1. Whenever possible use natural yogurt to replace half the amount in a recipe with sour cream so you can benefit from the good bacteria.
  2. Use organic applesauce without the added sugar instead of oil in some recipes. Also, in some recipes you can substitute fresh avocado instead of using lard.
  3. Use flax seed when making any dough for bread or cookies. Add ¼ cup for 1 cup of flour to add fiber. Also, you can mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water to make one egg substitute for any recipe that calls for eggs, if you’re vegan.
  4. Keep dried fruit and some good nuts like walnuts, pecans, pine nuts and almonds handy for salads and other recipes due to the high nutrient content.
  5. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market and organic section at your local grocery.
  6. Look for high quality protein in meat and eggs by purchasing grass fed or pasture raised products. Try to purchase wild fish as opposed to farm raised.
  7. Learn how to control hunger by eating natural foods that are not processed or refined. Avoid refined carbohydrates, which will not satisfy your hunger, but instead just makes you gain weight. It is best to create healthy habits and focus on healthy good foods, which will stop you from eating junk food. Overtime, you’ll start to crave healthy foods.
  8. Learn how to read the labels on each package. Watch for long ingredient lists, especially ingredients that you don’t understand or cannot pronounce. Watch for GMOS (genetically modified organisms), HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), sodium nitrite, MSM (mechanically separated meat, sodium benzoate, artificial food coloring like yellow no. 5 or red dye no. 3, and MSG.
  9. Use only natural oils and fats like olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. This may help reduce one’s risk of heart disease. Coconut oils are great for high heat cooking. Other acceptable oils are sesame oil, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil and walnut oil. All of these oils are high in omegas, which may promote a healthy heart. Heat and light spoil the oil. Over time, oils can degrade and lose some of their good nutritious qualities. Store your oil in a cool, dark place and replace it if it smells bitter or “off.” Some oils — particularly polyunsaturated oils such as grape seed or walnut oil — are quick to turn rancid. Store these oils in the refrigerator.
  10. Don’t just focus on loosing weight by tracking the calories you eat and burn through exercise. By eating whole foods, you can control your calorie intake and satisfy your body with the nutrition that it needs to stay healthy.