We all want to eat better, right? We all know the benefits of it. We want to look and feel fab and avoid all the diet-related illnesses that abound in our society. In theory, it's a great idea, and we hold the ideal in high esteem. Then why is it so hard? Why do we struggle so much to make consistently healthy food choices? One reason is just that. It's because it requires a commitment. Eating healthy is a habit, not a "to do" item. It requires an intentional lifestyle shift and a tremendous amount of discipline. It's also difficult because there is an abundance of diet plans and "healthy options" vying for our attention. There's Akins, South Beach, low-fat, low-sodium, etc. There are juicing diets and raw diets and dairy-free ones too. Vegetarian and vegan. Heck, there are even diet cokes and gluten-free cookies attempting to convince us that junk food is actually good for our bodies.With so many competing and contradicting opinions out there, it's no wonder we so easily give up on the prospect of changing our eating habits. So what's the answer?

My advice is very simple and honest since it's something I have personally experienced. Eat whole foods. There. That's it. Now you know the secret to being healthy. Some people call it a whole-foods diet. Others call it a paleo diet. Whatever fancy term you choose to call the concept, the idea is actually very simple and tremendously effective. Eat foods that have one ingredient. You can combine these one-ingredient foods to create dishes, but begin all of your cooking with foods that have one ingredient and cannot be broken down into various components. For instance, a banana is a banana and nothing more. That is a whole food. An almond is also a whole food because it is nothing but almond. Basically, any fruit, vegetable, nut, seed, egg, meat, and fish counts as a whole food as long as it has no additives to it. Eating foods in their most natural, pure state is as good as a diet can possibly get. Anything processed or containing preservatives, dairy, or gluten is a no-no. Be free from this latter list and stick to the items I listed above it.

If you want to change your life for the better, I suggest emptying out your kitchen before you begin. Throw or give away every single item in your kitchen that is processed or contains dairy. Toss the ice cream, cocoa puffs, spaghetti, pizzas, etc. Even seemingly healthy items like yogurt, skim milk, and whole wheat bread should not be in your kitchen because of their high sugar content. Fill your fridge and freezer only with whole foods. Some whole food meal ideas are all-fruit smoothies, chicken breasts fried in coconut oil (which is 100% coconut so it counts as a whole food, as does olive oil), veggie stir fry, and meatballs (without the spaghetti). I recommend googling "easy paleo recipes" for some fabulous whole food recipe ideas.

A valuable hint is to only purchase fresh food that can be frozen if needed unless, of course, you know for sure that you'll be able to use it before it spoils. Since eating whole foods means eating mostly perishable items, it's prudent to purchase foods that can easily be frozen. For instance, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, and peas are easy to freeze. Mushrooms and lettuce aren't. Just keep that in mind as you shop. There is so much more valuable information written on this topic, and I encourage you to do your own research and experiment with using different one-ingredients foods in your cooking. Most importantly, I hope you find true health and happiness.