Come springtime, when the holidays of Easter and Passover are celebrated, we’re reminded of the Ten Commandments. Here’s my version of some modern “Commandments” that focus on health; no “thou shalts” included. These are the guiding principles that I live by and they’re the actions I recommended to my clients in order to live and eat healthier too. After all, being healthy is part of being your best. If you feel like you have a lot to work on, use this as a checklist. Work on one goal at a time. When you’ve succeeded, move on to the next one. Review your progress frequently and in no time you’ll also be living by these Ten Live Healthy Commandments!
The 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating:
1. Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast gets your metabolism moving. Studies show those who eat breakfast weigh less than those that don’t.
2. Pack a lunch and snacks for work every day. Planning and preparing your meals will help you avoid temptation.
3. Eat at least one vegetable at lunch and dinner. Vegetables are lower in calories, great sources of vitamins and antioxidants, and packed with filling fiber.
4. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. We all know what happens when you’re too hungry come meal-time — our best laid plans tend to fly right out the window! If it’s going to be 4-5 hours before your next meal, plan for a snack.
5. Use a calendar to plan weekly dinners — whether it’s just you, two or a whole family. It’s another step in being prepared so that you can make healthy meals fit your schedule (and ensure you have the ingredients on hand to make them).
6. Measure your food, at least occasionally, to keep portion sizes in check. We all need a portion size check-up now and then. After all, how do you know that you have a cup of pasta on your plate if you don’t measure it? Even a little extra can cause calories to add up.
7. Purchase mostly whole, natural and unprocessed foods. They’re the healthiest, bottom line, because there’s nothing added. They’re what Mother Nature intended.
8. Cook most meals at home; dining in should be a special occasion! Restaurant foods are major sources of extra calories, fat and sodium. Instead, make dinners at home a special occasion! Use your favorite restaurant dishes for inspiration and re-create it healthier at home.
9. Come up with a plan for exercise and stick to it. No excuses! Pick an activity you like and make exercise a priority by scheduling workout time as an appointment.
10. If you blow it, forget it. Get right back on track. It will happen at some point and it happens to everyone. It’s most important that you get back on the wagon and keep pushing forward. Living healthy is a lifelong goal.
I have to throw in one last all-encompassing Commandment for good measure: Believe in yourself. You can do it!
Are there any healthy eating guidelines that you live by?
Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE is the chief blogger behind Good Food Tastes Good, a blog where Liz shares her passion for healthy eating and expertise on the matter regularly. Follow Good Food Tastes Good on Facebook.