|Start Off The New Year By Adding Eating More Fresh Produce|
I hope you had a wonderful New Year celebration and are ready for 2011! One of the things I like about the start of the New Year is that it offers the opportunity to hit the “restart” button. So, for anyone who feels a bit bloated from all the celebrating over the holidays, and wants to hit the “restart” button, I’m offering up a challenge for you in January 2011. I challenge you to try all of these suggestions (or as many as you can) and see how you feel by the end of January.
- Don’t eat any processed foods. This includes baked goods, frozen foods, and sugary breakfast cereals, that contain enriched wheat flour and white sugar; processed meats (coldcuts, hot dogs, bacon, sausage); fast foods; soda and fruit drinks. Read the ingredient label of everything you buy. The list should be short and include only whole foods that you recognize.
- Don’t eat anything white. This includes pasta, breads, cookies, cakes, muffins, and cereals that contain enriched wheat flour (this is not the same as “whole wheat” flour) and white sugar. Again, be sure to read the ingredient labels.
- Don’t eat any sweets except for fresh fruit. This way, you can be sure you are not eating any processed sweets.
- Don’t make meat the main course; rather, treat it as a side dish or better yet, make a vegetarian dish of lentils or beans in place of meat.
|Red Lentil Vegetable Soup|
- Do clean out your pantry and restock a Healthy Pantry.
- Do eat more leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables.
|Glazed Brussel Sprouts|
- Do eat more whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. If you eat pasta, choose varieties made with whole grains.
|Vegetable Fried Rice|
- Do eat small healthy snacks in between meals, such as a handful of nuts or seeds, fresh vegetables with hummus, or a piece of fruit.
|Smoky Black Bean Tartine with Avocado|
- Do drink lots of water instead of fruit drinks which contain lots of sugar.
- Do eat more Superfoods.
One quick and easy way to eat more healthily is to reconsider the portions and proportions of foods on your plate. Instead of making meat the main event on your plate, treat it as a side dish. For example, to start, reduce the meat portion to half of what you usually eat, and replace it with one or two vegetables. Better yet, go meatless a few days a week, substituting a dish of tasty lentils or bean chili for protein.
Another easy way to add more healthy foods into everyday meals is to make soup. Soups serve as one-dish meals, served with a nice refreshing salad and some whole grain bread.
I hope these tips are helpful and encourage you to eat more healthfully this New Year. For some recipe ideas, take a look at my Recipe Index. I would love to hear what changes you’re making to eat more healthily in 2011!
My rule about baked goods…make them myself. Even if I were to add all of the refined flours and sugars (which I don't!), they are a far sight healthier than storebought!
I agree, homemade is definitely healthier than store bought since you know exactly what goes into the recipe. I've substituted white whole wheat flour (flour milled from hard white spring wheat, which is softer and lighter in color than traditional red wheat) and ground flax seeds (3:1 ratio) for a portion of oil called for in recipes with success.
Great post for the new year!