Let me start by saying I am not a dietician, doctor, or trainer. Rather, I am your typical, young(ish) professional who works a lot, does not have the time (or, frankly, the desire) to hit the gym an hour a day, and is passionate about health and healthy eating.
To me, healthy eating is not a diet that you start and then, inevitably, stop. Instead, it is a lifestyle, a way of being each and every day. Healthy eating incorporates diverse and interesting foods that nourish the body while also enabling us to indulge – occasionally – in our favorite treats. It is not about being rail thin; rather, the goal is to be healthy, well, and strong.
There is a lot of research out there, and I am learning more each and every day. There are also a lot of fad diets and questionable regimes. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to believe and what to discard and, of course, each person’s body is different. Despite this, I have found that these general principles of healthy eating always work for me:
- Eat whole grains (whole wheat and whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, faro, etc…) instead of white, refined grains
- Load up on veggies
- Chose lean cuts of proteins (skinless chicken breast, loin cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, etc…) instead of fatty cuts high in saturated fats
- Eat seafood and beans
- Eat low-fat (but not no fat) dairy (Greek yogurts, feta cheese, low fat milk, etc…)
- Limit sugar -- and fake sugar -- intake
- Portion control (sometimes smaller plates can really help) and aim to eat until just full
- Drink wine (especially red!) or beer instead of cocktails, and limit intake
- Chose real, whole food instead of processed food
- Remember, a little piece of dark chocolate is not only delicious, but is good for you
- Cook (or order) foods that are lightly sautéed, roasted, poached, raw, grilled, boiled, and broiled.
- Allow yourself an occasional splurge
- Enjoy -- there are few things better than eating great food...especially when surrounded by great people!