Preparation / Directions:
1. Put a positive, motivating message on your computer screen saver such as “Get your 5-A-Day.” It will remind you to eat at least the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies.
2. Plan your shopping list with the Food Guide Pyramid in mind. Think about buying foods in proportion to the Pyramid. Stick to the outside of the store for most foods you buy.
3. Try a sweet cereal for your evening treat. It will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide the added bonus of much needed calcium if you eat it with milk or mixed into yogurt.
4. Try naturally flavored seltzer waters in place of sodas. Zero calories with all the fizz. (They taste okay when the ice melts too.)
5. Make it your goal to walk to the store, the bank, bus or train—or anywhere else reasonably close where you might have driven in the past. You'll feel better and save money on gas.
6. Bring out the crockpot for plenty of high-fiber, low-fat and easy dishes. Try veggie chili loaded with beans, soups made with low-fat broths and veggies, rice and bean stews and others.
7. Be a restaurant boss. Remember, you control how a dish is prepared, served and how much of it you eat. Ask to have your dish baked, broiled or poached, request substitutions to be picky. Most restaurants do want to satisfy their customers.
8. Check out your local park district's recreational offerings. Most cities and towns offer convenient, cheap and supervised activities for beginners and experts. If not, design your own walking, biking or swimming regimens at the local park with a friend.
9. Create a dessert slush fund. Bypass rich desserts and treats at the market, coffee shop or bakery and pocket the money you might have spent on these foods. Save up for something you really enjoy, like going to the movies, getting a facial, buying new clothes or other nonedible treats.
10. Be colorful. Make it a point to eat colorful fruits and veggies with every meal. Your plate will be interesting to the eye, and you can expand your taste horizons without expanding your waist.
11. Plan to plan. Have several healthful meal options available at all times. It's when you say, “What am I going to eat now, there's nothing in the house?” that you're most likely to make quick, and often less-healthful, food choices.
12. Take a class on eating well or low-fat cooking. Most local school, park and junior college districts offer adult continuing education classes on eating and cooking. Gain the support of others interested in eating well in your community and learn to prepare lower-