I know I have terrible eating habits. I generally get up in the morning and have coffee and then may go the whole day without eating. Dinner usually consists of fast food and pizza. What are your suggestions for making changes to improve my health and have more energy?

I am not surprised you are asking about improving your energy levels. Good nutrition and a healthy diet can act like “fuel” for your fire. The example that I give is for you to picture a wood burning stove. It burns consistently and hot when you diligently add logs to keep it going. The logs are essentially like food. If we don’t consistently add logs (food) to our diet, we are not going to have much fire and our metabolism will likely be sluggish. I am happy that you are inquiring about ways to improve your diet. That is the first step. There are several things you can do to improve your diet lifestyle. The first would be to have something to eat first thing in the morning. If you are not a fan of breakfast or feel like you don’t have time, start by keeping very quick/easy foods around. I am not implying that you have to sit down to have a full breakfast, but try to at least have something to get you going first thing. It could be a pre-made yogurt smoothie or a slice of toast with peanut butter. You could grab a few hard boiled eggs or a breakfast bar that is high in fiber and protein. The next important step to improving your diet is to not go more than a few hours between times that you eat. Pack your lunch the night before and grab it on your way out the door. Healthy lunch options include a whole wheat pita stuffed with spinach, turkey, low fat cheese and hummus. Try a vegetable salad topped with grilled chicken and garbanzo beans or have some fruit, yogurt and soup. If you simply don’t have time for lunch, try to at least eat a mid morning or late afternoon healthy snack (handful of almonds, piece of fruit, string cheese etc). Healthy dinners can be made possible by a little planning. Involve the entire family when making a grocery list and plan meals ahead for the week. You may even make a few week night meals on a Sunday and freeze them so they are ready to go. If fast food is the only option (and pizza is desired) consider a thin crust option with lots of veggies and hold any greasy meats. Pair a slice or two with a salad and you have a healthy meal! Other fast food options could include a baked potato with a grilled chicken sandwich or a yogurt parfait paired with a grilled chicken sandwich.

Login to Favorite