A Diet without Dieting

10 tips to eating healthy, saving time and money.

By Lauren Johnson, L.D.N.

It’s no surprise that nutrition has become the center of discussion in most people’s lives because nutrition is at the center of our lives. We cannot live without eating food and we cannot survive eating unhealthy food. So where is the middle ground? How can we eat healthy without living a life governed by juice cleanses, hunter-gatherers or glutenous grains?

Here is a guide on how to start eating healthier, without drinking the fad diet kool-aid.

The most important thing that is missing in the modern American diet is having a healthy relationship with food. A healthy relationship with food means that you respect what you put in your body, for good and bad.

Think about what you’re eating or the last thing you ate. How does it make you feel? If after you've eaten, you feel both emotionally and physically drained, most likely that food isn't one you should eat everyday. If you feel more energized and happier, you've probably eaten something that your body is actively using to become stronger and healthier. Those are the foods that you should eat daily. Don’t think about foods in terms of good and bad-think of them in terms of frequently and occasionally.

In every food there is a redeeming factor, it just depends on how hard you have to look for it.

10 Tips and Tricks for Saving Money and Eating Healthier

Tip #1: Stay on the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping and you will almost always avoid: sugar-sweetened beverages, chips and snacks, frozen convenience foods, canned foods and bakery items.

Tip #2: Buy at least four-five whole pieces of fruit or containers of fruit each time you go to the grocery store. Bring them to work so when you hit that 3pm wall you have something to tide you over.

Tip #3: Frozen produce is equally as healthy as fresh. Save time, energy and money buy buying frozen produce or buy fresh produce (especially when on sale) and freezing it for later. Frozen fruits are excellent for smoothies.

Tip #4: Keep a bowl of mixed berries in the fridge to eat from in the morning if you are like me and aren't hungry first thing in the morning. Try a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Berries go on sale throughout the year so keep a look out!

Tip #5: Buy and cook in bulk then save the leftovers. Things like rice, grains, soup, stew and chili save well in the fridge or freezer. Save time and calories by portioning out the leftovers for later and avoiding going back for seconds.

Tip #6: Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil in an ice cube tray. Pop a couple into a pan when sauteing chicken, fish or tofu or add them to a pot of warm tomato sauce for added flavor. Use them instead of salt if you suffer from high blood pressure.

Tip #7: Make your own salad dressing. Mix olive oil, vinegar, mustard and dried oregano for a low salt and sugar-free dressing.

Tip #8: Eat on smaller plates. If you are like me and always fill your plate to the max then feel like you have to eat everything on it, eat on smaller plates to avoid over-eating.

Tip #9: Buy plain yogurt and add fruit and honey to it. Fruit yogurts can have upwards of 30 grams of sugar per serving without many of the added health benefits of the fruit. For example: Strawberry Yogurt has about 34 grams of sugar and 6% of your daily needs of vitamin C. Plain yogurt with a quarter cup of sliced strawberries and a tablespoon of honey has about 24 grams of sugar and 40% of your daily needs of vitamin C.

Tip #10: When eating at restaurants, ask for half fries, half salad. Often times dishes will come with a huge side of fries. Ask the waiter if you can get a side salad instead, and if you want, ask for a few fries too. This way you get the best of both worlds.

Remember!

When learning more about nutrition, avoid .com websites. Instead, look for .gov or .edu websites. Most likely, they will be scientifically correct and void of advertising scams.

Want to know more nutrition information about your favorite foods? Go to the link below and enter in any food and any portion size you want. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

Thanks for reading and eat on!

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