How would you rate your eating habits? Good? Bad? Or somewhere in the middle?
Are you willing to change your habits to ensure a healthy, nutritious way of eating?
If so, you are in luck – below are 5 simple guidelines for a healthy diet.
First and foremost . . . buy all-natural, whole, unprocessed foods. Avoid packaged, prepared foods that are loaded with additives, fillers, and preservatives.
Cook from scratch using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on instant foods and packaged meals, learn to create dishes using fresh and healthy ingredients.
Prepare highly nutritious dishes without all the harmful additives, excessive sugars, and fats.
For example – Create casseroles using brown Basmati rice, low-fat milk, fresh vegetables, and lean meats or chicken. I guarantee there will be fewer calories (and no additives).
Yes – cooking from scratch takes more time to prepare and requires developing a rhythm for creating healthy dishes on a regular basis.
With practice, you will become more and more efficient and dinners will go together quickly.
You need to be on the lookout for tips and tricks on how to cook ahead (making a portion or all of the meal the night before – or cooking several meals on the weekend that you can freeze.
Then, you can have dinner on the table in under an hour. (A good place to start is with my book, Cook Ahead – Freezer to Table,)
Keep only healthy desserts and snacks in your pantry and fridge.
Children (and adults) love a tasty snack after school (or work).
- Keep a freezer full of frozen snacks such as fruit juice popsicles and frozen fruit – blueberries and grapes are especially good.
- Always have a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter (or in the fridge) – ready for kids to grab, peel and eat.
- Place a bowl in the fridge of sliced fresh fruit or vegetables – with a dip. Low-fat sour cream and powdered sugar ready for sprinkling (or vanilla Greek yogurt) are great for fruit; and guacamole or hummus for the veggies.
- Have cans or bags of nuts available for little hands to grab and eat.
- Offer string cheese to nibble on. This provides quick protein for energy and calms the appetite until dinner.
Buy lean meats – Leaner cuts of meat are the best choice. Always cook a little more than your family will eat and use leftovers for healthier lunches and to create new dishes for an easy weekend meal.
Use healthier oils – My preference is olive oil, which is great for making salad dressings and also for cooking (but not for baking) – use pure canola oil for baking, when required.
If you are watching calories try scrambling eggs or sautéing foods, with cooking sprays. (My preference is PAM® Cooking Spray.) But, having said that, a little butter goes a long way and is much tastier.
There you have it – five simple guidelines for a healthy diet.
All you have to do is choose to follow them, and you will be on your way to a healthier, happier life.
You will look forward to each day with greater enthusiasm, you will have the energy to meet the demands of your busy life, and you will enjoy a wonderful sense of well-being.
The next post will include more specific suggestions on types of foods to fill your pantry that will make eating healthy easier.