When it comes to feeling better and more energetic, nothing makes a difference like the foods you choose to eat.
Your diet can make you feel sluggish or energized, fit or bloated. Finding a balance can be a challenge, though, especially if you’re new to the idea of eating for optimal health.
That’s why I asked 23 of the top food bloggers on the Internet to share their best nutrition tips for eating a diet that’s both healthy and delicious.
There’s a lot of food for thought (sorry but I couldn’t resist the pun) here that can help get you on track – and help you stay there.
23 Healthy Eating Tips from Today’s Top Food Bloggers
I personally stick to an organic, plant-based/vegan whole-foods diet. I load up on fruits and veggies every chance I get.
And buying a Vitamix was my best move for healthy kitchen prep. My diet works for me and my values.
But I also strongly believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all diet approach for everyone. So the one thing I wish for everyone, especially women, is to get off the endless diet treadmill and even stop obsessively counting calories.
Skipping meals when you are hungry and starving yourself to maintain a certain weight is a sure-fire path towards diet insanity and a whole host of wellness problems.
Eat to live. Eat to thrive. Enjoy every meal. Listen to your body.
Food should be a source of love and strength, not a source of stress.
Bottom line: Pay attention to your body and discover the foods that make you feel good from the inside out. And keep eating those foods.
Eventually, you will stop craving the foods that make you feel like crap. (Simpler said than done, but I promise, diet rehab is possible for everyone!)
My top healthy eating tip: read ingredient labels because that’s the only way to know what’s in your (packaged) food and how processed it is.
My No. 1 healthy eating tip would be to eat your food as close to the source as possible.
Eating real, whole foods will do wondrous things for your health – both physically and mentally. Your digestion will be better, you’ll have more mental clarity, your skin will glow and the list of benefits goes on.
My No. 1 healthy eating tip doesn’t involve going to health food store or buying a single thing!
It’s just this: CHEW YOUR FOOD. That’s it.
Chewing your food increases the surface area of what you’re eating so that you can actually extract more nutrients from it. It will help improve your digestion, absorption, sanitizes your food (as saliva kills bacteria), and stimulate your endocrine system.
At your next meal, make it a goal to just become aware of how long you are chewing for, and try to increase the time just a little bit. The goal is to chew your food until it’s liquid, but that is a huge jump for most people!
Baby steps … one chew at a time.
Eating healthy isn’t a matter of coming up with new creations; humans have been cooking for thousands of years, and have perfected a lifetime’s worth of dishes that are nutritious and delicious.
We’re better off looking to traditional and international cuisines, skimming from the best, and adapting them to what makes you feel best.
Prep your food once a week. Chop your veggies, freeze fruits for smoothies, cook a whole chicken for the meat and then make some broth with the bones, hard-boil eggs, make pestos and vinaigrettes, and so on.
It is so much easier on sleepy mornings to throw mushrooms, onions, and peppers into your scrambled eggs if they are already diced.
This prep day will ensure healthy choices and success for your upcoming week.
Never let yourself get too hungry.
In my work with clients, I find getting overhungry is pretty much the quickest way to have someone hit the office junk food machine and majorly overeat, too.
Think about it – if you get too hungry, it’s really hard to eat slowly and mindfully, right?
Stay on top of that hunger and incorporate snacks as needed – and make sure the snacks include some protein and fat, not just carbs, so you aren’t hungry again a second later. I’m also a big fan of snack balls made with fruit and nuts.
Eat meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of different vegetables and fruit; natural, healthy fats; and herbs and spices. (And learn how to cook.)
Incorporate as many whole plant foods into your diet as possible and less of everything else.
This means lots of veggies, fruit, beans and legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds in their natural state or as close to their natural state as possible.
When you focus the diet around these foods and eliminate animal-based foods and processed foods, your body will start to heal itself on its own.
You will get down to the perfect weight for your frame, inflammation will go down, the gut will balance itself out, cholesterol and blood pressure will come down, you will sleep better, you will have a ton of energy and you will be protected from degenerative diseases.
Make batch cooking a weekly priority so you have plenty of healthy food to eat throughout the week.
If you can’t whip something together in 15 minutes or less you will turn to convenience food – and convenience foods are the foods to stay away from.
Do the best you can with all of this and then don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it perfect right out of the gate.
There’s a learning curve and an adjustment period. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to get used to this new way of coking and eating.
And lastly, enjoy the process – it is the best decision you will ever make!
Think vegetables first.
Look at your meal and your plate. If your plate isn’t about half full of vegetables, add more. It doesn’t have to be complicated, toss some organic baby spinach or mixed baby greens on there but always strive for half veggies!
Eat one ingredient whole foods.
What’s in an apple? An apple. What’s in an avocado? An avocado.
You can base your entire day off of one-ingredient whole foods. No need to reach for processed foods that your body cannot identify. Fill yourself up with whole one-ingredient foods.
I’ve been living this way for the last 10 years and it’s helped me heal from a decade of chronic illness!
If there’s nothing else you can do, stop consuming dairy.
Try to include greens, in any capacity, in all of your meals for abundant energy.
You can scatter broccoli sprouts or pea shoots on your avocado toast or blend greens powder into your smoothies, and then there’s the more traditional ways of sautéing, simmering in soups, big salads etc. You’ll feel a difference within days of trying it.
Align your health and wellness goals with something that truly hits the core of your being.
Ask yourself, “What’s the next best move towards my path?” in every moment and do that!
You have so many opportunities to make a choice every single day, so continue to be present, yet practice patience and forgiveness because radically transforming your health isn’t an overnight change.
Follow the five-a-day rule.
This means: do your best to eat at least 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit – every day.
This can be as simple as incorporating kale and carrots into your morning smoothie; adding 1 cup of broccoli to your pasta dish; and having a hearty salad with your salmon dinner.
Keep in mind that it’s best if your fruits and veggies are a variety of colors, since each color provides it’s own unique vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Everything in moderation.
I find that when I am trying to eat healthy, it is when I restrict things from my diet that I crave them the most.
Listen to your body, feed it veggies when it craves veggies and a cupcake when it craves something sweet.
There’s no diet plan or way of eating that works for everyone. You have to find what foods work for your unique body and lifestyle by trial and error.
As a health coach, I can teach you about the nutritional content of food, provide recipes and give advice but only you actually feel what specific foods do to your body.
The key is tuning in to what your body is telling you!
When listening to its subtle cues you will be able to easily notice when you’re hungry, when to stop eating and what foods your body craves for optimal health.
I see so many people going on crash diets or extreme detoxes, and I hope that the message I can send through my blog is that it’s NOT necessary to deprive yourself; you don’t have to give up dessert in order to be healthy.
Just listen to your body, eat slowly and mindfully, and choose foods you really are excited to eat.
Healthy eating does not need to be bland, so play around with spices, explore ethnic markets, and try new things as often as possible!
The No. 1 healthy eating tip I’d give is to eat the rainbow!
At every meal, make sure you have at least one fruit and one veggie of different colors on your plate. By the time you’ve finished dinner, you’ll have easily eaten all of the veggies and fruits you need for the day.
For extra credit – you can try to not repeat any veggies or fruits for the week!
Don’t try to do it all at once!
Take it slow and listen to your body. Start a food journal so you can see what foods you have a ton of energy and thrive on when eating, and what foods affect you negatively.
From there, eliminate the foods that don’t service you and nourish your body with foods that do.
Also, up your water intake.
Cook from scratch.
If you cook using whole ingredients you will nourish your body from the inside out, it will cut out all the refined processed food and e-numbers from the diet so you had get the glow from head to toe.
Spend some time in the kitchen learning to cook vegetables.
Learning a few basic cooking techniques will make your vegetables delicious and easy to incorporate into all of your meals no matter what type of diet you follow whether it veers paleo or vegan.
And of course, play around, have some fun, and experiment with them to find out what you love most!
Healthy eating can be very confusing with all of the information out there on nutrition facts labels, recommended servings of sugar, and processed foods and artificial sweeteners in the news.
My answer is to keep things simple with real food. Every time you need to make a choice on a meal or snack, ask yourself if you could make this at home if you had the time and simple equipment.
You could make plain yogurt or applesauce from scratch, but you might not be able to find a bottle of partially hydrogenated oil in your pantry with which to make that low-fat “healthy” cookie snack.
You could mash together dates and almonds into a Larabar, but you’d have a hard time making the hydrolyzed soy protein found in many energy bars like Clif bars. Check the ingredient list and ask yourself: “Is this product made of real food in its natural state or something that would require a lab to make?”
Which Tips Suit You Best?
My suggestion is to start incorporating some of these healthy nutrition tips into your diet, but not to obsess about them. Remember, as we always say, it’s about progress, not perfection.
As you start to feel the effects these changes make in your energy and sense of well-being, it’ll be easier to stick with them – and that will drive your motivation to experiment with other changes.
Did you enjoy these healthy eating tips?
You might also like my free “All-Day Energy Diet” Community Cookbook. To get 67 quick and delicious allergen-free recipes that help you look and feel years younger – for FREE – click the banner below.
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.