#HealthYeah: Small Steps to Improve Your Health

edibleEXTRA
By Erin Ford, Columbus Metro Healthy Eating Specialist
for Whole Foods Market

Every year in January my friends, family, clients and customers ask me how they can improve their health. At the beginning of the year it's easy to feel like you have to make a drastic overhaul to your diet, but often that just leads to an ice cream craving that won’t quit. Eating healthy is a lifestyle change, one that requires incremental modifications and the addition of more healthy ingredients. Rather than jumping in head first, start with small steps like the following that you can feel good about.

If it looks like it did when it grew from the earth, that's your cue that it's a healthier choice.

STEP ONE: 

Add nutrient-rich foods. Instead of thinking about what NOT to eat, think about the things you really love that you can add to your diet. Strive to incorporate more greens and colorful veggies into your meals.

STEP TWO: 

Eat closer to nature. Concentrate on whole foods in their natural forms, such as fruits and vegetables. If it looks like it did when it grew from the earth, that's your cue that it's a healthier choice.

STEP THREE: 

Go for whole grains. Instead of reaching for regular pasta or white bread, look for varieties made with 100% whole grain flour. Better yet, fill your belly with whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa or barley.

STEP FIVE:

Find alternatives to oil. Believe it or not, you don't need added oils to make the foods you love. You can steam fry those onions and replace the oil in those muffins with applesauce.

STEP SIX: 

Reorganize your plate. Think of lean meat and fish as flavor boosters instead of the main event. Put beans, whole grains and veggies in the spotlight and keep servings of meat and fish at three ounces or less (that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards).

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

Check out our Four Pillars of Healthy Eating or join us at Whole Foods Market Upper Arlington on Sunday, January 25 for the Health Yeah Food & Fitness Festival. The first 100 attendees will receive a swag bag with goodies from community partners like barre3, Bend Active, Mat Happy Yoga, Get Active Columbus, KIND and more! Additionally, you can snack on healthy samples and leave with a stack of healthy recipes to help you on your journey to eating better.