We’re all told that if we want to improve our health, feel better and live longer, we need to live a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true of being regularly active and consuming a balanced, nutritious diet.
But what does a day of healthy eating actually look like? This can feel very confusing to many of us. After all, there are a lot of different types of healthy eating instructions out there and it’s not always obvious which advice should be followed. Moreover, we don’t all have identical nutrition needs. What we should eat and how much of it we should consume depends on many factors such as our gender, height, weight, medical conditions and other factors.
That said, there are things that the majority of us have in common when it comes to eating healthy foods every day. Here are some of the components that make up an average day of healthy eating:
• Breakfast – They say this is the most important meal of the day. It’s certainly important to getting things off on the right foot. A good breakfast includes some lean protein and whole grains to provide you with lasting energy. Consider a hardboiled egg or Greek yogurt with fruit and/or berries as well as a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal. Accompany this meal with a large glass of water as starting the day with hydration is vital to virtually every system in the body.
• Lunch – This should be a meal containing lean protein, veggies and healthy fats. The point is to give your body what it needs to get through the afternoon while satisfying your hunger and providing you with energy. A baby kale and baby spinach salad with green onion, shredded carrot, sliced strawberries and pieces of chicken breast, topped with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing will give you a fantastic, delicious mid-day boost. Don’t forget to continue hydrating!
• Dinner – In this meal, half of your plate should be made up of veggies, with one quarter whole grains and the remaining quarter protein. A piece of fish such as salmon is delicious with brown rice cooked in low-sodium vegetable broth and with mixed steamed or sautéed veggies.
• Snacks – Don’t hesitate to eat a snack in the morning and one in the afternoon. The key is to make it light and high in fiber. That way, it will fill you up without dosing you with too many calories. Vegetables and fruit provide fast and easy snacks that you can bring with you. A Greek yogurt based dip can add flavor and help to keep things interesting.
• Dessert – Yes, even when you’re trying to eat healthy, you can still have dessert. Ideally, you should aim for something like a bowl of berries, but if you want that piece of chocolate mousse cake, you can still go for it. Just keep the portion very small. Don’t let your dessert’s calorie content exceed 20 percent of your daily total.