Since I ranted about how nutrition is more of a philosophy than a science, I should probably share my philosophy with you!
It’s certainly still evolving (as, in my humble opinion, ever person’s philosophy should.), but I can divulge what seven years of study and personal attempts at wellness have taught me.
1. Eat Colorfully.
Nothing says bleh like a monotone meal- yellow, tan, and off-white don’t make for a nutritionally-balanced or visually appetizing meal. One of the easiest ways to eat healthfully is to eat things that have a variety of colors (NOT food coloring, of course, but natural colors). For example, yellow or orange often indicates Vitamin A. Purples, blues or reds often deliver a whole host of antioxidants. Greens usually deliver a dose of vitamin K. And most colorful foods mean a serving or three of fruits and veggies, which also tend to be high in fiber. All important for keeping and feeling well.
2. Shake Things Up a Little.
If you eat a rotation of 4 or 5 different meals or if you find yourself buying the exact same grocery list every week, you’re likely not eating a balanced diet. I struggle with this because it is SO efficient when you know exactly what ingredients you need to have on hand, and you know exactly what shelf they are on in the grocery store (until they move everything around- but that’s another issue!).
Shoot for rotating at least 10 different meals and challenge yourself to try one new food a week. Fruits are an easy way to start adding new items to your diet! If you’re a banana and apples regular, try reaching for a kiwi or a melon instead. Grains are also an exceptional area for experimentation and adding a little spice to your family’s menu- have you tried quinoa yet? or wild rice? or buckwheat?
Variety is a great way to keep eating healthfully interesting.
3. Nature (Probably) Knows Best.
When it comes to demonizing processed foods, I’m not a big fan of the bandwagon.
However, it is unlikely that yellow #5, blue #1, red #40 and yellow #6 are providing ANY health benefit to me when added to my granola bar. It’s probably best to avoid “added.” If it’s “added” we probably don’t need it- added coloring, added sugar (including High Fructose Corn Syrup), added fats (think: trans fats, saturated fats).
Now, let me just clarify- that does NOT mean that I don’t eat chocolate cake or ice cream or cheeseburgers.
I most definitely do.
These things just aren’t everyday occurences.
Color- Variety- Simple.
That’s my nutrition philosophy.
If you need some inspiration (Don’t we all!)- here’s a few great places to find new recipes for you and your family.
Wow! And check out this list of food blogs- Best Healthy Cooking Blog of 2012