Okay, so now you realize or maybe your doctor has told you to start eating better, you think “no problem, I can do that”, so the first thing you eat is a salad. Now you are wondering, so what do I eat for dinner, then for breakfast, snack and for the rest of the week. So now what?
Trying to figure out how to start out eating healthy and dieting can be challenging. If you are changing your diet to lose weight, reduce your cholesterol levels, reduce fatigue or just following doctor’s orders than you may not know where to begin. It is hard to stay with a diet plan long term, giving up foods we love is tough especially when we are constantly surrounded by it and reminded of it with those pesky commercials of pizza, ice cream, fried chicken, burgers and …. okay, I could go on forever! The point is you need to find a starting point without feeling like you are being punished.
The first step to starting better eating habits is to add at least one serving of vegetables and fruit to your diet everyday. I know this sounds easy but when you think about it an unhealthy diet is full of processed food and sugar. Examples of processed foods are hotdogs, boxed foods, frozen dinners, sausage, chips and lunch meat. Sugar is in everything these days, it shows up in foods that we don’t even realize they are in like ketchup and sodas. Think of the most common breakfast foods,
- hash browns
- kid cereals
Most of these foods are processed. The majority of the meals you eat are probably processed or filled with sugar and you don’t even realize it. Get the picture? Although these are not the worst offenders when it comes to unhealthy foods, eaten in moderation these are not too bad. But if we just eat processed and sugar packed foods for every meal everyday we can’t call ourselves healthy.
Step 1 to Start Eating Better
- Eat at least 1 serving of VEGETABLES everyday
- Eat at least 1 serving of FRUIT everyday
The best start to eating healthy is to make sure you have at least one serving of vegetables AND fruit everyday. Many of us go for days with very little or no vegetables or fruit. The fruit may be easier than veggies, but you must have both to start out on a balanced healthy routine. Breakfast and snack is the perfect time to add a serving of fruit. Mornings are often met with rushing to work or getting the kids to school. It is easy to pick up an apple, banana, grapes or strawberries on your way out the door, you can eat it before, after or with your regular breakfast meal. It is great for in the car on the way to work and school and make easy snacks also. This is what I do on my way to work.
Vegetables may be a little tricky, many adults don’t care for vegetables and if so they add salt, cheese or other seasonings that make it less healthy. However eating vegetables is eating vegetables, at least your on the right track! Adding vegetables can be easier for lunch and dinners, if it is taco night you can add sliced peppers, corn, sliced cooked zucchini or a salad with some kale mixed in. If pizza is a must for Friday nights dinner than add a small salad with it, lasagna goes great with green peas and jambalaya with a side of baked sweet potatoes goes well together.
By the way sliced carrots go with everything and are pretty reasonable to purchase, great as a snack, side or add in for recipes and salads.
You must not skip a day make it a daily goal and write down what your ate for the day in a journal. Download this free Food Journal.