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Back to Basics: Simple Dietary Guidelines to Improve Health

For many Americans, eating a healthy diet is a daunting task. Even for some of the "well-seasoned" healthy eaters, sometimes eating a healthy and well balanced diet can be difficult in our modern world, especially around the holidays. But eating a healthy diet doesn't have to be overwhelming. The first priority to a healthy diet is to get the good in; start focusing on adding things to your diet, rather than focusing on the things that you can't have. Once you are successful at adding good things to your diet, eliminating the bad things will be easier. To make it simple, the outline below lists ten daily diet tips to help decrease the stress of understanding what to eat for health and how to make it manageable.

Top 10 Daily Diet Tips

  1. Take one heaping tablespoon of ground seeds or 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed seed oil
  2. Eat two servings of beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, or seed vegetables.
  3. Eat three pieces of fresh fruit, such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, melon, or citrus fruit.
  4. Eat four servings of whole grains, such as brown rice, millet, rye, oats, whole wheat, quinoa, etc.
  5. Eat five servings of dark green, leafy, and root vegetables, such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, green beans, and peppers.
  6. Drink at least six glasses of clean water, fresh juices, or herb or fruit teas.
  7. Eat whole, organic, raw food as often as you can.
  8. Supplement your diet with a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement .
  9. Avoid fried, burnt, and browned food, hydrogenated fat, and excess animal fat.
  10. Avoid refined and processed sugar, refined or processed food with chemical additives, and minimize intake of alcohol, coffee, or tea.

Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition tactics, being model thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. It’s about feeling good, having energy, and being healthy so that you can enjoy life to its fullest! All of these things can be accomplished by learning some nutrition basics, such as the tips above, and using them in a way that works for you. You can expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a tasty, healthy diet.

It is helpful as you get started on improving your diet to think in small and manageable steps instead of one big giant change. If you can implement changes in a gradual way, you are setting yourself up for better success. Some ideas to help you manage changing your diet in steps are:

  • Simplify—Rather than being worried about counting calories and measuring portion sizes or number of carbs, try instead to think of your diet in the terms of color, variety, and freshness. When you focus on these aspects, you make it easier to choose healthier foods. Try to focus on getting fresh foods and using them in easy recipes that you enjoy.
  • Change doesn’t have to happen overnight—Don’t feel like all of the changes that you want to make need to happen right away, it is not realistic to change this quickly. Trying to change all at once can easily lead to cheating, frustration, and failure. Determine a pace that is reasonable for you and make small manageable steps such as adding a colorful salad to your meal or using olive oil instead of butter.
  • Even little changes count—Just because some changes might seem small, they can still be significant. You don’t need to be perfect to have better health and you don’t need to avoid foods that you enjoy either. Instead of eliminating foods that you enjoy, either replace them with better, but equally as delicious, options or minimize the frequency or amount of the food.


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