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Food rulesLife as a mother is rigorous and complicated sometimes. It’s easy to neglect the very thing that gives us the health and energy we need to do everything we do. But with all the diet fads, super foods and eating regimens out there, it can be particularly confusing and frustrating for us to figure out how we should be eating for optimal health.

I’ve tried lots of eating regimes. From lacto/ovo vegetarian, to vegan and a complete 180 to paleo! But I’ve found in all my trial and error that no ONE system has the right answer (all the time) for my body. And so I break the rules and make my own. And you should too.

Here are 4 simple (and general) food rules to take the guess work and STRESS out of eating healthy.

Rule 1 – Eat the most natural foods you can find, MOST of the time.

I like to follow the 80/20 rule here, since no one and nothing is perfect. It goes like this. Eighty percent of my food intake is minimally processed AND organic and twenty percent – well its whatever I want.

The fact is natural unprocessed foods that are either grown in/on the earth or raised on the earth are best for us. These are the foods our bodies are designed to eat and have kept us healthy and thriving for millennia.

Rule 2 – Make your grocery shopping strategic.

I don’t like lists and don’t usually take a list to the grocery store. (Bet you didn’t expect to read that!) But I do my shopping weekly and have well established strategies that allow me to buy all the things I need to make nutritious meals and it doesn’t take me a lot of time.

In a nutshell I only buy what’s good for our bodies (80/20). That almost guarantees that the food I eat throughout the week is going to be mostly good for me. I talk a lot more about strategies you can use to make shopping for and preparing healthy foods in my eBook. Check it out!

Rule 3 – Set time aside for eating.

The yogi in me really loves this one! Yoga teaches that we set aside a time to do all the things that are important to us. Eating is an important activity.

When we can consistently anticipate when we’ll have breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner then our bodies adjust and get hungry at those times out of habit.

Humans are creatures of habit and habits help us feel more secure and reduce our stress.

It also helps busy moms, like us, make sure that we are actually eating and getting the calories and nutrients we need instead of skipping meals to send those few last emails. You can even take this step farther and make a routine out of your meals.

For instance have fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Soup and salad for lunch. Nuts and fruit for snack and a healthy, veggie loaded, meal of your choosing for dinner.

Rule 4 – Close the kitchen at night.

This is a REALLY hard one for many of us, myself included. We can be so “good” during the day but when the sun goes down, and the kids go to sleep we find all of the not so great for us stuff to eat.

So to avoid late night snacking make sure you’ve eaten a substantial enough dinner that will keep you satisfied until bed time.

Also try to make a deal with yourself. For instance, I get 1 serving of dark chocolate after I put the kids to sleep. That’s my treat that I look forward to all day.

Finally when dinner and desert are done put the leftovers away and close the kitchen. That means don’t even bother opening the fridge or pantry until the next morning. This rule took a LOT of training for me and I still have to retrain myself back into this habit after a long vacation or a holiday. So be patient with yourself.

Life is busy and complicated enough, but that doesn’t mean eating has to be. Try to implement these four rules and see if you aren’t constantly more energetic and ready to handle your days.

Are You Ready To Shop For and Prepare Health Foods on The Cheap?

Check out my ebook and learn my secrets to low-cost healthy family meals!