Whether you’re looking for easier recipes, quicker food preparation, or maybe you have a sensitive stomach or struggle with a few food sensitivities (like I do), there are a variety of benefits to simplifying your diet.
One of my favourite things to share with people, and perhaps one of the most important things, is simplicity and the power of keeping things simple. There are dozens of ways to bring a little more simplicity and a little less overwhelm into our life, and one of those ways is via the foods we eat, and the way we eat them!
5 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR DIET
1. Eat Real Food
We’re all aware of the importance of eating whole food and avoiding the processed, pre-packaged stuff, but there are two ways we can ensure we’re eating as real as possible, as often as possible:
Make your food from scratch
Making our food from scratch ensures we know exactly what it is we’re eating. We get full control over the quality and the type of ingredients, as well as the amounts. But don’t fret – making many of your foods from scratch doesn’t need to be complicated! In fact, it’s very often the opposite. But I’ll chat about that in a minute.
Read ingredient labels carefully
Packaged food can certainly be heavily processed, but it doesn’t always have to be! This is where it’s critical that we read ingredient lists on each of the foods that we do, in fact, buy in a package. I rarely buy anthying without first reading the ingredient list; and I’m not talking about that Nutrition Facts label here, I’m referring to that sometimes-hard-to-find list of ingredients.
You’ll want to watch our for things like hydrogenated or other processed oils, artificial colours and flavours, sugar or high fructose corn syrup or irradiation. Instead, opt for packages that list very minimal ingredients, are certified organic and non-GMO when possible, and use natural sweeteners like honey, unrefined sugar cane or coconut sugar.
2. Don’t Overcomplicate Your Meals
It can sometimes be easy for us to have this idea in our head that delicious, healthy food requires tons of time, tons of preparation, and too many ingredients and seasonings. Trust me: I know the feeling of wanting to cook, but feeling too uninspired and downright lazy because it just seems like too much effort. Especially if we’re new to the kitchen or cooking more often, it’s important to keep things simple and not overcomplicate things. Preparing meals can be and is very easy if you know a few basic recipes.
Some of my favourite go-to’s are the most basic and are things like “cauliflower mash”, an excellent mashed potato alternative that consists of simply chopping, boiling, and mashing. I also love a quick roasted sweet potato that involves a splash of olive oil, some rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.
Even dessert can be simple: have you ever made date balls? Whip up medjool dates, cacao and shredded coconut for the easiest, tastiest energy ball you’ve ever had.
Not only are simple meals less overwhelming, but they’re also better for our digestion!
3. Practice Proper Food Combining
It can be pretty hard on our gut to be faced with a number of foods to try and break down and assimilate, which is where the importance of proper food combining and healthy food habits come into play. Proper food combining has an enormous impact on how we eat and the way we feel as a result:
Food Combining Tips
- Chew until food is a paste (about 30 chews)
- Eat fruit when ripe
- Eat melons on their own
- Avoid proteins & carbohydrates together
- Use fewer ingredients when possible
- Eat slowly and when relaxed
- Don’t dilute digestive fluids with water or other beverages before a meal
4. Listen To Your Body
There are few things better for us than developing a bit of intuition and listening to our body when it comes to the foods we choose to eat. All this requires is simply paying attention to how we feel physically, as well as mentally and emotionally throughout the day as we eat.
Symptoms such as bloating, frequent constipation, skin itching, rashes, or breakouts; energy levels and mood; congestion and pain are a few examples of things that can be related to foods we are eating. Notice how you feel over the next week or two and avoid what doesn’t feel good in your body!
Everybody is different, but some common food sensitivities include dairy, refined sugar, soy, corn, and gluten. I’m personally very sensitive to grains, legumes, and certain types of dairy.
5. Eat Food In Its Whole, Natural State
Eating real food is important indeed, but so is the way we eat it! Potatoes and apple with skin on are an example of eating foods in their whole, natural state. Not only is this easier for prepping purposes, but it’s also much healthier for us. Fruits and vegetables with their skin on are much higher in fibre which is excellent for digestion and balancing our blood sugar levels which in turn balances our energy, our mood, and our cravings throughout the day.
Eating eggs with the yolk is another example of eating food in it’s natural state. There are a number of people who are wary of the cholesterol and caloric content of egg yolk, but please – don’t be afraid! The yolk provides us with the most abundant source of nutrition: it’s where you obtain fat soluble vitamins, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Do yourself a favour and forget about all things labelled half the fat! Our body better recognizes, utilizes, and digests foods in their whole form found in nature.
What’s one way you like to simplify your diet or eating habits?
Leave me a comment below and be sure to check out my video on 5 Ways to Simplify Your Diet: