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Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

By: Nathalie Lati, RD @itsnatadiet

Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. But let's be real, it can be a real struggle to know what to eat and how to make sure we're getting all the necessary nutrients in our meals. Fortunately for you, I’ve broken it down into a few simple steps:

  1. Start with a good source of protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing our muscles, tissues, and organs. So, make sure you include a good source of protein in your meal, such as chicken, fish, tofu, lentils, or beans. Ideally you want one quarter of your plate to be protein.
  2. Make Veggies half your plate: Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also add color and flavor to your meal. So, make sure you fill half of your plate with veggies, such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, or bell peppers.
  3. Don't forget the carbs: Carbohydrates are our body's main source of energy. But not all carbs are created equal. Choose complex carbs which have more fiber than simple carbs.  This includes Farro, brown rice, quinoa, or whole-grain bread. Starchy vegetables are another complex carb option and include  sweet potatoes, green peas, and butternut squash. You can even opt for a fruit, apples, pears and berries have fiber and can help satisfy a sweet craving. Stick to 1/2 -1 cup to keep the carb portion in check. 
  4. Include some healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, or olive oil, are essential for our brain, heart, and skin health. They also help us absorb certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. 
  5. Spice. It up: Probably the most important aspect (at least in my opinion) is the flavor. Add lemon, garlic, herbs, and spices to make the meal taste good. 
  6. Drink plenty of water: Water is essential for our body to function properly. It helps regulate our body temperature, transport nutrients, and flush out toxins. So, make sure you drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
  7. Remember, it's not about being perfect or following a strict diet. It's about making small changes and incorporating healthier choices into your meals. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Remember to watch your portion sizes. Eating too much of any one food can throw off the balance of your meal. If you're still hungry after your meal, reach for a healthy snack like an apple or some carrot sticks.

Creating a Balanced Salad:

Salads are a great way to get in your daily dose of veggies, but they are not always balanced.  

  1. Start with a base of leafy greens, such as kale or spinach. These greens are packed with nutrients and fiber.
  2. Add in some protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu. This will help keep you full and satisfied.
  3. Include some healthy fats, such as avocado (1/4-1/4 an avocado) or nuts (about 1 tablespoon). These will help keep your heart healthy and aid in nutrient absorption. 
  4. Top it off with some additional veggies, such as cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers. These will add some color and crunch to your salad.
  5. You can always add a complex carb such as 1/2 Sweet potato or 1/2 cup of quinoa.
  6. Finish it off with a flavorful dressing, such as balsamic vinaigrette or honey mustard. Avoid mayo based dressings as these tend to be higher in fat. Just be sure to use it sparingly to avoid adding too many calories.

Creating a balanced meal doesn't have to be complicated. By including a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, you can give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.