Eating healthy has a bit of a learning curve. The fast food drive thru menu is insidiously simple. But what it (and most preprepared food) really does is streamline bad decision making. While it takes a bit of time to get the foundations of a healthy and balanced diet down, here are a few convenient tips to help you acclimate. We created an easy nutritional guideline to follow. Read this article alongside our Daily Menu Examples and our other great nutrition content!
Water is THE easiest and best change you can make to your diet. It is the foundation of healthy nutrition. It cleanses your body, flushes out toxins, wakes you up, and keeps your muscles strong and well tuned. Basically, water should never be far from your side!
Drink a MINIMUM of 80 oz a day (If you workout, sweat, or its very hot outside, drink at least 100 oz). Water also boasts a calorie count of 0. Replace sugary drinks and diet sodas with this beverage and you will look and feel healthier. If you still crave the fizz then try out sparkling water.
Fruits and Veggies
Getting a lot of calories from the vending machine? Replace the sugary snacks and chips with fruits and vegetables. Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day. This number might sound daunting at first, but a fruit and kale smoothie in the morning will help you hit that quota no problem.
Go for a variety of kinds and colors of produce, to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Best bet? Dark leafy greens, cooked tomatoes, and anything that’s a rich yellow, orange, or red color.
Simple Sample Pantry: Apples, berries, grapefruit, carrots, spinach, avocados, kale and mushrooms are easy vegetables to eat and cook.
Lean protein fills you up without fattening you up. Most people consider the “protein” to be the centerpiece of a meal. Too many times the protein becomes the meal. In a world of 1/2lb burgers, chicken tenders, ribeyes, and gyro sandwiches, the plate often gets buried beneath the protein and a pile of fries. Don’t let this happen to you.
Choose lean proteins for your diet such as grilled chicken, grilled fish, lean beef, turkey, buffalo, and tofu. Your body needs protein to build muscle and lean meats are the perfect way of providing your body with the protein that it needs.
Vegetarians have plenty of great plant-based protein options.
Not all grains are created equal. The bread aisle is filled with deceptively healthy options and some that are brazenly bad for you. These are unrefined grains that haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling.
Whole grains are a better source of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. Also, they are much better for your digestive system and your body as a whole.
Simple Sample Pantry: Quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and whole grain flour products are good choices.