Healthy eating is something that I’m very passionate about. Since middle school, I have been keeping track of my fat and sugar intake every day and educating myself about food labels. A few readers have asked for tips, so I thought I would share some principles that have helped me.
I don’t have a particular meal plan, but my general goal is to eat healthy the majority of the time. I admit that I do cheat sometimes, but instead of allowing myself to cheat for an entire day, I try to limit my cheats to one larger treat in the evenings. For the most part, though, I enjoy eating healthy. In fact, I often find myself eating a treat and wishing that it contained less sugar. I know, I’m a bit of an odd duck.
My goal is to eat 2-3 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit each day. It helps to get one of those veggie servings out of the way at lunch and then only have to pack in 1-2 at dinner. When I’m hungry during the day for something other than fruit or vegetables, I try to reach for healthy snacks, like granola bars with less than 8 grams of sugar per bar or unsalted nuts. (Trader Joe’s has great healthy snack options.)
I read the ingredient lists of every food item that comes into our home, and I rarely buy things with artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. We don’t usually have soda or other sugary beverages in the house. We don’t eat packaged sweets or prepared foods (which includes canned goods that contain artificial preservatives). A general rule of thumb is the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the item. If I’m not familiar with a particular ingredient, I look it up online to make sure it’s something I’m comfortable with.
When I need a treat during the day, I’ll make a smoothie (with no added sugar) or mix some juice (100% juice without corn syrup or added sugar) with sparkling water.
All that being said, Mr. Handsome and I do enjoy sweets. We both like dark chocolate, so that has a lower sugar content, and I make sure to buy brands without artificial ingredients. I’ll bake cookies and other treats from time to time, but we don’t keep that sort of stuff in the house on a regular basis because we both know that when it’s on the counter, it’s nearly impossible not to eat it. Eating healthy is often about removing the temptations.
When I bake, I almost always decrease the sugar content drastically. Some more involved recipes don’t work with less sugar, but your average cookies, cakes, or pie fillings do.
Come back in a few days to read about Mr. Handsome’s weakness and how he keeps it under control.