When I am attempting to maintain a healthy eating program, I find it helpful to keep a laminated card in my pocket for my purse which contains a list of healthy food items.
This list helps me in several ways. First, it keeps me on track because it takes away the "decision" aspect from choosing my food. If a food is not on the list, it is out of bounds. Simple.
The second way that it helps me is because I look at the list and begin to get excited about all of the healthy and delicious foods that contain. It is a way of thinking positively about my healthy eating by celebrating all of the things that I CAN have, rather than by focusing on all of the things that I can't have.
If you feel like a list of healthy food categories and items would be a helpful thing for you in your own quest for healthy eating, here is an outline of what is included on my list.
Your list, of course, would be highly personal to you because the specifics of what was included in every category would consist of your favorite foods. In this way, it would help to inspire you as much as possible.
Here are the categories that are on my healthy food list:
1) Fresh Fruits
I included fresh fruits as the very first category on my list because fruit is my favorite type of healthy food to eat. I found it most inspirational to have it up front.
Examples of typical foods that could go in the fresh fruit section of your healthy food list would be various types of apples (including Fuji, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Pacific Rose, Jazz, and Honeycrisp), plums, pears, citrus items (such as oranges and grapefruits), berries, and melons.
2) Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are highly critical to a healthy diet. Roughage gives us the fiber that we need for digestion, as well as unparallelled nutrients.
Examples a typical green vegetables that you can include on your list are spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, and broccoli.
3) Lean Meats
I included lean meats on my list because, for me, they are an essential source of protein. If you are a vegetarian, obviously they will not be on your list -- this is a good example of where a list will be personal to the user.
Great examples of lean meat that can be included in your healthy food list are chicken breasts, ground turkey, 4% ground beef, and lean fishes such as Snapper.
4) Low Fat Dairy Products
Low fat dairy products can be another excellent source of protein in your diet, as well as calcium.
Examples of items that can be included in the dairy portion of your healthy food list are skim milk, Greek yogurt, and fat-free cottage cheese.
Hopefully, this list of healthy food items and their categories will inspire you to make one of your own. I have found it very helpful to print the list on several business cards and then have them laminated together. I look at them whenever I need inspiration.
If you choose to do the same, I hope that this technique is able to enrich your life and your healthy diet every bit as much as it has enriched mine.