• AJ Jordan

How to Start Eating Healthier

If you want to eat healthier but don’t necessarily know how?

Here are some great tips:

Swap highly processed foods for less processed and whole foods

Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state.

Highly processed foods are foods that have been processed in many different ways and have many added ingredients like preservatives, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, etc. Examples are ready-to-eat meals, lunch meat, packaged sweets, white bread, crackers, sugary drinks, etc. These foods often have a large list of ingredients on the label.

Processed foods examples are cheese, canned fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit and vegetables, yogurt, bread, butter, frozen meat, etc.

Minimally processed foods examples are bagged lettuce, roasted nuts, cut fruit and vegetables, etc.

Whole foods are foods that have not been processed. Examples are fruit- apple, orange, grapes, etc. Vegetables- green beans, broccoli, corn, etc. Grains- oatmeal, farro, buckwheat, etc. Legumes- beans, peas, lentils.

So Instead of a toaster pastry, have a serving of yogurt with fruit on top or instead of a frozen pizza, have fish with a side salad and an apple! Minimizing your consumption of highly processed foods is the best step you can make to eating healthier.

Lower added sugar intake

Reduce sugary beverages such as soda, sugary lemonade, sweetened tea and foods high in sugar such as candy, cakes, pies, etc. Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat the fruit instead and have a glass of water with it.

Eat more whole grain and less refined carbohydrates

Switch to whole wheat or multi grain bread and crackers. Add your protein on top of a serving of wild rice. Add quinoa in your salad. Oats in your smoothie.

Eat more vegetables

Try to get 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Fill your plate up with them! This helps fill you up and packs lots of nutrients! Think of how you could add more vegetables to each meal.

Be mindful of condiments

They tend to pack a lot of calories per serving, are high in sugar and saturated fat.

Add variety

Try not to eat the same types of foods all the time. Adding variety in your diet ensures you are getting nutrients that other foods might not have.

Have balance

It’s ok to have treats on occasion. Eating healthier should be something you can stick to long term and is realistic to maintain. I, for example, would drink a small soda when I eat take out, but then again, I don’t often eat take out- it’s a treat. Instead of a medium/large fry, I would have a small fry and add a fruit cup. Instead of eating a lot of cake, I’d make sure I eat a complete meal beforehand and have one or two small pieces. These “treats” aren’t the majority of your diet but you can have them on occasion.

Sometimes, we need help. If you, or someone you know can benefit from a custom meal plan, click on the link at the top of my home page!

Happy healthy eating!