Updated: Mar 20
In recent years, the demand spike for natural and organic products has been very evident as consumers have become more aware of what goes into the products they use. Transparency of the ingredients and the attempt to include only ingredients found in nature, created without the use of pesticides, chemicals, artificial ingredients or preservatives is a remarkable characteristic of every company that brands itself “natural” or “organic”.
Consumers are increasingly demanding more of products, from all-natural toothpastes and make-up to various household products, foods and drinks. The recent obsession for these natural/organic products has surpassed demand and has opened up new opportunities in the general foods and drinks market. While the natural and organic industry has roots in niche markets, mass marketplaces are beginning to increase availability for these items due to rising demand.
According to Allied Market Research, “Currently, consumer behavior is more inclined towards the health & wellness, safety, social impact, and experience in their food purchasing decisions along with the traditional values such as convenience, price, and taste. Thus, increase in emphasis on health & wellness drives the growth of the global natural food & drinks market. Moreover, rise in awareness for healthy food ingredients is expected to deliver the substantial growth opportunity to industry players.”
But why is that happening? Why are people suddenly more aware and concerned about their health and the ingredients that go into the foods and drinks they consume? In an article by USA Today reporter Bruce Horowitz which surveyed more than 30,000 consumers in more than 60 nations revealed that “young consumers are far more concerned about everything from food ingredients, genetically modified food to organic foods than previous generations. Indeed, an obsession with healthy and clean eating seems to be the order of the day. The most health-centric group of consumers is Generation Z.
These are the men and women younger than 20 years old. More than four out of ten individuals polled in this group indicated that they they would be willing to spend more money for healthier products as opposed to 32 percent of millennials, and 21 percent of baby boomers.”
In last week’s article, I showed some benefits of making the switch to a healthier diet based on essential vitamins and minerals and more organic, low-sugar and fat-free products. This week I will show you a little more about how to start making that switch to eating cleaner and some tips on how to stay on track with your dietary goals.
MAKE THE SWITCH!
Choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits is the main idea behind the switch to clean eating lifestyle. My biggest advice is to start slow and small, with one or two products you heavily consume already and then see how that goes and start implementing it with other product categories. The main goal is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
With the increase in demand, the availability for natural and organic products of all types has also increased so it shouldn’t be hard to find substitute foods and drinks for what you already have been consuming.
Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not. Here are some tips on how to plan and adapt to the switch to healthier products:
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE CHANGE
The first step in my opinion is to understand why you are doing the change and the benefits behind it. In THIS article I show you a little more about the benefits of a healthier diet but you have to tell yourself why do you want to achieve this because it will be much easier to hold yourself accountable later on if you have a clear goal in mind.
2. RESEARCH AND PLANNING
Research and Planning are vital in the process of change. Switching to a whole foods diet will require time and patience in terms of teaching yourself what works and what doesn’t for your specific schedule and daily routine. Reading food blogs, asking people in the nutrition industry and getting yourself familiarized with the brands you consume are a very helpful way of cutting some time on this process.
3. PATIENCE AND WILLPOWER
Again, the whole learning process and adjusting might take time and a lot of patience while shopping and studying the foods and drinks brands. Remember, Fast Foods and sugary drinks unfortunately DO NOT give you essential nutrients and vitamins. Create the habit of snacking on fruits and vegetables during the day and I promise you you’ll be able to push through and in a couple of days you wont even crave fast foods anymore.
4. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
As mentioned earlier, the major change I did in my diet was to add organic fruits and vegetables in a considerable quantity. I am lucky enough to have a small family farm where we are able to plan all sorts of fruits and vegetables ourselves, so I don’t usually worry about chemicals and pesticides contamination. But the simple switch to adding apples, peaches, pears, bananas, etc, during the day have already made an insane difference in how I approach other aspects of my diet.
5. COOK AT HOME WITH HEALTHIER CONDIMENTS
Preparing your own meals at home is one of the best things you can do for your health and your new diet/lifestyle. It (usually) tastes better and gives you full awareness of which ingredients are going in your food, and it can be a super fun experience. Now I understand that depending on your schedule you might use the excuse of not having enough time. It usually takes me 1-2 hours to cook meals for the whole week. I personally am not very picky in terms of options so I just prepare the same meal for lunch and dinner for about 5 days of the week. The other days and meals I give myself the flexibility of cooking it right before consuming it or going out to a restaurant of choice. Keep in mind that our goal here is not to be robots but to keep balance, specially in the beginning. It will cause a major impact on your health, I promise you.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine. If you want to know more about Hydra Guard I highly recommend visiting their online store and using the promo code PM10 for a 10% discount on your purchase. They are always releasing major discounts on their newsletter too so I advise you to subscribe to that as well.