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Remember those New Year’s resolutions? From a few weeks ago?
At the turn of every calendar year, many (if not most) consumers pledge to eat healthier. It doesn’t take long, though, for resolutions to fade, usually because such promises are often just too big to keep.
Shoppers who were filling their carts with low-everything (fat, calories, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, etc.) at the beginning of the month may be adding their favorites – including less healthy items – back in a short matter of time.
Staying on track, even during major eating occasions like Super Bowl parties, can be achieved with smaller steps toward the same goal. The mantra of balance and moderation, however ubiquitous, is still true and pivotal. That’s the New Year’s message from the online planning service eMeals, which recently released a list healthy eating tips for 2013 for those putting together their shopping lists. Those messages can be echoed by retail deli operators as they connect one on one with consumers at the point of decision.
The eMeals’ 13 for ’13 include:
• Consider meatless Mondays – Opting for a meatless meal once a week can help with balance and moderation and, according to some experts, lessen one’s environmental impact.
• Eat “clean” – The buzz around fresh (versus processed) foods is based in the reality that fresh foods are healthy.
• Good vs. less-good oils – Swapping out butter and bacon grease for better-for-you fats like canola and olive oil makes a difference.
• Start the day right – The old saying is true: kicking off your day with a healthy breakfast provides fuel and energy.
• Take stock and throw out – Purge pantries and refrigerators of anything that is unhealthy or expired and replace with healthier foods.
• Brown bag it – Bringing your lunch and snacks to work or school is diet-friendly and budget-friendly.
• Add some color – The palette meets the palate with naturally colorful foods -- red tomatoes, oranges, blueberries, green veggies, etc. – that are inherently rich in nutrients.
• Reduce plate size – Control your portions, control your weight.
• Switch out soda – Replace soda with calorie-free drinks like water, sparkling water, skim milk or 100% fruit juice.
• Try kale and quinoa – They may be new nutritional darlings, but they are also truly good for you: kale is considered a "superfood" and quinoa is a great protein source that is also gluten free.
• Bring on the fruits and veggies – Making half your plate fresh fruits and veggies adds up to a more balanced, healthy diet.
• Truly retro – The adventurous resolution-follower might want to think about the “paleo” diet, also known as the caveman diet, consisting of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, fresh produce, tree nuts, seeds and healthy fats.
• Planning 101 – Planning ahead helps avoid impulse decisions that hamper healthy eating and also helps shoppers stick to both their meal plan and spending plan.