You Are What You Eat
Thankfully, eating healthy isn’t complicated. You don’t need to eliminate all carbs or limit yourself to juice cleanses and broccoli broth. In fact, once you get the hang out of it, healthy eating actually gives you even more options when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and don’t forget dessert!). While specific foods and nutrients can help, your overall goal should be to replace processed foods with real foods and follow a balanced eating plan that’s about getting enough, but not over-indulging. By choosing a dietary pattern that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, you will be able to provide your body (and mind) with the fuel it needs to survive and thrive. So, what does healthy eating look like in the “real world?” Here are some simple tips that will help you eliminate confusion and stick to a tasty and nutritious eating plan.

Step One: Go To The Garden


You will want to start off your healthy food journey by stocking up on fruits and vegetables. The goal is to eat three or more servings of vegetables per day and two servings of fruit. When choosing your fruits and veggies, aim for a rainbow: dark green, red, orange vegetables and fruits of every shade will give you greater variety and ensure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.

Step Two: Keep It Natural

While carbs certainly get a bad rap, it’s not carbohydrates themselves that are the problem – it’s the processing and all the added fat and sugar. When choosing which carbs to eat, choose whole-grain, high-fiber versions of your favorite bread, cereals, and pasta. When possible, reduce or eliminate the refined and over-processed carbohydrates that have too much sugar and little nutritional value.

Step Three: Go Lean


When it comes to protein and dairy, the fight is usually between full fat and non-fat. Adding to the confusion are recent studies promoting “healthy” fats and touting high-protein diets like Atkins and Keto. The key to protein is moderation.

When possible, substitute lean, white-meat (like chicken and turkey) for red meat and pork. Also, try to increase your intake of healthy proteins like eggs, fish, unsalted nuts, seeds, and even soy products. If you eat meat, eat white meat at least four times more often than red meat.

Step Four: Know Your Condiments

When it comes to cooking and flavoring your food, make sure the oils and spices you use to enhance your meal instead of adding unnecessary calories. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans-fats (such as partially hydrogenated oil) as much as possible, and use vegetable oils (like olive or canola oil) instead of solid fats. You will also want to reduce your daily intake of salt or sodium to less than 1,500 mg per day if you are older than 50 or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

Step Five: Keep An Eye On Your Vices

When the topic of healthy eating comes up, most people immediately envision sad plates of celery and cottage cheese. In reality, you can eat healthy while still indulging, as long as you’re smart and disciplined. Junk foods – foods that contain refined white flour, solid fats or trans fats, added sugars, and are high in sodium – are usually the first for elimination, and with good reason. Nevertheless, the occasional piece of cake or cookie will not derail your efforts. You just need to focus on moderation. The same is true for alcohol and soda. As a once-in-a-while indulgence, these foods can be part of a healthy diet. Just remember that your ultimate goal is to build a strong foundation for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

If you're considering a career in public safety, consider a career with the MDC. We provide secure employment and opportunity for those who make the grade.

Connect With A RecruiterFill Out an Application