You would think eating right would be simple. After all, it’s one of the most basic human behaviors – so why should it be complicated? Unfortunately, healthy eating has become a bit of a mystery with all the different diet theories popping up everywhere. So today I’m going to give you a really basic look at food – how it affects our bodies and a simple way of eating that most health experts agree on.
The above diagram is a good baseline for eating in a way that fuels your body, instead of promoting illness. As you can see, you want the largest portion of your meals to consist of vegetables. This is because veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and many other nutrients that provide healthy building blocks for your body to stay healthy and vibrant. Vegetables also contain many antioxidants and are full of fiber, which work together to flush out toxins and waste, keeping your digestive tract clean and in good working order.
Whole grains like whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice are good sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals – all of which help the body fight disease, as well as giving you energy and an improved sense of wellbeing.
The healthiest proteins are in the form of fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. Limiting your intake of red meat, cheese, and processed meats is also a good idea because too much of these foods can weaken your immune system.
You will also notice the “healthy oils” and “water” sections of the diagram at the top of this post. Make a point to use beneficial oils like canola and olive oil on salads and in cooking. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will aid digestion, keep you hydrated, and improve your overall wellbeing.
If you have as much of a sweet tooth as I do, fruits should become your new best friend because they satisfy your cravings while being good for you at the same time. Try to make a habit of grabbing an apple or orange instead of that candy bar. You can also experiment a little – there are hundreds of kinds of fruits and vegetables. Find a variety of colors and types to try. Eating healthy should never be boring!
So to sum it all up, eat a ton of veggies, form a habit of making your meals consist of whole grains, healthy proteins, and plenty of fruit. Use healthy oils and drink plenty of water. And there you have it! If you are also exercising on a regular basis, there is no reason you can’t “cheat” once in awhile and enjoy a favorite unhealthy food, as long as the vast majority of your diet consists of healthy fueling foods 🙂
Health and fitness are a lifestyle, not a choice. If you are overweight or used to eating a lot of unhealthy foods it will be difficult to form new habits, but I promise it gets easier over time. Your body will do just about anything you ask it to, but that’s the key – you have to ask it to. Make a plan, find an accountability partner, and enjoy the positive changes in your life!