"I encourage people to merge their food and health care budgets because [eating well] is preventive health care," said Taiha Wagner, a practical nurse, lifestyle educator and president of Just One Bite Inc. in Eden Prairie.
And you don't have to give up anything in order to eat healthier, said Brenda Langton, owner of Cafe Brenda in Minneapolis and a natural-food expert. "Really, it's about all these new wonderful foods that will enter your world -- embrace it and have fun with it, enjoy it and reap its rewards."
Follow this simple checklist to get on the path to healthier eating for a healthier self. You can improve your health while saving time and money.
- Read labels.
- Avoid mystery ingredients.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Say no to high-fructose corn syrup.
- Don't buy genetically modified.
- Cut out MSG, or monosodium glutamate.
- Reconsider your supermarket.
- Choose produce strategically.
Eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.
Buy organic for the "Dirty Dozen" -- the 12 most chemical-laden produce -- but stick with conventional for the "Clean Fifteen," 15 items with low chemical residue.
Dirty Dozen: Peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberry, cherry, kale, lettuce, grape, carrot, pear.
Clean Fifteen: Onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato.
- Check your meat.
- Increase healthful fats.
- Use whole grains.
- Buy better milk.
- Plan ahead.
- Prep ahead.
- Invest in cooking.
- Get creative. Buy limes in bulk to save cash. Squeeze the juice into ice cube trays for fresh lime juice in no time.