Ten Tips to Try in 2017

From Trish Farano, Dierbergs Nutritonist

If you resolved to eat healthier in the new year, it might seem logical to go cold turkey and ditch all of your less-than-stellar eating habits. However, that often doesn’t work. Begin to clean up your act while still allowing yourself a treat here and there. It might keep you from falling face first into the nearest chocolate cake.

  1. It may sound like old information, but eating breakfast is the best way to start your day. Aim to have some complex carbs in the form of whole grains, lean protein, and a vegetable or fruit. Try oatmeal cooked with milk and topped with berries, or go with tradition and have an egg (scramble it with chopped vegetables), a piece of whole grain toast and a glass of o.j. Any good-for-you food can be a breakfast food. If what works for you is a turkey sandwich, have a turkey sandwich. You can even try a twist on waffles. No other rules need be applied.

  2. To snack or not to snack is a BIG question. It has been suggested that you should divide what you eat into three smaller meals and several snacks, and also suggested that dividing up your eating is not the way to go. Who do you believe? You believe YOU! The key is to find what works for you and to not worry about what works for someone else. Strike a balance between protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats whenever you eat. If you like to snack, try to keep the calories at no more than about 200 and adjust your meals accordingly. A few nuts eaten in the afternoon with a piece of fruit, or a piece of string cheese along with a couple of whole grain crackers and a few grapes can tide you over ‘til dinner.

  3. If you work, take your lunch at least several days each week. Plan and pack it in advance. You’ll save money and likely include more produce in your meals. Bowls and wraps continue to be popular and can be made inexpensively using leftovers. No leftovers this week? No worries. Dierbergs Kitchens has great offerings that are easy to pick up. Try a Crustless Florentine Quiche or a Salad Shaker from our prepared foods and round out the meal with a piece of fresh fruit and a carton of yogurt.

  4. Cook dinner at home more often. Meal planning may seem like a chore, but if your plan is to clean up your eating habits, then cooking should be on your New Year Tips to Try. Dinner doesn’t need to be complicated, but you can’t cook it, if you don’t “own” it. So plan, shop and then prepare. If you cook some pasta, open a jar of sauce, and rip into a bag of salad greens, you’ve cooked. Then feel virtuous; you deserve it. If you’re looking to add some new recipes to your healthy cook book, try attending one of our Healthy Cooking Classes.

  5. One of the best ways to clean up your eating act is to include a wide variety of foods. Any diet that eliminates a food group should cause you to run away fast and far. Your body needs over forty nutrients each day and not one single food can provide all of them. Don’t hesitate to use frozen and canned products to get those nutrients. You may want to aim to use fresh earlier in the week and frozen and canned as the week goes on. You will always be able to put together a quick meal.

  6. Put a pulse on your plate. Pulses are beans, legumes, peas, lentils and chickpeas and are so great for you that the United Nations deemed 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. We may be in a new year, but this is one old habit not to throw out and a good one to add in. Any form counts – dried that you cook is least expensive, but canned is most convenient. If you have leftover pulses, repurpose them by adding to scrambled eggs in the morning, tossing into a salad or wrap at lunch, or adding to rice at dinner. The fiber and protein will help fill you up but not out.

  7. Drink. Drink. Drink. Water may be your “best” choice, but it might not be your favorite choice. Adding mint leaves, orange, lemon or cucumber to your water adds easy flavor. Liquid water enhancers can add flavor without adding in calories or extra sugar and although they are artificially sweetened, a little goes a long way. Other choices include lower fat milk (plain or flavored), 100% fruit juice and unsweetened coffee or tea.

  8. Choose quality over quantity. A small amount of exquisite cheese, a square of rich dark chocolate, a glass of excellent wine are all things that can be, and should be, enjoyed in moderation. Enjoy them as the treat they are.

  9. No food should be considered “bad;” all foods fit. There are foods that we should eat more of, and if we do, they will crowd out the lesser choices. If you have had a less than perfect eating day, try to add some of the healthiest choices into your day before you indulge in the less healthy choices.

  10. Spend some quality time in the aisles of the grocery store. We’re not asking you to spend all of your free time with us. Just aiming for you to become better acquainted with how to shop for diet and lifestyle changes. If you aren’t sure what makes up a good grocery cart join in one of our Eat. Live. Well. store tours. Whether it is healthier choices, diabetes, heart disease, or gluten free, we want to be your partner in better eating. No matter where you are in your journey to a healthier you, Dierbergs is here to help. Eat.Live.Well. classes and tours can be found here or on Page 10 of our Brochure.