How to Stay Healthy for Life 
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What to Eat Every Day

Grains (bread, cereal, crackers, rice, and pasta):  At least 3 ounces.  1 oz.= 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of dry cereal, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cereal, or pasta.  Try to eat grains that have the word whole in front of them. 

Vegetables :  2-3 cups.  1 cup= 1 cup of raw or cooked veggies, 1 cup of 100% vegetable juice, 2 cups of raw leafy greens.

Fruits (fresh, canned, dried, or frozen):  1 1/2-2 cups.  1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, 1/2 cup dried fruit.

Milk (dairy products):  2-3 cups.  1 cup= 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or pudding, 1 1/2 oz. of cheese, 2 cups of cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups of ice cream.  Try to eat dairy with low or no fat.

Meat (foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, peas, eggs, nuts or seeds):  4-6 ounces.  1 oz.= 1 oz. of meat, poultry, or fish, 1/4 cup of cooked dry beans or peas, 1 egg, 1 TBS of peanut butter, 1/2 oz. of nuts or seeds.

Fats :  Consume in moderation.



  Watch your portion sizes!  Most Americans eat larger than necessary portions and because of this, they eat more calories than they need.  This is part of the reason why so many Americans are now considered overweight or even obese. 

  A good way to keep track of your portion sizes is to measure bowls, cups, and plates that you usually use.  See what 1 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 ounce look like on your dishes.  This will help you eat more sensible portions because you will be more aware of how much you are truly eating.

  When you go out to eat, you probably don't need to finish everything on your plate (take it home for leftovers; it may save you from having to cook the next night).  Most restaurants serve over-sized portions, so if you finish all of the food you are probably getting many more calories than you need.  If you go out for fast food, DO NOT get super-sized.  Go for small or medium sized portions.  Example:  If you get a double cheeseburger meal small= 840 calories, medium= 1,030 calories, large= 1,320 calories.  As you can see, this really adds up.  You may eat over 1/2 to 2/3 of your daily caloric intake in one meal.  Also, you should try to opt for grilled or baked instead of fried, or get a side salad instead of french fries.

  All of these tips can help you choose healthier portions for you and your family.


Healthy Snacking

  Have a regular snack time that isn't too close to lunch or dinner.  Try to limit your snack calories between 100 and 150 calories so that it isn't like eating a whole meal.  Have nutritious snacks ready and handy to eat; you are more likely to eat it if you can just grab it and go and not have to wash, cut, or prepare it.  Try not to eat unhealthy snacks- cookies, chips, candy, doughnuts, soda- except as an occassional treat because they are packed with calories but have no real nutritional value.

Healthy/ Easy to Prepare Snacks

celery with peanut butter
apples with low-fat caramel  
most dry cereals
granola bars
frozen yogurt
non-fat pudding
cheese and crackers
carrots, cucumbers, or broccoli with low-fat ranch
air-popped popcorn
raisins or nuts
baked chips
fruit kabobs
peanut butter sandwich

low or fat free milk
100% fruit juice
100% vegetable juice  
water (add crystal light for flavor)


  Getting enough exercise is also a key way to stay healthy.  Most people should exercise for 30 minutes most or every day of the week (5-7 days).  Exercise should be moderate or vigorous for the 30 minute period. To be considered exercise, your heart rate has to be elevated for the 30 minute duration.  Exercising not only helps to keep you healthy, but is also makes you feel better and have more energy because it raises your endorphin levels.

  Moderate intensity exercises noticeably increase heart rate and breathing rate.  You may sweat, but you are still able to talk.  You can talk, but you can't sing.  Examples: brisk walking, easy jogging, walking or jogging on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, bike riding, swimming, softball or baseball.  Vigorous intensity exercises substantially increase heart rate and breathing rate.  You are likely to be sweating and are breathing rapidly.  You are only able to speak in short phrases.  Examples:  speed walking, running, hiking uphill, lap swimming, martial arts, fast jogging, basketball, or hockey.


  The key to a healthy life is eating right and exercising regularly.  Eating healthy and exercising can make you feel better, have more energy, and even look better. It can also help you avoid many health problems including:  obesity (the second leading cause of death in the United States), diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, lack of energy, and even certain cancers.