Eating healthy feels good, tastes good, and doesn’t hurt at all (we swear). All you need is a well-stocked kitchen pantry and some simple advice from food-mensch Michael Pollan:
“Eat real food. Mostly plants.”
The best way to do this is to spend 90% of your grocery shopping time in the produce section. That doesn’t mean doing special shopping-math or carrying a big stupid timer with you; just cut your time in the cookie/baked goods/frozen food/processed snacks sections to almost zero. Instead of parsing out the complicated language of no-fat, low-fat, reduced-fat “nutrition” labels, challenge yourself to make your shopping cart beautiful by loading it up with a Pantone Color Chart of fresh fruits and veggies.
Eggs. No need for ova-phobia anymore. The days of cholesterol-based fear-mongering are over, and eggs have been proven, once again, to be a great source of protein and minerals (sorry, vegans, we know these aren’t for you). When possible, buy them cage-free and organic. Sure, they’re almost as expensive as a monthly car payment, but they’re 100% worth it from a health, taste and environmental standpoint. Just ask Michael Pollan.
Grains make the perfect foundation for almost any flavor or cuisine. Rice and quinoa are great, as are lesser known carbs such as millet and buckwheat. Experiment and stick with your favorites. Build whole meals around them or add vegetables to the leftovers for amazing desk-lunches that will make your co-workers ~~hate~~ respect you for being so ~~smug and show-offy~~ health-conscious and creative.
Protein is crucial regardless of when your last trip to the gym occurred. If you’re a carnivore, aim for lean meats like poultry and fish. Focus on quality over quantity. And vegetarians (or meat-reducers) rejoice: beans and legumes are an awesome protein source and a cheap, low-fat, high-fiber (and sugar-free!) way to add heartiness to your diet.
Don’t skip the fat. Healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil are essential to good health, good food, and -- most importantly -- a good mood. (That’s right; while nearly every system in the body needs some fat for optimal function, your brain just isn’t at its best without it.) Saute vegetables in healthy fats, make a rub for roast chicken with them, or use them to make your own salad dressing. Just add some vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, or rice) and salt and pepper, and you’ll have non-artery-clogging dressings and condiments that taste even better than the highly-processed bottled brands.
Don’t think we forgot snacks! That would be… nuts! (We’ll wait for you to get your mind out of the Hostess-gutter…): Whether you prefer them raw, roasted or in their butter form (no, Nutella doesn’t count), nuts and seeds are perfect for quick, on-the-go, guilt-free snacks.