Now you know what nutrients to focus on, and what foods are your best bets for these vitamins and minerals. It’s time to put that into practice. To make sure you get your daily share of nutrients, antioxidants and the many other protective chemicals in plant foods, follow the food plan below. Adjust your daily number of servings according to your exercise level. If you work out every day, you’ll need to eat the numbers suggested in the upper end of the recommended range. If you are trying to lose weight, stick to the lower end of the range.
Before you start down the road to healthy eating, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
1. Make one change at a time. There’s no need to do everything at once. You’ll be surprised to find that small changes make a big difference. Set one new goal each week.
2. Plan ahead whenever you can. Most of my clients report that their biggest roadblock to eating well is a lack of time. Plan your weekly meals in advance. Grocery shop once a week so you have healthy foods in your fridge and cupboards.
3. Remember that all foods can be part ofa healthy diet. The occasional splurge on ice cream or deep-fried chicken wings won’t upset your healthy eating plan. It’s the overall picture that counts.
4. Periodic overeating, or eating junk foods, does not mean that you have failed. We’re all human. Just return to your usual healthy diet at the next meal.
A Healthy Diet Plan for Women Photo Gallery
FOOD GROUP FOOD CHOICES DAILY SERVINGS
Grain Foods 5 to 12 (Carbohydrate, iron, fiber; Whole-grain bread, 1 slice choose whole-grain* Bagel, large, 1/4
as often as possible) Roll, large, 1/2
Pita pocket, 1/2 Tortilla, 6″, 1
Cereal, cold, 3/4 cup (175 ml)
Cereal, 100% bran, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Cereal, hot, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Crackers, soda, 6 Corn, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Popcorn, plain, 3 cups (750 ml)
Grains, cooked, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Pasta, cooked, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Rice, cooked, 1/3 cup (75 ml)
Vegetables and Fruits 5 to 10 (Carbohydrate, fiber, Vegetables, cooked, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
vitamins, minerals) Vegetables, raw, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Vegetables, leafy green, 1 cup (250 ml) Fruit, whole, 1 piece Fruit, small (plums, apricots), 4 Fruit, cut up, 1 cup (250 ml)
Berries, 1 cup (250 ml)
Juice, unsweetened, 1/2 to 3/4 cup (125-175 ml)
Milk & Alternatives 2 to 3
(Protein, carbohydrate, Milk, 1 cup (250 ml)
calcium, vitamin D, Yogurt, 3/4 cup (175 ml)
vitamin A, zinc) Cheese, 1.5 oz (45 g)
Rice beverage, fortified, 1 cup (250 ml)
Soy beverage, fortified, 1 cup (250 ml)
Meat & Alternatives 6 to 9
(Protein, iron, zinc) Fish, lean meat, poultry, 1 oz (30 g)
Egg, whole, 1 Egg whites, 2
Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils), 1/3 cup (75 ml) Soy nuts, 2 tbsp (30 ml)
Tempeh, 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Tofu, firm, 1/3 cup (75 ml)
Texturized vegetable protein, 1/3 cup (75 ml)
Veggie dog, small, 1 Fats & Oils** 4 to 6
(Essential fatty acids, Butter, margarine, 1 tsp (5 ml)
Mayonnaise, 1 tsp (5 ml)
Nuts/seeds, 1 tbsp (15 ml)
Peanut and nut butters, 1.5 tsp (7 ml) Salad dressing, 2 tsp (10 ml) Vegetable oil, 1 tsp (5 ml)
Fluid 8 to 12
Water, 1 cup (250 ml)
All serving sizes are based on measures after cooking.
Whole grains provide more fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin E and antioxidants than refined. Whole-grain foods include barley, brown rice, bulgur, flaxseed, kamut, oatmeal, oat bran, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, whole-rye bread and spelt. When buying bread, look for the words “whole-wheat flour” on the list of ingredients. The terms “wheat flour” and “unbleached wheat flour” mean that refined flour has been used.
To include sources of essential fatty acids choose canola oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil and nuts and seeds more often as your fat servings. As you read through the chapters in this blog, you will find many mentions of these health-enhancing fats.