Most people want to be healthy. I can’t think of a reason that someone wouldn’t want to feel great, get sick less often, and have more energy. A leading American nutrition and fitness expert, Jack Lalanne, once said,
“Exercise is King. Nutrition is Queen. Put them together, and you’ve got a kingdom.”
Today we are going to talk about how you can eat healthy, even if you have a busy schedule.
Shop Smart and Strategically
I once helped a coworker with her nutrition. She was doing her daily exercise, keeping a food journal, and eating well during the day, but she had one major problem with her diet. She said she often got up at 3 AM to snack on Oreo Cookies and didn’t know how to stop herself. My advice was simple for breaking the habit, stop buying the Oreo Cookies, and then you won’t be able to snack on them at 3 AM. She was a smart lady, but somehow this idea did not cross her mind. When you shop, if you only buy nutritionally dense food, that’s what you and your family will be eating.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for the freshest and healthiest foods. The inside aisles are reserved for the more processed foods, but the edge will contain your dairy, vegetables, fruits, and meats.
Shop for color when choosing fruits and vegetables. Thousands if not millions of articles have been written on nutrition. One simple tip to simplify shopping for produce is to make sure your cart is filled with colorful items. The reds, purples, oranges, greens, and yellows all have a purpose and a reason to be in your diet.
Avoid Refined Sugars and Processed Foods
Depending on your energy expenditure, everyone has a certain amount of calories that they can eat each day without gaining weight. Try not to fill up those calories with wasted food, like sugary, fatty and processed snacks. Instead, try substituting fruits and vegetables for your sugar cravings. If you crave fatty foods, try avocados or almonds. Both are nutrient-dense foods that should help those cravings for fatty foods.
Eat from the Five Food Groups
We all are going to want a treat once in awhile that’s not healthy, but by eating from the five major food groups the majority of the time, you are giving your body the nutrition it so greatly needs. Here are the five food groups that you should strive to include as the main part of your diet.
This group is going to be calcium-packed. You have a lot of choices here from kinds of milk to different cheeses to yogurts. Go for the freshest and least processed. I like to get milk from neighbors who have cows or goats because I know the milk is coming from a healthy source and that the animal was treated kindly. Your best bet for healthy dairy is your local farmer’s markets.
There are so many excellent and tasty fruits to choose from in this group. You can go with your basics of apples, oranges, and bananas to the more exotics like figs, kiwis, and papayas. This food group will supply you with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. I like to shop our local weekly farmer’s markets for this food group because I know it’s going to be fresh and it’s supporting the producer directly.
Lean Meats, Fish, Eggs, Tofu, Nuts, and Seeds
This group here is going to supply your body with the protein that it needs to function at its optimal level. Protein is essential for building, maintaining, and repairing body tissues. Your heart is a muscle that will benefit greatly from this food group.
You should eat the bulk of your daily portions from this group that is jam packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
When choosing grains, try to go for whole grains. By choosing whole grains in your pasta, cereals, bread, and rice, you are going to get the most nutritionally dense grains. You’ll also be getting more fiber by choosing whole grains.
I hope that these tips helped you start to become a better, healthier you!
For tips on healthy dieting, click here.