We know how to eat healthy, and many of us certainly intend to. But life is busy, and sometimes complicated, and also we don’t always get to the store when we mean to.
But – to repeat what we all know — nutrition is so important. Along with physical activity, eating a balanced diet can help us with our weight and reduce our chances of getting chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Eating well also just makes a person feel better.
Here are some easy ways to set yourself up to improve your nutrition.
Keep things simple. Don’t follow fad diets with lots of rules; instead, have an eating routine that’s straightforward and easy. As author Michael Pollan famously said: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Keep lean meat, fish, tofu and beans in the house. Include brown rice, potatoes and quinoa in your meals and make sure your fats are healthy ones, like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.
Don’t buy junk food. Just don’t bring it into your home. The next time you’re tempted to buy chips and cookies, pick up plenty of fruit, nuts and yogurt instead.
Pre-measure single portions of snacks. Put almonds or whole-grain crackers into snack-sized bags ahead of time. Then when you need a snack, you will eat the right amount instead of absentmindedly working through a whole package.
- Allow yourself to buy pre-chopped veggies if that’s the only way you’re going to eat them. Or take a couple hours on the weekend and pre-chop the veggies you’ll cook with in the next few days.
- Keep the pantry full of tasty staples that are full of nutrition and easy to fix. Your staples might include brown rice, lentils, canned salmon, tuna and sardines.
- Buy two or three bags of frozen vegetables every week and add a few handfuls to anything you can.
- Bake large batches when you fix your favorite healthy foods. Have it for a couple dinners and a couple take-with-you lunches.
- Divide your plate in half (in your mind). Make sure half of it holds fruits and vegetables. This will fill you up, give you the fiber you need, and keep down the calories.
- Pack lunch the night before while you’re cleaning up from dinner. Plan ahead and put together a healthy lunch of leftovers or a mason jar filled with salad.