The start of a new year is a great time to be mindful of eating healthy + helping your body function at its very best. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping + choosing foods to eat.

EAT WHOLE. Add more whole foods, fruits, veggies + grains to your diet. When shopping, fill cart with foods from the perimeter of the store, as stores fill the middle aisles with more highly processed foods. The perimeter is where you will find fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats + dairy products.

EAT IN SEASON. Produce that is in season will often be more affordable + of much higher quality. Eating seasonal food is a great way to add variety into your everyday cooking.

BOOST ENERGY WITH BREAKFAST. Starting the day off with breakfast powers your brain, giving it the much needed energy boost after a whole night with no food. Eating breakfast helps to avoid the mid-morning slump, provides more strength + endurance + improves concentration. Plus, breakfast is one of the best ways to get tons of your essential nutrients for the day. A well-balanced breakfast can also work to prevent weight gain because when you eat breakfast, you are more likely to eat less at lunch + throughout the rest of the day.

DOUBLE UP ON VEGGIES. Serve at least two veggies at every meal. Mix it up with a wide array of colors while trying to increase the amount of green leafy vegetables. Filling at least half your plate with vegetables helps control portions of the higher caloric + higher fat items.

SWITCH TO ORANGE. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals + are an excellent source of beta carotene. Since sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, much less fat is needed to make them taste great.

GO WHOLE GRAIN. Real whole grains are low in fat, cholesterol free, contain 10-15% protein + provide natural healthy fiber. Make sure sodium is in check – shoot for less than 200 mg per serving. Try to incorporate slowly by adding wheat germ to breakfast smoothies + baked goods. Try whole wheat pancakes or substitute whole wheat pasta for every other pasta dish.

HEALTHY FATS. Switch to extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for cooking. Avocados, nuts + fatty fish are also good sources of healthy fats.

KEEP IT LEAN. Choose lean proteins. Look for 90/10 beef, chicken breast, pork or other forms of protein like beans. Limit meals with red meat to a couple times a week.

GO GREEK. Keep Greek yogurt on hand. The probiotics help keep intestines healthy, aid in digesting food + can help maintain a strong immune system. Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, in dips + dressings, or add to oatmeal with some honey for a heart healthy breakfast.

RINSE AWAY SALT. Canned beans are a great go-to pantry staple. Black beans, cannellini beans, great northern beans, kidney beans… it doesn’t matter. They’re healthy, full of protein + easy! Just drain + rinse the beans, which cuts down on almost half the salt. Add to salads or soups, make up quick spreads or dips, or incorporate in wraps or tacos.

MEAL PLAN. Carve out time before grocery shopping to plan the meals for the week. Planning in advance makes meal prep easier, can save money + helps avoid eating out. Then, make a list for each grocery shopping trip. Stick to buying only what’s on the list, making it easier to not fill your cart with as many snacks + sweets.

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