’t like the texture of kale? Substitute it with spinach. Still having trouble? Start with 20% spinach + 80% fruit (pineapple, green grapes, kiwi), then gravitate to 50%/50%.

Try these delicious snacks:

  • Kale chips, baked beet chips
  • Avocado toast
  • Carrots, cucumber, or bell peppers with hummus, you may substitute hummus with cottage cheese or avocado
  • Plain yogurt with banana or berries, you may add a tsp of honey or maple syrup
  • Broccoli in all its shapes, forms, and sizes
  • Sweet potato air fries
  • Celery with peanut butter and raisins
  • Apple with peanut butter or almond butter
  • Dried fruit such as mango or pineapple
  • Trail mix of nuts, seeds, cranberries, and raisins

2. Find Ways Other than Eating to Cope with Emotions

Our emotional ties to food are so strong! Beginning at birth, when we are first loved and fed, and moving on to the joy of birthday cakes, Oreos, Thanksgiving dinner, etc., most of us associate food and certain foods in particular with happiness. Likewise, when we’re sad or angry, we find comfort in certain foods. But it’s important to learn how to celebrate and deal with disappointment in ways that don’t involve food. Otherwise, you may cause yourself even more grief by negatively impacting your health.

You can learn to celebrate your achievements by doing a fun activity, getting a massage, calling a friend, or buying yourself a non-food gift such as a beautiful shirt or purse. If you had a difficult day, use a soothing practice such as journaling, taking a walk or a bath, listening to an episode from your favorite podcast, or calling a good friend and talking about it. Despite how you may be feeling, try to keep your eating “normal” (no binging, no meals that are just chips and ice cream) while you celebrate success or face difficult obstacles.

3. Once and for All, Stop Copying Other People’s Diet

Your sister-in-law started a keto diet 3 months ago and looks amazing. She’s lost weight, she’s working out, and her energy is skyrocketing. Got to get on that keto thing, right? 

Wrong!

Copying another person’s plan is not the best way for you to eat healthy and get fit.  It may even harm you. For example, if you’re genetically predisposed to high sensitivity to dietary fats (a reliable DNA test will tell you), a high fat/low carb diet may cause you to get stuck and absolutely not shred body fat, no matter how disciplined you are with your well-intentioned strategy. Likewise, cutting down to 1200 calories per day may be detrimental in several ways: it may slow down your metabolism, eat away your muscle mass, deprive you of nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy, and put you in a food-depraved state of mind, which often backfires and bounces back as an I-want-to-eat-everything-in-sight state of mind.

Remember, you are unique!

Your genes, your values and beliefs, your goals, feelings, schedule, challenges, and struggles… so make it a priority to create a personalized nutrition plan, one that enables you to reach your goals and create lasting habits.

Use these strategies to eat healthily and you’ll discover that “Do as I say, not as I do” is a thing of the past!  You’ll find how powerful it is to be able to say, “Do as I do”!  And your entire family will enjoy better nutrition and health.