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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Ferguson, RD

Healthy Eating Tips

My New Year's Resolution


Like many of you, I made a New Year's Resolution this week. I resolved to take a decent shot at this blog thing. I struggled last year with topics. I wrote and rewrote a bunch and never published them. Why? Because I thought about them too much. I was trying too hard to get the perfect tone, topic, words, photos and on and on and on. In the end, all I did was frustrate myself.



So, my resolution is to write a monthly bit on a nutrition question that I've been asked, over my MANY years of being a dietitian. With luck, my nutrition Q and A might help you, the reader sort out a little of the nutrition confusion that seems to exist out there and maybe prevent you from the fate of the gal above.


And a caveat. To reduce my frustration, and to stop overthinking, I'm not going to tell you everything there is to know on the topic. Because there's not enough time or space for that. I'm aiming for broad concepts to reduce stress about food, since food is too fabulous to be stressed out about. Ask your dietitian for help with the fine details that pertain to you.


So... here goes.


I can not count the number of times I've been asked some variant of this one:


"What's the best way to eat to be healthy?"


I'd love to write a list of foods and say eat these foods and you will be healthy. Oh, if only it were that easy!


The reality of healthy eating is that it looks different for each of you. And it changes. Regularly. The only consistent thing about what we eat is that it changes based on our situation, whether that's daily, weekly or monthly. Don't tie yourself in knots about this.


These are my top healthy eating tips, in no particular order.

  • Serve vegetables and fruit, whole grains and protein foods at each meal. Aim for half of your meal to be vegetables and/or fruit, a quarter to be whole grains and the remaining quarter of your meal to be protein foods. You decide what foods from each of those categories you want to put on your plate. I always choose the ones that Pete and I enjoy.


A visual of a balanced meal.
Grilled steak, potatoes, bok choy, asparagus, peppers, onions, mushrooms
  • Choose the vegetables and fruit that you (and people in your home) like and that you have access to. They can be fresh, frozen or canned. Have them raw or cooked. The best vegetables and fruits for you are the ones you will put in your mouth.

A plate of cooked fresh garden vegetables.
Garden Vegetables: potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, beet greens, beets
  • Eat whole grain foods most of the time. The list of whole grain foods to enjoy is pretty long, but foods like whole grain bread or pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa and corn are a few ordinary food examples. There is no need to avoid grains. Full Stop.

Whole grain pasta Whole grain oat cereal Whole grain bread

  • Enjoy the variety of foods in the protein food category. If you want to get out of the food rut, putting different proteins on your plate is a surefire way to manage that.

Jenn the RD Top Tips: Include more plant proteins, choose lean meats and poultry and eat more fish.

A side note that may prevent a revolt at mealtime as you attempt to add variety to your protein offerings. You can mix protein foods, for example, seafood chowder, ground meat and lentil taco filling or chicken and nut stir-fry. This strategy provides a familiar flavour and texture along with a new one.


Baked salmon Cheesy corn chowder White bean and sausage curry

  • Have less added saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Notice that I didn't say have none, avoid or eliminate. Most of us get more than we need of these nutrients, and there are definite health benefits to reducing the amount we eat of them. Look at your food habits to decide where you might be able to make a swap. One way to reduce added saturated fat, sodium or sugar is to cook at home where you control the ingredients. For example, swapping a drive thru breakfast sandwich for one you make at home. Another way would be to ask someone like me for help.

Homemade breakfast sandwich: Whole wheat English muffin, tomato, scrambled eggs with leeks and cheese.
DIY Breakfast Sandwich

So, there you have it. A few of my healthy eating tips. That was fun. And WAAAAY less frustrating to write.


This is also my opportunity to suggest that if you have a burning nutrition question, you can ask it. And I'll try to answer it. I CAN NOT provide information specific to your situation. I will provide an answer that applies to the general population. If you need an answer specific to your situation, I'd suggest booking an appointment. Also, please DO NOT share personal information in asking your question - health or otherwise.


You can reach me at inmydietitiankitchen@gmail.com if you have one of those burning questions. Ask it before you get scorch marks.

Until next time! Jenn the RD


 

The information presented here is for educational purposes only and does not replace personalized advice from your health care provider. All content presented is the property of Jennifer Ferguson, RD and may not be reproduced without permission. January 2024





21 views4 comments

4 Comments


barbiecorbett789
Jan 09

Great blog Jennifer. You are awesome at it!! Look forward to next month's. 😊

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inmydietitianskitc
Jan 11
Replying to

Thanks! I have a topic in mind already!

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Connie Smith
Connie Smith
Jan 04

Impressive blog Jennifer! I will look forward to reading more.

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inmydietitianskitc
Jan 11
Replying to

Thanks! Hopefully, the next one will be easier still!

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