Aim for better quality
The concept of better quality is a general value that I try to apply to a lot of areas of my life: quality food & ingredients, quality movement, quality content, etc. It's something that I try to focus on when I am looking for a new challenge and to see if I can up my standards on something. It is also a coaching concept that I use and encourage with clients to do. This is especially helpful when they either feel stuck or if they feel like they already have a lot of healthy habits in their life and are looking to level up.
When it comes to quality food, as a general rule of thumb, I recommend starting to paying attention to the ingredient lists and seeing if you know everything that is in something before consuming it. This especially applies to those convenience snacks for on the go, but it also applies to fresh foods such as meat, dairy, breads, etc. You don’t have to know the intimate details of ingredients, but if you can't pronounce something or don’t know what it is, start to question if you should be eating it.
A few quick tips for food:
check out organic versions of things - the organic industry has higher standards on the quality of ingredients, but be aware that this doesn’t apply to ALL organic food.
look at different brands of the same thing - some brands have higher standards and sometimes it’s as easy at assessing a few different brands for the food you are currently buying. I especially find this helpful when I’m buying sauces such as curry sauce or coconut milk
avoid the products that overpromise - products that promise low calorie, low fat, low insert-healthy-topic-of-the-month, tend to be filled with something else to maintain flavour and over all addictiveness
Swaps I’ve made recently to food:
Popcorn - air-popped instead of microwave, or bagged popcorn (Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop is my go-go)
Meat - organic or grass-fed meats
Salad dressings - check out the ones that are in the cooler section versus on the shelf
Cereal - swapped to organic
Pasta - swapped to pastas made with chickpeas or lentils
Better skin and beauty products
This one is somewhat of a plug because I swapped to Beauty Counter due to their reputation for quality products and ingredients. Skin and beauty products are full of ingredients that I can’t pronounce so I stick to brands I can trust and who value quality ingredients. Simple as that.
OK so bare with me on this one because do believe that any movement is better than none, so start there. Personally I come from a world where I lift a lot of heavy things and put significant stress on my body through exercise. To avoid injury, I place a high value on quality movement. How do I do this? I give equal opportunity to working on body weight exercises that focus on slow quality foundational movement as I do the high weight, high volume and high intensity movement. Constantly assessing (take a video) or getting coached are ways to help add this to your life.
There are so many ways to add quality, so give it a try if you are looking for a challenge or a change up.