Jennifer’s Journal: Good health starts now

Published 8:08 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We’re already into the last full week of February. For many of us that made New Year’s resolutions, we may have fallen off the wagon, especially if you made weight loss or improved nutrition goals. Now’s the time to jump back on and improve your health.

A healthy eating pattern includes a variety of vegetables; dark green, red, orange, and legumes. One of the best ways to eat a healthier diet is to focus on making half your plate fruit and vegetables.

Look at how you currently eat and see if there are small changes you can make to better the health of everyone in your family. It may be as simple as limiting your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages or snacks. You can also switch from bread, cereals and pastas made of refined grains to ones that are whole grain. Start small by making one change, and it could lead to bigger results.

Other ways to eat smart include:

— Don’t skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast leads to the munchies and slows your metabolism down.

— Don’t skip any meals or snacks. Eat smaller meals throughout the day.

— Be sure to include 30 minutes of activity every day. Have you registered for the Clark County Wellness Challenge yet?

— Drink fewer sodas and other sweetened drinks, including iced tea. Drink water instead.

— Try to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

— Buy leaner cuts of meats and remove the skin from chicken.

— To help with portion control, use a smaller plate for meals.

— Eat more slowly and allow your body a chance to feel full.

For more information on healthy eating contact us at the Clark County Extension Office, 744-4682 and be sure to visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark and check out the Easy Italian Ziti recipe and physical activity tips.

Jennifer Howard is the County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.