by Abby Eisen, Hive Special Programs Manager

Finding a way to “eat healthier” is a common goal many of us may have on our yearly to-do list. As someone who has had a sensitive stomach since a young age, I have had to figure out a way to make eating healthier part of my daily lifestyle. For me this meant cutting out dairy, being cautious of fried foods, highly acidic items, items high in sugar (particularly cane sugar) and making sure to eat grains with minimal ingredients. I try hard to listen to my body daily; however, I do recognize that it can be challenging to persistently stick to health-conscious guidelines.  

As I was reflecting on this, I learned that in the Jewish tradition, now is a time known as the Counting of the Omer, a 49-day period between the second night of Passover and Shavuot that brings opportunities for reflection and inspiration. Each week represents one of seven spiritual attributes to help us honor this period. In fact, this past week’s intention Netzach (endurance) is all about refining and examining one’s own attributes of endurance

When I think of endurance, I reflect on how I may practice persistence and accountability in my everyday life, particularly when it comes to nutrition. I will share some strategies I use in my own life for healthy eating and I encourage you to use these tips to guide you to figuring out what “eating healthier” means for you, it’s important to focus on foods that make you feel nourished and energized mentally and physically

Create a shopping list 

It is easy to get distracted at a grocery store by that delicious looking snack bag or a new ice cream flavorCreate a shopping list and stick to it. Sunday is my go-to food prep dayso I start by thinking through my week and mapping out ingredients for 2-3 different options for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Check out this “Healthy Eating Made Easy” document for suggestions for a basic shopping list. There are lots of recipes you can make with this list

Shop the Perimeter 

The healthiest foods you will find at any grocery store are around the outside aislesTypically, this includes your produce, refrigerated items and protein counters. I recommend trying to spend most of your time at a grocery store shopping on the perimeter. Some non-perishable items in the middle aisles are helpful to a weekly meal plan like rice, quinoa, canned tomato sauce, oils, and for me the weekly dark chocolate bar by Hu Kitchen. Yet, when striving for a more nutrientdense shopping cart, think fewer non-perishables, more fresh options. Check out this video for some more details as to why sticking to the perimeter is beneficial for a healthy grocery cart

Read the “Ingredients” 

When selecting packaged items, I focus on the ingredients list, not the nutrition information. Instead of being too concerned by the nutrition label, I aim to understand what the actual ingredients are that I’m feeding my body

When I started learning about all the hidden words for sugar and all the extra additives food companies were adding to their products, I was shocked. My rule of thumb, five ingredients or less. Also, if I don’t really know what the ingredients are, I don’t buy the item. You may start to notice how many products have preservatives like sodium benzoate, or any one of the 50+ hidden words for sugar. I suggest using your phone the first few times to look up ingredients

Check here to find a list of hidden words for sugar

Learn A Few Recipes 

Once you have the basic skills for roasting veggies, making a homemade salad dressing, cooking a piece of salmon or making some alternative ingredient pancakes, it’s fun to start playing around with ingredients in order to keep things interesting. Trying one new recipe a week can really broaden your palate, as well as make healthy eating more exciting. After 8 weeks of trying new recipes, you’ll have a whole new array of options to choose from as you continue to find some endurance in this healthy eating practice

Be sure to check out The Hive’s very own Chef Tiffani’s Cooking Corner for some inspiration

Here are some of my other favorite websites for simple, healthy recipes: 

Want a break from food shopping? Check out GreenChef 

Share with Me 

How are you practicing endurance in your own life? Perhaps healthy eating is something you’re also passionate about or are working towards. This time at home might be an opportunity to bring this goal to fruition. Let us know if you have additional tips that help you succeed or share your recipes so the community can gain inspiration as we each practice endurance at this moment!