Now is the time to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle in 2016 with these food, nutrition and physical activity tips.
Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Try making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen and canned.
Watch Portions Sizes
Get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt.
Regular physical activity has so many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can for at least 10 minutes at a time. Children and teens should get 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two hours and 30 minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym – take a walk after dinner or play a game of catch or basketball.
Fix Healthy Snacks
Healthy snacks can sustain your energy levels between meals, especially when they include a combination of foods. Choose from two or more of the MyPlate food groups: grain, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein. Try raw veggies with low-fat cottage cheese, hummus, or a tablespoon or peanut butter with an apple or banana.
Consult an RDN
Whether you want to eat better to lose weight, lower your risk or manage a chronic disease, consult the experts! Registered dietitian nutritionists can help you by providing sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice.
Follow Food Safety Guidelines
Reduce your chances of getting sick by practicing proper food safety. This includes regular hand washing, separating raw protein foods from ready-to-eat foods, cooking foods to the appropriate temperature to slow bacteria growth. www.homesafety.org
Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals
You can eat our and stick to your healthy eating plan! The key is to plan ahead, ask questions and choose foods carefully. Compare nutrition information, if available, and look for healthier options that are grilled, baked, or steamed.
Enact Family Meal Time
Plan to eat as a family at least a few times a week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.
Banish Brown Bag Boredom
Whether it’s a lunch for work or school, prevent brown bag boredom with easy-to-fix, healthy lunch ideas. Try a whole-wheat pita pocket with veggies soup with whole grain crackers or a salad or mixed greens with low-fat dressing.
Drink More Water
Quench your thirst by drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water if you are active, live or work in hot conditions, or are an older adult.
Explore New Foods and Flavors
Add more nutrition and eating pleasure by expanding your range of food choices. When hopping, make a point of selecting a fruit, vegetable or whole grain that’s new to you and your family. Try different versions of familiar foods like purple asparagus, Honeycrisp apples, broccoflower or quinoa.
Eat Seafood Twice a Week
Seafood-fish and shellfish-contains a range of nutrients including healthy omega-3 fats. Salmon, trout, oysters and sardines are higher in omega’3s and lower in mercury.
Cut Back on Added Sugars
Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition. Reviewing ingredients on the food label can help you identify sources of added sugar. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for more information. Source: Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Here is a delightful dish that’s easy to prepare and delicious from our Right Bite Diabetic Cooking School. It’s called:
4 – 4 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Sprinkle chicken evenly with lemon pepper.
- In medium non-stick skillet, sauté the onion, mushrooms and chicken. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
- Turn chicken and add lemon juice.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook 5 minutes longer until chicken is done (internal temperature 170 degrees F.).
Makes 4 Servings
Carbohydrate: 4 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 28 grams
Sodium: 79 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 66 milligrams
Exchanges: 4 very lean meats, 1 vegetable