Eat Right, Your Way, Everyday


Many things need to be considered for healthy eating including food preference, lifestyles, cultural and ethnic traditions, and health concerns all impact individual food choices. We are all familiar with the guidelines for healthy eating: make half your plate fruits and vegetables, make half of your grains whole, choose low fat or non-fat dairy products, eat a variety of protein sources and cut back on
sodium and empty calories from fat and sugar.

This is the framework of a healthy diet.  The way we prepare our food, how we season and combine them, and even when we eat our meals is a highly individual matter. For example the “make half your plate fruits and/or vegetables” recommendation can be met in many different ways: a large serving of greens such as spinach collard, turnip or kale sautéed in a small amount of olive oil and garlic; a vegetable stir fry prepared with a small amount of sesame oil and  soy sauce; or oven roasted cauliflower and/or sweet potatoes seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper and cinnamon. These suggestions and many more can meet the recommendation--but only you know what will work “your way.” 

Eating breakfast is good for both kids and adults. Our bodies and brains need to be refueled. Why not “break the fast” with a healthy start to the day. A healthy breakfast should include a healthy source of protein and plenty of fiber. This combination will help satisfy your hunger and help you feel full until lunch time. The protein can come from low-fat meat, low-fat dairy products, or nuts and nut butters. Eggs are also a good source of protein. They are also high in saturated fats. High fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

What combination of these items will provide a healthy breakfast “your way”?  Don’t like to eat breakfast first thing in the morning? Try eating a hard-boiled egg or cup of low fat yogurt before leaving the house. Several hours later take a break and have a piece of fruit and a handful of healthy nuts. Don’t like traditional breakfast foods? Why not try a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread or toast? Again there are many, many combinations which add up to a healthy breakfast.  You get to pick which ones do it “your way.”

Healthy eating is a process of small steps and changes. We can keep working on it – everyday!  Have fun and enjoy the process.