Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE wrote an article about an insider’s look at the secrets to sticking with healthy eating this past November 2013. She shared two lists with her readers: 9 Habits of Healthy Eaters and 9 Habits of Non-Healthy Eaters summarized below:
- Grocery shop weekly
- Plan meals and pack lunches
- Cook at home majority of time
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Eat 3 meals per day
- Eat 3 food groups per meal
- Drink lots of water
- Get “back on track” if you ever overdo it
- Willing to try new foods
- Eat out more than 3 times per week
- Go to Fast Food Restaurants weekly
- Eat a lot of processed or packages food
- Skip meals
- Eat fried foods weekly
- Drink sweetened drinks
- Drink large amounts of diet soda or coffee
- Snack a lot after dinner
- Make excuses or why they can’t eat healthy
So is eat healthy this year a resolution or a goal? Resolutions are things you start in January that you say you want to try to do, while goals are things you are continually striving to achieve. I’m very thankful to God that I can say that my present habits are classic healthy eater. I’m even more thankful because I can still clearly remember when I was “my own personal brand” of non-healthy eater, and I felt justified in my ways. For me, the truth of the matter was I wasn’t committed to the goal in my head, my heart and my home like I am today.
Until I decided to change my attitude and embrace the idea that I had to take the steps necessary to get my body healthy, it was only a resolution that I tried and I would ultimately abandon when too much time went by. I pray, give thanks and express gratitude every day for my good steps, for limiting my slip ups and the removal of some of my ugly, self-destructive ways. I thank God for every set of tricep dips, bicep curls, and chest presses I make it through.
But that eating thing is something we have to do every day. The choices we make must help us, not harm. We have to allocate more time to our thoughts, and our actions every day. We first have to decide what fruits and vegetables you want to eat this week based on what is in season and at their peak in the geographical region that you live in. The answer could come from a trip to the farmers’ market, searching the internet or from your local television news person’s segments on what’s plentiful or our best produce buys this week.
Next you need to decide what other items like meats, fish and other sides you want to eat along with these fruits and vegetables over the next week. Open up your refrigerator and cupboards to see what ingredients you have and which ones have to put on your grocery shopping list. Now you have to decide to take the time to shop for quality raw food items for the coming week, and to begin preparing those dishes in advance that you need to during your time off.
During our work week you want to prepare your breakfast, and lunch night before or the morning of eating it before you go to work. Lunch does not have to be a prior nights’ left over. Dinner should be ready to eat within 30 minutes of your arrival home. Cook collard greens, string beans or cabbage on the weekend, but stream broccoli or sauté spinach or broccoli rabe the night you plan on eating it. Pre cook roasted sweet potatoes and leave the last 20 minutes for the day you eat them, but will wait until that day to make mashed potatoes.
Cook desserts mostly on the weekends so that you can have three course meals for lunch and dinner. Make breakfast muffins or breads, frittatas or quiches on the weekends so can heat them quickly during the weekday mornings. Pre cook waffles, and French toast and freeze them; then pop them in the oven to brown completely the morning you eat them.
Take and keep foods like fresh fruit, yogurt with diced fruit packs & granola for a parfait or salsa & tortilla chips and assorted nuts around at work (or at home) to snack on when the hunger pangs come just before lunch, during a late afternoon meeting or while watching television or writing in the evening.
Cut back on processed and package foods, especially on cheeses. Pick up assorted types of graters and buy hunks of cheeses because they last longer and aren’t treated with preservatives like the ones that were cut off for your convenience. To have a longer shelf life they have to have some sort of preservatives sprinkled on the slices.
Start buying and experimenting with adding fresh herbs to your foods for flavor and seasoning. Try fresh thyme with baked fish, or with beef dishes; or some fresh dill with salmon. Start cooking out of the box. Which list best describes you and what changes do you need to make today?
Are you a healthy or a non-healthy eater?