When it comes to diet, I have never been one to count calories or stress over the health value of what I’m eating. I have just always eaten whatever I wanted and counted on my youthful activities and metabolism to work things out. Recently though, as I near the end of my college career, things are starting to change. My days of not being able to gain weight no matter how hard I try are long gone. I’ve also noticed that my energy level isn’t what it used to be back in my glory days.
I have been able to keep certain positive habits though from my days as a high school athlete, and unfortunately, it’s not the incessant working out. The key to staying healthy and full of energy for me has simply been eating a healthy balance of food and combining that with exercise. It’s not rocket science, but our elementary school teachers had it right when they showed us that goofy rainbow pyramid.
In fact, the government has recently updated the food pyramid and created an easy-to-use website (www.mypyramid.gov) to help you figure out how to eat a balanced diet. The new pyramid recognizes that we all have different sizes and shapes and provides varied food amounts based on your age, sex and activity level. It even provides a way to track what you eat and how much you exercise. It’s like having a dietician in your own home for free.
If you’re thinking that the food pyramid is way too simple to work or if it’s not the miracle pill you’ve been hoping for, just check out some of these helpful tips from the website that just might improve your everyday routine without you completely conforming to the ways of the food pyramid.
• Make half your grains whole
• Vary your veggies
• Focus on fruit
• Get your calcium rich foods
• Go lean with protein
• Find your balance between food and physical activity
Remember, you don’t have to starve yourself or completely cut anything out of your diet to be happy and healthy. Like writer Fran Lebowitz once said, “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”
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