3 practical pointers for eating light & healthy in 2023

Our recipe for success when it comes to eating well

Establishing or reviving healthy eating habits tends to rank high among New Year’s resolutions year after year, yet it is all too easy to avoid or forgo in this day and age. Just consider the endless supply of alluring alternatives. Grocery store shelves and frozen food aisles are filled with countless convenient options. Eating out on the town or ordering in with the swipe of an app for hassle-free fare is tempting and typically delicious, not to mention an excuse to skip kitchen clean up. In comparison, healthy eating can seem like a time-consuming chore or a flavor-limiting bore. But, it doesn’t have to be!

Eating well without sacrificing flavor IS within reach — we promise! Grab a pen and paper and jot down these three practical pointers to healthy eating, then stick it on the fridge as a friendly reminder for if and when you feel overwhelmed and uninspired:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Keep it real.
  3. Keep it fresh.

To expand just a bit, here are some simple suggestions:

  • Eat from the earth. Remember, there is abundance beyond the standard fruit and vegetable selection. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes as well as both plant-based proteins and lean meats are all nutritious elements of a healthy diet. (Respect and observe your personal dietary beliefs and restrictions, of course.)
  • Choose fruits and veggies that are in season and are sourced from local producers whenever possible. Each season offers different choices and there is plenty of produce available year-round, too. See for yourself! If you’re not sure where to find fresh fare near you, check out LocalHarvest.org to locate local farms, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) opportunities and more.
  • Avoid processed and prepackaged foods. Many contain excess amounts of sodium, sugar or artificial sweeteners, fats and calories. One of the guiltiest culprits? Store-bought salad dressings. Making your own is easier than you’d imagine. Take a peek below for a few suggestions. When you cook at home and create from scratch, YOU are in control over what goes into your food and in turn, into your body.
  • If you must buy prepared or packaged goods, do yourself a favor and read the labels. Stick to products that list real ingredients, vitamins and minerals and avoid inclusions and additives that you need Google to translate or define for you.
  • Use herbs, spices and other natural flavors to enhance your food. We happen to favor olive oils and vinegars, but the options are truly endless. A drizzle here and a dash there can go a long way to take your dish from edible to incredible!
  • Drink plenty of water and be mindful of other beverages. Sugary juices, soft drinks, alcohol and caffeine can sabotage your efforts to be careful of your intake. Enjoy these in moderation.

So, this year, don’t let your resolutions run wild with excess ambition. Stick to what’s realistic and reasonable for your lifestyle. Keep it simple by setting just a few ground rules. Keep it real by choosing foods foraged from the earth. Keep it fresh by shopping in season and using natural flavors. Oh, and be kind to yourself! Give yourself a break if you slip up. In fact, give yourself permission to splurge every now and then (after all, stress can wreak havoc on your health, too).

If you decide to delve deeper into dietary advice, check out the expansive Eat Smart resource center from the American Heart Association. For some simple, real, fresh and delicious recipes, check out our recipe collection. A few fan favorites are listed below.

Make eating well more enjoyable with O!

Easy, fun & flavorful:

Classic Hummus with O Zesty Garlic Olive Oil

Shaved Asparagus & White Bean Salad with O Citrus Champagne Vinegar

Zesty Zoodle Salad with O Fig Balsamic Vinegar

Homemade vinaigrettes:

O Honey White & Blood Orange Vinaigrette — An irresistible flavor combo!

O Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette — A taste of juicy fig flavor any time of year!

O Citrus Apple Vinaigrette — Refreshing and aromatic bliss!

O Luscious Lemony Vinaigrette — A vibrant splash of California sunshine!

Simple O Champagne Vinaigrette — A simple, sparkling classic!