I had always been interested in nutrition, but I started really taking healthy eating seriously when I began to want to increase my running speed (and it worked, not to mention a big reduction in body fat percentage!). We've cut out almost all processed foods in our house. I try to make as much as I can from scratch. My husband and I just to be addicted to Diet Coke and now we never drink it. We've instead substituted club soda and add a splash of grapefruit juice for flavor. I became very wary of all the additives in processed foods and the fact that a lot of them have not been fully tested in terms of how they affect our bodies, let alone tested in conjunction with the others that you are ingesting simultaneously.
In addition to cutting out processed foods, we also began to limit our intake of added sugars. We would look at the labels and look at the sugar content. Anything with high sugar, or added sugar was a no go. We entirely get way too much sugar in our American diets. I've found one thing that really helps is just never to have the bad stuff in the house. We don't have any junk food in our house and so when the snacking urge hits, there are fruits, cut up vegetables, yogurt, etc to choose from. After a while, things that I used to like (that were bad for me), I don't really have a desire for anymore.
We have completely cut out meat in our diets as well. I am a Pescatarian and my husband describes himself as a "meat minimalist". He will indulge very rarely in an italian sub :-) I only cook shrimp at the house, but we do often go out for sushi and are big fans of lobster. I do feel through time, I will probably move closer and closer to a vegan, plant based diet.
I try to add in as many vegetables and "super foods" as I can through out the day because I feel this is also something lacking in the typical American diet. Vegetables are chock full of nutrients and relatively low in calories, so they are a win win. I try to sneak them in to anything that I happen to be making, soups, orzo, sandwiches, smoothies, etc. I sprinkle chia seeds on top of my oatmeal and yogurt, add to smoothies, and on top of other foods.
A huge motivator to me and something that I constantly think back to when making my food choices is the documentary, "Forks Over Knives". If you haven't seen it yet, you should! It is on netflix streaming, or you can borrow it from your local library.
If you've seen "Forks Over Knives", what did you think?