Fruits-and-VegetablesMany people don’t know where to start when it comes to eating healthy.  Think of food as fuel for your body.  Your body needs healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and whole grains to function at its best.

How many people take better care of their cars than they do of their bodies?  We take our cars in to get the oil changed, have it checked out when it doesn’t run right or makes unusual noises, and we only put gasoline or diesel fuel in the fuel tank.  Why do we do these things?  So our car will last longer.  What would happen if we put a lot of sand in the fuel tank?  It would plug up the fuel filter and could cause other damage to the car.  We also have to make sure there is the right amount of oil in the car.  If it runs out of oil your engine will fail.

Eating a lot of sugar is like putting sand in the fuel tank.  We know it’s not good for us, but we continue to do it.  Not drinking enough water is like running low on oil. If we drink plenty of water, we will feel better and our body will function better.

So, what can we do to take care of our bodies?  Here is an easy maintenance plan:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast – include plenty of protein (eggs are a great source)
  • Eat every few hours to prevent your blood sugar from falling and to keep your metabolism running
  • Bring a healthy lunch and healthy snacks to work instead of going out to eat.
  • When you don’t have time to make a lunch, go to the grocery store to pick up salad or fruit.
  • Always have healthy snacks available, so you aren’t tempted to eat junk food.
  • Get plenty of sleep

Here is a list of foods that are considered healthy and should make up your main meals:

  • Protein (fish, poultry, beans, nuts, eggs)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits (fresh are best and don’t add sugar)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta)
  • Low-fat cheese/dairy (limit to 1 to 2 servings per day)
  • Water or tea (with little or no sugar)

Here are some healthy snack options you can eat in limited quantities:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tuna on whole grain wrap
  • Whole grain pita with hummus
  • Whole grain crackers with peanut butter
  • Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  • Yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Dark chocolate
  • Lightly salted cashews or almonds and craisins
  • Graham crackers

Here is a list of foods to avoid:

  • Fried foods
  • Soft drinks or other sugary drinks
  • Food containing trans fat
  • Processed meats
  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Any food containing a lot of sugar
  • Salt
  • Processed foods