A Recipe for Success: Eat in a Way that is Nutritious and Delicious

The season of barbeque, ice cream and apple pie will quickly be upon us, so as National Nutrition Month, March is a good time to look at what we’re putting into our bodies. Anyone enjoys a good meal, but the trick is to enjoy what you’re eating and at the same time consume the right fuel for your body so that it benefits you and provides a sustaining source of energy.

  • Snacking is often a large part of your caloric intake on any given day. If you keep a stock of healthy snacks nearby, the temptation of fast food or a vending machine are easier to resist. Nutritional, fulfilling snack ideas include fresh veggies and fruit—celery, carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, grapes, oranges, strawberries and pineapple are great choices, air-popped popcorn is high in fiber (if you salt and butter it, do so lightly), dried fruits—check the label to ensure it is not coated in corn syrup or invest in a dehydrator and dry your own fruits to save on money and calories, high protein snacks like mixed nuts or dried edamame, and fat-free yogurt for a dose of calcium. If you buy probiotic yogurt, it helps balance your stomach bacteria so has an added health benefit.
  • Pay attention to the sugar and fat levels in what you eat. Chips, candy and soda are all laden with added sugars and solid fats. There are healthier options of these—baked chips, all-natural candies and stevia-sweetened sodas are healthier choices of more mainstream junk food options.
  • Drink lots of water! Often, the human body thinks it is hungry when it is simply dehydrated. If you want other options, low-fat or fat-free milk and 100-percent juices are better choices than soda or flavored water. Sports drinks are marketed as healthy choices but are often loaded with sugar.
  • Do not eat when you’re bored. Many people are guilty of this—we get into a bad habit of “comfort eating” to alleviate stress or boredom. Unfortunately, this can lead to an increased sense of discontentment, since the wrong foods often leave us feeling bloated and heavy.

The most important key to healthy eating habits is making good choices—be aware of what is in the food you’re buying and eat in moderation. Fresh food is better than canned or frozen, and home-cooked meals are much healthier than most fast food options.

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