You diet, exercise and even take your vitamins. Despite all of this, you’re still lacking in the energy department and just don’t feel as good as you’d like to. If you’re still eating processed, fried or lots of pre-packaged foods that could be the problem. Trying adding in as many whole, fresh foods as possible to every meal and snack to see if that’s the magic ingredient you’ve been missing on your mission to gain and sustain good health.

Why should you add whole foods to your routine?

Fresh fruits, vegetables and grains that aren’t processed, pre-packaged or fried are packed full of nutrition. They’re presented on your plate exactly as nature intended them – without chemical additives or cooking processes that deplete them of the nutrients they naturally contain. Even cooked whole foods – if you monitor the cooking process – can make a big difference over other options you might put on your plate.

When you consider that many processed foods also contain preservatives and a host of other chemicals, it’s just simple common sense to arrive at the conclusion that fresh is better.

So, how can you introduce more whole, fresh foods into your daily routine? Here are some tips that can help:

  • Start with breakfast – It’s very simple to eat healthier at breakfast and it’s also important for setting up your nutritional day on a good note. Consider whole grain cereals and be sure to add fruit to the mix. If you must eat on the run, grab fruit instead of a sticky, sugary, nutritionally devoid sweet treat!
  • Snack right – Snack times are the perfect times to add whole foods into the diet. Instead of grabbing for that bag of chips or the candy bar, reach for a healthful and crunchy nut mix. If sweet is a must in your snacking routine, just add in some raisins for good measure.
  • Go veggie crazy – Fresh, raw vegetables are easy additions to almost any meal. Consider broccoli, carrots, celery, leafy vegetables and more. Should you prefer your veggies cooked, opt for steaming fresh selections.
  • Make healthy choices readily available – It’s a simple fact that most people tend to eat what’s easily available when they’re hungry. To make sure your choices are good ones, clear out your home of processed, sugary and high-fat snacks and side dish choices. Load up on fruits and vegetables and make it easy to reach for a bowl of nuts or vegetable slices when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

Getting into shape and maintaining health call for a holistic approach that includes a healthy diet. Even when eating habits appear good on the surface, they might not be. To fix this, work fresh, whole foods into the routine and be sure exercise is also on the menu. For more advice on getting healthy and staying that way, consult the professionals at your local gym or fitness center. They’re there to help!