Ideas for a nutritious start to the new year

The anticipation of a New Year prompts many of us to resolve to eat more wisely. These healthful eating tips can help you feel great, perform well, and invest in your well being for many new years to come.

• You’re less likely to become tomorrow’s health problem if you eat wisely and enjoy regular physical activity. People who burn 1,500 calories per week with exercise tend to be healthier and live longer.

• Breakfast is the most important meal. Active people who eat breakfast not only gain fuel for the day, but also tend to be wiser in their food choices the rest of the day.

• Cereal is a quick, convenient breakfast choice. Fiber and protein-rich choices are the best. Boost the nutrients by adding a handful of nuts and fresh fruit such as blueberries.

• Eat before you get too hungry! Otherwise, you will experience cravings and, most likely, succumb to poor choices. And stop eating when you’re content (not hungry anymore.)

• Include small amounts of healthy monounsaturated fat (olive oil, canola oil, Canola Harvest margarine, avocado, nuts, etc.) which can help balance your diet, add flavor to food, satisfy hunger, increase nutrient absorption and reduce your desire to eat too much.

• Good nutrition starts at the supermarket. Post a shopping list where family members can easily add to it. Then use it! Shop when you are not hungry to avoid impulse buys!

• Foods with little nutritional value, or “junk food”, in moderation, can fit into a healthy diet. It is acceptable to enjoy a small cookie after a healthful lunch.

• Keep to a regular eating schedule, planning meals about every 5 hours. And when meals will be delayed, include a healthful snack to keep your hunger controlled and your energy up.

• Eat beans! Lentils, kidney beans, dried peas, and other types are excellent sources of protein, fiber and a variety of other nutrients.

• Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are among the healthful in-season fruits. They’re rich in vitamin C and potassium. Also, use the zest in a variety of recipes to add flavor!

• Potatoes offer more nutritional value than rice or pasta. Bake several and enjoy the extras with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Be sure to eat the skin as many of the nutrients are stored right underneath it!

Join the Newton Wellness Coalition for the 2014 Pieces of Wellness kick-off event at the Newton Cardinal Girls and Boys basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Like NWC on Facebook!