So, you guys should know by now that my health is at the top of my priority list. You can find me sweating my ass off at the gym around 5 times a week. Even though I treat myself to fried chicken way more often than normal, my diet is mostly solid and clean. And I take the time to listen to what’s going on inside of my brain and spend time improving my mental health.

But I haven’t always been this focused on health. By the amount of times that I say y’all in my content, y’all should know that I’m from the US South – more specifically from North Carolina. And god bless the south, but I grew up on a diet of Coke, pizza, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, and any other artery-clogging food that comes to mind. My parents never really thought about the consequences of this diet because they themselves ate these kinds of processed foods. And being the HUGE nerd that I am, I didn’t really pick up the sports side of the family that my brother & sister did. I spent more of my time with books and junk food.

Add all of that together and what do you get? Well, you get a nerdy chubster of a kid who grew up into an adult (loosely using that word here 😅) with body image issues. When I moved to Germany, I decided to take those issues and use them to my advantage. I’ve upended my diet, started spending way more time at the gym, and made my health a priority.

That’s why I want to share my learnings with y’all. First we’re going to start with your diet and how to clean it up. In subsequent articles, I’m going to take you through the other two important parts of health to me – exercising & mental health.

Try out a powder food supplement, like Huel. 

OK, so the first item on the list is something that I’ve just recently started up. Imagine a world where you don’t have to take two hours out of your day to cook dinner. Or a world where you don’t have to scarf down some fast food for lunch because you don’t have time to prep meals. Sounds like heaven, right?

Seriously guys, this has been my struggle for so long. Getting the right number of calories, protein, healthy fat, carbs, and whatever else into my diet is SO HARD when you’re running around super busy all the time like me. I recently started working with a company called Huel, which has created an incredible powder food supplement. It’s touted as “Nutritionally Complete Food” and damn, does it live up to that! I’ve been using Huel for a couple weeks now as a replacement for lunches and post-workout meals. And I couldn’t be more impressed y’all. After one “meal” of Huel, I’m always left feeling full and energised. Start using stuff as a replacement for some of your meals and you’ll be full of health!

Chug water all day, every day.

Remember when your parents and every single person ever told you to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day? Yeah, they weren’t messing around. Drinking that much water throughout the day is one of the keys to a healthy life. The next time that you’re feeling sluggish or even a bit hungry, drink a big glass of water. Chances are you were feeling hungry because you’re body was literally hungry for water or sluggish because your brain works better when you’re hydrated.

Add simple superfoods into your new diet plan.

OK, so you know that any article about your health wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the word “superfood”. You all know what these foods are and why you should have them in your diet. But if you’re thinking that you have to change up your entire diet to add these foods in, then you’re so wrong.

For example, almonds. The nut that you might hate with a passion without it being covered in tons of salt and honey-roasted. BUT you should def have almonds in your diet. They’re full of those healthy fats that are so trendy now – these are the good fats you need to have in your body! One of my favourite things to do with almonds is crush them up in a blender and mix them in with my oatmeal in the morning. Or you can do the same with a salad at lunch. Use your creativity!

Here are some more superfoods to try out: blueberries, pomegranates, spinach, kale, broccoli, acai berries, salmon, and quinoa.

Aaaaand throw out everything processed in your house.

Now, this is something that’s going to take some will-power on your end. No matter how much power those chicken nugs in your freezer have over you, you’ve got to face them head on. Tell those chicken nugs who’s boss and who’s going to be the epitome of health 💪🏼. Every month or so, go through your pantry and fridge to throw out the processed foods that may have found their way in there. This is something that’s really helped me make sure my diet stays clean!

Sorry chicken nugs. 😭

Stay away from the middle area of the grocery store.

Here’s a super simple tip that you can remember the next time you go grocery shopping. Stay away from that middle part of the store. You know which one I’m talking about – the aisles with cookies, frozen meals, sodas, etc. Stick to the perimeter of the store, where you’re going to find mostly fresh and clean stuff (and the alcohol 😏).

Don’t be afraid to stand in the aisle.

Imagine the last time you went to the grocery store. How much time did you spend looking at the actual nutrition levels of what you were putting in your basket? Let’s be honest – it wasn’t that long, right? You probably didn’t even look at the labels at all.

But you shouldn’t be afraid to stand there in the aisle and take a little bit of time reading up on those nutrition labels. So, next time you pick up something in the store, look at the label for a sec. Here’s a tip: If you can’t pronounce half of the words on the ingredients list and it takes you an hour to understand things, then that ‘ish is waaaaay too processed for a healthy diet.

Hopefully these tips have helped you as much as they’ve helped me! Let me know what you thought about them and be sure to check out Huel now that you’re done here.

– Matt

MattBenfield

Hi all! My name's Matt and I'm 22 years old and currently living out my dreams of ignoring my mountain of student debt, living abroad and traveling the world. A few of my favorite things: avocados, pretending I know what I'm doing with my life, huskies, and enjoying the mini-existential crises I have every day.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. oh yay! It’s great that you took charge of it and decided to make a change for the better! Hopefully you can teach me about that when you move here!

    -Didier
    http://www.didieryhc.com

    1. Haha definitely! You’ll learn a ton 😜

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