Simple Steps to Eat Well


Let’s face it. No one really wants to think about healthy eating. 

There are enough stressors in our lives without worrying about cooking healthier. But nourishing our bodies with wholesome food can actually help you fight some of that stress and just feel better in general. 

Here’s how to make healthy eating less frustrating and more manageable with tips from Munson Healthcare Community Health Coordinator Tara Rybicki, MS, RD, CDE. 

Planning ahead works wonders

Spending just a little bit of time planning out meals and snacks before hitting the grocery store each week can really help you eat better throughout the week. Try these tips before your next shopping trip. 

  • Choose a time to map out your meals and snacks for the week ahead. Thinking through what you want to eat for the week in advance can help you stay on track.
  • Use what you already have at home when planning meals. Check your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets for ingredients. You’ll save money and time.
  • Write out the meals you chose and keep them in a visible location like on your fridge to remind you of what you planned to make. 
  • Take inventory of everything from spices to cooking utensils to make sure you have everything you need to make cooking enjoyable.
  • Schedule easier meals for busy days. Reserve ones that take longer for days when you’ll have more time to cook. Make sure you have fun and healthy meals readily available when you need fresh ideas. Need some inspo? Check out our favorites
  • Make a grocery list - and stick to it! Research shows that people who use a grocery list tend to eat better. 
  • Eat a healthy snack before shopping. It may help you stick to the list and prompt you to buy a greater amount of healthier fare. Consider this finding: In one study, people who snacked on an apple instead of a cookie before shopping bought more fruits and vegetables overall.
  • Designate a spot in your home to enjoy the meals and snacks you prepare. This will help you eat mindfully, or be more aware and able to fully enjoy the eating experience. 

Organize your fridge

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Something as simple as reorganizing the way you store food can help the healthier choices become more accessible and attractive when it’s time for a snack or to prepare a meal. 

  • Keep foods such as fruits and vegetables in easy reach. Don’t bury your produce in a refrigerator drawer. Place it on a center shelf, where it can be easily seen and picked up. You can apply the same idea to foods you store in cabinets.
  • Dress it up. For healthy foods you can leave out on the counter, place them in an attractive bowl. They will be more tempting to eat.
  • Cut it up. Sliced apples or baby carrots are easy to grab and snack on. Children especially like the smaller bites.
  • Store food only in the kitchen. One study found people who stored more food throughout their homes were more likely to be overweight.
  • Ditch and pitch anything that makes eating well difficult. Having a candy dish on the counter or a pantry stocked with unhealthy foods will make it much more difficult to choose healthier options. 

Do dine out

It can be a challenge to eat well when dining out. Restaurants may not always list calorie counts and other nutritional information on their menus. Try these strategies:

  • Scan the menu for healthier items. Some restaurants will mark which foods are low-fat or low-calorie. Generally, those that are grilled or steamed, instead of fried, are better for you.
  • Watch your portion size. Many eateries serve up big portions. To cut back on how much you eat, share an entrée with a friend. Or eat half and take home the rest for later.
  • Eat slowly. Your body will have more time to digest the food. You will feel full sooner and eat less overall. Pro-tip: Check in with your hunger level prior to the meal and again when you’re halfway through eating. That way, you can make a conscious decision to continue eating, rather than continuing to eat because there is more food on your plate. 
  • Stay away from super-sized drinks. The sugar in soft drinks can add hundreds of unneeded calories to your meal. Water with lemon is a great way to stay hydrated without a bunch of added sugar.

Having trouble finding time to plan meals?

We can help with that too! It’s hard to find time in already packed schedules for meal planning and preparation. That’s why we worked with experts to create a tool to help you build a personalized daily and weekly routine to fit in all of your priorities while making time to meet your goals. 

Download the Wellness Routine Toolkit