Vit Fit & Eating Healthy

As a new service we are providing I would like to give you some instructions on just how you should be eating to be as healthy as possible. This will be a good guide for you as you begin logging your meals.

First, I would like to see your current eating habits and what you enjoy eating right now. On our journey together we will see what you may need to eliminate, add or substitute into your diet. I am interested in what YOUR eating habits are like so that my suggestions can be for YOU personally.

Whether, you prefer several small meals or snacks is really your preference. Some people like to eat small meals others like to have a few larger meals. You really need to find what works for you. Different clients of mine have done both methods and have been successful if it is what the client prefers. One thing is for certain, you cannot skip meals. Breakfast especially is important.

Your goals may dictate what foods or the amount of foods you need to eat. Please inform me of your goals and if you have any other diet restrictions or health conditions. You can do this on Meal Logger or by emailing me.

What exactly is a healthy way to eat? 
Any diet that eliminates an entire food group, generally is deficient in many nutrients and is not healthy. Healthy people should consume a variety of foods from each food group in moderation. The food groups include grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy and protein.

A well balanced meal should include a grain or starchy vegetable, a non-starchy vegetable and/or fruit and a protein and/or dairy source that has protein in it.

Grains include breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and things made from flour. The more you can eat that is whole grain, the better. This is because there is more fiber in whole grains which usually results in a person eating less because they feel fuller quicker and longer. Fiber also can help prevent or assist in resolving constipation. Examples of servings from this food group are a half cup of rice or 1 slice of bread. Depending on what you are eating for snacks, each meal should include one or two servings from this food group. This is particularly important when you are exercising because your muscles use the carbohydrates from these foods.

Vegetables include a variety of types, such as starchy vegetables like potatoes, dark green or vegetables of a variety of colors. Usually, when the vegetable is a different color than another vegetable, they have different nutrients. Therefore, you should try to consume a variety of vegetables. Since there is much water in some vegetables, different serving sizes apply to cooked versus raw vegetables. Typically half of a small dinner plate would be two servings or one cup of a cooked vegetable. If you are eating raw vegetables the serving size generally would be double as in the case of spinach which shrinks significantly when cooked. This portion should be your goal for at least two of your meals per day, depending on your needs.
Fruit also comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Try to eat different fruits during the day for a mixture of nutrients. One small fruit like a mandarin, usually is about a half cup and a medium apple is one cup. Fruits can be incorporated into your meals or as snacks. Eating certain fruit with the skin can provide additional fiber.

Foods that contain protein are not just limited to meat. Beans and nuts also contain a significant amount of protein and usually are high in fiber. One-half a cup of beans contains the same amount of protein as if you had two ounces of meat. Two tablespoons of hummus, one tablespoon of nut-butter and one egg all contain as much protein as one ounce of meat. A piece of chicken, meat or fish, the size of your palm is generally one serving of three ounces. If you are trying to cut back on calories and fat, three egg whites contains as much protein as two ounces of meat. If you are concerned with the high fat content of foods, consider lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey and legumes. Many people think when you are exercising you need an extremely high amount of protein. This usually is incorrect and you normally can consume enough protein from food sources.

Dairy includes yogurt, milk and cheese. There are a lot of products on the market now that reduce or eliminate the amount of fat that normally is in dairy. These make a great snack or part of the meal. If you have a lactose intolerance, there are lactose free products, however, people who are lactose intolerant usually do not have an issue with yogurt. There also are a lot of other foods that contain calcium and other nutrients that are found in dairy. Soy products are often fortified with calcium. Dark leafy greens also contain calcium. Calcium is very important for your bones so make sure you are having at least three servings (three cups) of these foods.

Whether you are cooking the meals at home, packing it to go or eating out this method of eating can be successfully done. However, you must plan your meals. Do not leave healthy eating to chance. Keep vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats and low or non-fat dairy available in your house or at work.

I look forward to seeing how you incorporate these things in your meals. If you are having trouble, do not worry. We will work on it together. When you record your food, please be honest and lets have some fun!

I look forward to being able to help you discover how to obtain a balanced, healthy diet that meets your nutritional needs and lifestyle!

Please post any comments, interesting articles or topics of interest and they will be addressed promptly...

In good health
Nicole Tapia
VitFit Nutritionist

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