Can you believe it’s already July? Time really does fly from that other "J" month that starts the year and gives us hope and promise of a “new year, new me." Going into a new year with goals is great, and setting goals around your health and well-being is even better. Yet while some of us promise ourselves in January that we'll eat healthier, by the time we reach the summer months, we might find that we've fallen back into old routines. Keep in mind, though, it’s never too late to restart your resolution, or even add in new healthier habits! Getting started is easier than you think—going into it with the right mindset is half the battle.
Do's and Don'ts of Eating Healthier
Here's what you should focus on...
- Do eat real whole foods.
- Do make your favorite veggie and fruits a go to food for snacking
- Do eat grains specifically whole ones.
- Do eat fat from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, and flavorful oils.
- Do protein in the form of lean meats, chicken, legumes, beans, and even eggs.
- Do dairy the low-fat kind that include milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Do frozen if you can’t find fresh veggies and fruits, avoid those that include sauces or added sugars.
Try to avoid letting these things happen...
- Don’t go it alone. Make sure you have a support network of friends and family that know you are working to change your eating patterns.
- Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you like or want—that just sets you up to go backwards. It’s okay to eat it and move on.
- Don’t focus only on the numbers and make it all about counting calories or grams of fat.
Keep it Simple in the Kitchen
Start Small and Stay Efficient
You don’t need to be a chef to eat healthily and prepare great food for yourself. Start small by setting a goal of cooking once or twice a week, and choose simple recipes that include ingredients you like! Another tip is to make extra so you have some for the next day’s meal, or plenty to serve with family that's visiting. Remember: baking, grilling, and pan sautéing are great ways to cut out fat and calories that come from deep-frying foods. If you're running short on time, use a crockpot or cook up some food over the weekend so all you have to do is reheat and serve when you want it.
Keep the Pantry and Fridge Full
Stock your pantry with some basics that you enjoy, Healthy oils like olive, or canola. Basic seasoning like oregano, lemon pepper, cumin, etc. will enhance any entreé. Some staple sides include canned or dried beans, rice, and canned tomato paste or diced tomatoes.
Make it Fun
Try being adventurous with a new vegetable or a different type of fish that's fresh in the summer. Visit our website for some great options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, and even beverages! Need some quick inspiration? Try these ideas for refreshing summer eats.
- Spread peanut butter on whole grain toast or crackers or with celery or an apple
- Add avocado slices to your sandwich or salad
- Make your own trail mix with your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
- Choose oil-based dressings for your salad instead of creamy or fat free dressings
- Add canned salmon, tuna or even sardines to your salad or crackers. The goal is 2 or more servings of fatty fish per week
- Add ground flaxseed to hot or cold cereal, yogurt, bread, pancakes, or baked goods.
As always, I can't emphasize enough that total health is a balance between good nutrition and exercise! Even a brisk walk around the block a few times a week can help you stay healthier and even inspire you to eat right and stay on track. Making these small changes over time can lead to big results.
Cheers to a happy and healthy summer!