Tips for Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible for the rest of your life, all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you. You can expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a tasty, healthy diet.
Tip 1: Set yourself up for success. To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
· Simplify. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients.
· Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.
· Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet.
Think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.
Tip 2: Moderation is key. The goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months, or until you’ve hit your ideal weight. So try to think of moderation in terms of balance.
For most of us, moderation or balance means eating less than we do now. More specifically, it means eating far less of the unhealthy stuff, and more of the healthy. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love.
· Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.”
· Think smaller portions. Use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small.
Tip 3: It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat. Slow Down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down.
· Eat with others whenever possible.
· Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes.
· Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
· Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day.
· Avoid eating at night. Eating only when you are most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day, may help to regulate weight.
Tip 4: Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Some great choices are; Greens, Sweet Vegetables and Fruit.
Tip 5: Eat more healthy carbs and whole grains. Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.
Tip 6: Enjoy healthy fats & avoid unhealthy fats. Good sources of healthy fat are needed to nourish your brain, heart, and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA are particularly important and can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia.
Tip 7: Put protein in perspective. Protein gives us the energy to get up and go – and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. A lack of protein in our diet can slow growth, reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart and respiratory system.
Try different types of protein. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources – such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu , and soy products – will open up new options for healthy mealtimes.
Tip 8: Add calcium for strong bones. Calcium is one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, as well as many other important functions.
You and your bones will benefit from eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, limiting foods that deplete your body’s calcium stores, and getting your daily dose of magnesium and vitamins D and K – nutrients that help calcium do its job.
Tip 9: Limit sugar and salt. If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet – sugar and salt.
Tip 10: If you need a snack in between meals, make healthy choices. Choose raw nuts, vegetable sticks (keep clean vegetable sticks in some baggies in your fridge and grab them when you feel the urge to snack),or fruit such as bananas, or apples.
Here is a low-fat, tasty dish for you to try. Adding a nice colorful salad to go with this chicken dish will round out a healthy, delicious, filling and satisfying meal:
Nachorific Stuffed Chicken
Oven: 350 degrees
½ cup fat free refried beans
4 wedges light spreadable Swiss cheese (such as Laughing Cow) at room temperature
¼ cup fat free shredded cheddar
For the filling, mix the above ingredients and set aside.
16 low fat baked Tortilla chips
1 teaspoon dry Taco seasoning
For the topping, crush chips and add Taco Seasoning, mix.
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts, pound to 1/3”
Spoon the filling onto the center of chicken breasts. Roll chicken breasts over filling and secure with toothpicks. Cover each cutlet with 1 Tablespoon of Taco Sauce. Coat each cutlet with the crumb mixture.
Place in baking pan, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake until chicken is cooked through and the outside is crispy, approximately 15-20 minutes more.
270 calories each.
From: Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, Low Fat Mexican Recipes