4 September 2023
I'm a glass-half-full sort of person (unless I was really thirsty), so I wanted my version to be positive. I've always believed that if we focus on the good stuff (whether we're talking about kindness in others or vegetables to eat), we get more of it. I won't nerd out on all the research with you, but, suffice to say, this strategy has merit!
So…without further ado, I present my simple suggestions for a healthier you and a more sustainable planet (so great how these goals coincide, right?).
Make at least half your plate vegetables. This ensures you are getting plenty of fiber (most of us are not) and keeping your meals balanced.
Aim for 2+ servings of legumes daily. Choosing tofu, beans, lentils, sprouts, hummus, fresh peas or other legumes in place of animal proteins increases your fiber, limits fat and calories, and is a bonus two-for-one, since they count as veggies and protein in the government's MyPlate.
Eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Consuming a variety of vegetables and fruits - including red and orange varieties, plenty of leafy greens, berries and others - provides important phytonutrients (compounds produced by plants that provide health benefits to the body).
Drink water and unsweetened beverages. The body needs plenty of water every day to thrive. Options beyond tea, coffee and flavored waters/seltzers are just a waste of calories (if sugar-sweetened), and train your tastebuds to need more sweet (even if artificially sweetened).
Choose predominantly whole foods. This one's easy if you're following the first suggestion. There are definitely some processed foods I would recommend (e.g. frozen veg, canned beans), but avoid or limit those ultra processed foods. You know…the ones that come in a package with dozens of unrecognizable ingredients or are served at most fast food joints!
Consume mindfully. This includes avoiding food waste, limiting packaging and being present at mealtime.