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Natural Awakenings Richmond

3 Secrets to Healthier Eating Options in 2017

With the New Year upon us, you’re probably mulling wellness resolutions and plans for 2017 such as eating less pasta and more veggies. Here are three secrets for healthy eating:

Secret 1: Choose whole foods over processed foods. Whole foods are closest to their natural source, contain very few ‘ingredients’ outside of the actual food itself and are more nutritionally dense than highly processed foods. Examples include brown rice, fresh greens/veggies/fruits, whole grains and minimally processed animal proteins. Highly processed foods, on the other hand, often contain multi-syllabic ingredients, higher amounts of sugar, unhealthy fats and refined grains and flours.

Secret 2: Choose lean proteins over fatty proteins. Lean proteins can include both plant- and animal-based options. Plant options that are also gluten free include grains such as quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat/kasha and wild rice as well as beans/legumes. Leaner animal proteins include chicken, turkey and fish.

Secret 3: Increase fiber intake. Fiber plays an important role by exercising the colon and helping move waste smoothly through the intestines. It also helps us feel fuller longer while regulating blood sugar to maintain energy levels. Choose fiber-rich foods such as fresh greens/veggies/fruits, whole grains and beans/legumes.

Making changes to your eating patterns can take time, so be patient and try new, healthier foods often. Over time you’ll build your new habits and food options.

Mary Wallace is a Richmond area Food & Lifestyle Coach and author of the book Lifestyling Wellness. For additional information, call 804-298-7426 or visit