CHECKLIST TO HEALTHY EATINGPrint out this checklist each week, check your score and try to improve each week. Keep smiling!
1. Eat when hungry - not bored. Also, don’t postpone mealtimes when you’re ravenous. If you’re hungry at 4 PM, eat a hearty snack and a lighter dinner. Eating when you’re hungry will give you a good level of comfort.
2. Enjoy your foods. Do you eat foods just because they’re there or you’re in a hurry? Treat yourself. Eat foods that taste good and are nutritious. You’ll have a feeling of accomplishment afterwards.
3. Watch nibbles. Food is everywhere. If you’ve lost control and find yourself grazing all day, stop now! Wait at least two hours between your nibbles.
4. Try one new recipe each week. Spend a few minutes, once a week, finding a tasty dish in one of your healthy, low-fat cookbooks (yes, I know you have many gathering dust). Write out the shopping list, stocking up on herbs and spices. There are many hidden healthy ingredients in herbs and spices and their use allows you to lower your use of oils, butter and salt in a recipe.
5. A splash of color - add color (full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) to your meal presentation with new and interesting vegetables and fruits. If you see a vegetable you don’t know, ask how to prepare it. Have you tried spaghetti squash? Yummy.
6. Eating out? Make better choices. Go to your favorite restaurant or try a new one. Some ethnic cuisines have great low fat choices - Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. Choose wisely from the menu. Smaller portions, plenty of vegetables, go for the baked potato or rice instead of fries, ask for salad with light dressing. Take home leftovers and enjoy tomorrow.
7. Sleep or relax when tired, don’t eat! Some people find themselves reaching to the kitchen rather than taking a nap, relaxing for ten minutes, or just slowing down. If you can spare an hour or more, take a yoga class. You will feel refreshed and ready to face the world again.
8. Walk when bored or stressed. Take a brisk 10 - 20 minute walk instead of eating. Take every opportunity to be active. Walk the halls and stairs of your home or walk to the store for a lovely piece of fruit. The fresh air and exercise will help refuel your energy.
9. Keep motivated. Read inspiring books and articles, mark a passage that relates to you. Temptation is all around you so you need to keep your goals in front of you.
10. Find supportive friends. Spend time with caring friends who encourage you to keep in good health. Avoid those who leave you depressed or anxious.
11. Set a good example. Encourage others at your home and office and influence them to follow healthy habits. They will appreciate your concern for them.
12. Plan an activity. Plan the five days you’ll be active. Include friends and family to keep you more committed.
Is there a problem I’ve missed? If so, add it to this checklist and keep focused on your health goals. It’s really worth it!