Achieving A Balanced Diet
Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as hard or restrictive as many people imagine. The main steps are to eat mostly foods from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans while limiting consumption of processed foods. Here are a few steps to help you achieve a healthier and more balanced diet!
1) Eat a variety of foods
Eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure you get all of the disease-fighting potential that foods offer. You are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan by switching up your healthy food sources to prevent boredom as well.
2) Keep an eye on portions
Feel free to eat all the fresh fruit and veggies you like! However, make sure to not over indulge on calorie dense foods such as pizza and ice cream. Decline “super-sizing” your meals and pick an appetizer or share and entrée with a friend when dining out. Keep in mind the portions we get at restaurants are often way too large! Also make sure you are reading your food labels and checking the serving size. It is easy to eat an entire box of cookies so make sure you measure out the correct size to avoid over eating 😉
3) Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
If you are on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, make sure to eat 2.5-3 cups of veggies and up to 2 cups of fruit a day. Fill your plate up with a variety of colors- green, red, yellow, orange, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. The rich colors mean they are filled with disease fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
4) Eat more whole grains
Switch out your white bread for bread made from whole grains such as whole wheat, oats and barley. Avoid any products that contains “white flour” or “enriched flour” on the label. Make sure your bread reads 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. Also start including healthy grain alternatives in your meals such as brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa.
5) Limit refined grains and added sugar
The refined carbohydrates found in snacks, baked goods, white pasta and white bread are stripped of its fiber and nutrients. Limit the sugar and empty calories that cause weight gain from sodas and candy.
6) Eat more fish and nuts
Consume more healthy unsaturated fats such as almonds, walnuts, fish and avocados. These fats are still calorie dense so watch your portions, but they do not tend to promote weight gain because they are satisfying. Fatty fish such as salmon has healthy omega-3s that can help prevent heart disease.
7) Watch the liquid calories
Make your first beverage choice be water! Save a ton of calories by cutting out soda and juice that’s loaded with sugar. If you drink juice, make sure its 100% fruit juice and limit it to one cup a day.
8) Get rid of trans fats
Trans fats are in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in many processed foods such as baked goods, margarine and snack foods. Trans fats raise the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease.
9) Cut back on your cholesterol consumption
Cholesterol is found only in meat and eggs. The average person shouldn’t consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day and 200 mg a day if you have high cholesterol or other coronary risk factors. Try cutting back on your meat and egg portions and try adding egg whites, fish or beans to get your required protein intake.
10) Watch your calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D is vital for bone health. The average American needs 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day. You can get calcium and vitamin D by consuming fat free or low fat dairy products or fortified beverages. Try switching to unsweetened almond milk which is double the calcium of cow milk if you don’t get enough or take a supplement.
Try these NEW Superfood recipes your whole family will love!
Gluten Free Baked Cheesy Pasta
2 cups rotini pasta (I use brown rice to make gluten free – you can also do corn or quiona pasta but 100% whole wheat will do of you don’t need it gf)
1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes*
1, 14 oz can of pasta sauce*
6-8 oz low fat shredded mozzarella cheese*
Additional spices such as oregano and rosemary
Cook the pasta then mix the remaining ingredients together and bake for 30 minutes at 400 deg.
* make these Ingridents organic since they are part of the dirty dozen !
Blueberry Buckwheat Bread, gf, no added sugar
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon chia seeds
4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons milk
Mix the dry ingredients then the wet & bake in a loaf pan at 375 deg until done! (About 30-40 min I think;)