By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau
You’ve resolved to exercise more in the New Year. What have you planned to do about the way you eat? You can incorporate five simple New Year resolutions and dramatically improve the way you eat.
- Create a food shopping list that focuses on the basics and eliminates the boxes. When planning your weekly menu or food shopping list, before heading out the door, how many items on your list are basic items like fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean meats and eggs? If you find that your menu items are cereal and other packaged goods, you might be eating too much processed food.
- Eat meat on Mondays and whenever you want. Opposed to Meatless Mondays, Arizona Farm Bureau celebrates the more than 20 cuts of lean meat in the beef industry and the healthy pork and chicken you can purchase at today’s grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Remember that your meat proteins have some of the most important blend of vitamins and key nutrients that you can get from other foods.
- Make healthy swaps. Remember that shopping list of yours? If you want to reduce the amount of boxed cereal you and your family eat think of increasing your consumption of fresh eggs for breakfast. Or, consider whole grain cereals that have no sugar or reduced sugar content. Another example is replacing soda with fruit drinks that don’t have sugar added.
- Remember Portion control. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose a little bit of weight, sometimes just evaluating your portions can help you shed those extra pounds.
- Buy Local. Arizona has more than 75 farmers’ markets throughout the state and our grocery stores (especially Bashas’ and even Whole Foods) are highlighting our local farmers and ranchers. So your opportunities for buying local foods have increased. Consider committing from 3 to 5 percent of your food budget to local. Two areas where this is easiest includes your milk products and eggs. Nearly all our eggs in Arizona come from Hickman’s Family Farms. Also, most of your milk you purchase in the grocery store is coming from Arizona dairies. You want more help in this area? Check out Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate and search for our local farmers and ranchers by searching by product, for example “beef.”
These basic resolutions can transform the way you eat in the New Year. For recipes, other healthy eating tips and much more remember to go to www.fillyourplate.org.