FEATURE — If you had healthy eating habits as your New Year’s resolution but you’ve realized as the end of this year approaches that things have gone by the wayside, don’t worry. With the holiday season coming up, it’s a great time to reset and re-engage your goals by discovering new ways to incorporate healthy food options in your diet.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating right, and the best solution is to find something that works for you,” said Lorna DunnCrabb, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Healthcare’s St. George Regional Hospital. “Everyone is different, with different tastes, bodies, and goals. We encourage people to try a number of techniques and foods to discover the best way to create their own healthy eating habits.”
Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
Eat more produce to add flavor and color to your meal and get more vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. You can do this by trying the following:
- Eating the rainbow. Try fruits and vegetables of varied colors.
- Trying a new fruit or veggie each week. Start a grocery-store challenge — which is also a fun way to involve children — where you buy produce you’ve never tried before.
- Using a food service or co-op where produce is selected and delivered to you.
Try the My Plate method. Fill half the plate with fruit and vegetables, and divide the remaining half between a carbohydrate and a protein. This is an easy way to eat nutritiously while dining out or at home.
Add a bag of frozen fruits or veggies to your favorite take-out meal. This also can be a cost-effective way to stretch the meal.
Plan meals each week
Keep it simple. Identify a few of your favorite, easy go-to recipes, and build on or customize them to add variety. Make a list and shop for the ingredients you’ll need.
Try a meal-planning app. Apps like “Mealime” contain recipes that can be tailored to preference or need (gluten-free, for example). Users select the recipe they’d like to try, and the ingredients automatically transfer to a cart for easy online shopping.
Keep a few staples on hand – such as beans, rice and frozen veggies – that can be used to round out a meal. Have some chicken in the fridge? Add rice and frozen veggies to make a rice bowl.
Learn skills to create tasty meals
Take a cooking class. There are a number of online options to choose from.
Try healthy swaps. Use applesauce in place of canola oil or Greek yogurt instead of oil or sour cream with potatoes or in banana bread. Try adding cooked cauliflower to boiled potatoes before mashing them.
Remember, nobody’s perfect. The key to creating healthy habits is to keep trying until you find what you like.
“Be vulnerable in your efforts,” DunnCrabb said. “You don’t have to make a perfect plated dish to post on Instagram or serve at a five-star restaurant. It’s not going to be perfect, but it will be good.”
More National Nutrition Month tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics can be found at EatRight.org.
For more information on general health, go to the Intermountain Healthcare website.
Written by JENNIFER TOOMER-COOK.
This article was first published in the May/June 2021 issue of St. George Health and Wellness magazine.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.