5 Simple Ways to Jumpstart Your Family ‘Healthy” in 2013!

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Happy 2013! Are you ready to get your family “Healthy” in this new year?? This is the time of year that healthy goals are a priority for many, gym memberships skyrocket, and healthy eating is at the top of the list after all the holiday yumminess! To help you and  your family jumpstart  a healthier path here are my top 5 easy tips to shift gears for a healthy new year!

1. Cleanse your Kitchen: Are your  fridge and pantry full of left over holiday foods? From Chex mix to egg nog, the holiday has a way of adding food items to our kitchen that may not otherwise be there on a regular basis.  An easy way to motivate and kick start healthy eating for the entire family is to start in the kitchen and take stock in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer of your current foods on hand.  Get the garbage can ready and cleanse/ trash all the foods that don’t really fit into a wholes foods category.  The main goal is to shift your food focus from fatty, high calorie, processed foods to healthy whole foods that will offer you and your family  real nutrition!

2. Pre-plan and  Pre-Prep: As schools and work schedules start back from the holiday siesta it is so important to embrace pre-planning and pre-prepping for a family. This is probably the single most helpful way to stay on a healthy eating track! I recommend the whole family get involved….. kids and all! I like to suggest taking a moment on the weekend to take stock of the week ahead and think through your grocery trip, meals, and snacks that you and your family will enjoy but also nourish! Having healthy foods on hand, pre-chopping,bagging, and even pre-cooking foods for the week ahead will keep you and your family from scrambling on weeknights for meals and snacks and resorting to fast food or the pizza delivery man!

3. Focus your Grocery plan: As you are prepping for each week with a healthy focus, grocery list in hand and kids in tow, onward to the grocery store you go! Once at the grocery, having your list is key in staying focused on your healthy foods you want to purchase. Categorizing your list with the items you need from each area is not only a great way to stay focused but can also be a time saver!   Marketing makes it tough to stay focused especially when it comes to fun foods that kids generally want to try.  Remember that shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is super helpful in buying the bulk of your nourishing foods. Most of your healthy whole foods will be on the perimeter of the store – like your produce, meat/seafood, dairy/eggs. But not all the center aisle foods are created equal. There are healthy foods that the center aisles of the store offer, so I recommend having your plan in hand so you know exactly what you want to grab … and leaving the processd, junk foods on the shelf!

4. Try New “Healthy” Recipes: In this new year  flipping through healthy magazines or scrolling through healthy recipes online is a great way to zero in on healthy cooking. Integrating new healthy recipes and meals into your family is helpful in staying focused on healthy cooking and also can be motivating in trying new healthy foods that may not currently be a part of the family diet.  Healthy cooking does not have to be complicated – just keep it simple, whole, and healthy!

5. Pay a visit to a Dietitian:  If you or your family want to jumpstart a healthy plan but are confused or overwhelmed with this goal, try finding a Dietitian in your area that can help you! Investing in your health is one of  the best investments you will ever make!  What we eat and put into our body directly effects how we feel and function!  The entire family will benefit when learning from a trained guru in the field of nutrition – and that would be the Dietitian (RD)! A Dietitian can help assess and navigate  you and your family into a healthy eating plan.  If you are in the Nashville area, come see Healthy Beginnings in the new year for your healthy eating plan!www.healthybeginningstn.com

Cheers to a “Healthy” New Year in 2013 and years to come!