Eating healthy is not just a fad. It’s not just for hippie granola types, it’s not something to practice only under a doctors direction. Carefully choosing the foods you eat has an impact on every aspect of your life, happiness, social interactions, and overall well-being.

However, eating healthy means different things to different people, and that’s okay. To some, it means salads and carrot sticks at every meal. To others, it’s simply finding a new way to enjoy more wholesome ingredients without feeling like they’re depriving themselves of flavor and enjoyment.

Most people don’t want to be on a “diet”, while the truth is that everyone is on a diet. Diet is the summation of all you eat, good or bad it’s your diet. My point is that you needn’t be on a diet to improve your overall diet if you think of the word as something permanent, not temporary. We all know temporary diets are just that, fleeting in time.

If you want to improve the quality of what you eat in this new year, whether for health or just a curiosity of the world of foods now available, I’ve got 10 Eating Healthy Tips for 2012. Here are the first five:

10) Understand that recipes have inherent limitations and you CAN change them.
Don’t go looking for recipes that call themselves “low fat”, you can make ANY recipe low fat when you know the changes to make.

9) Examine what foods or eating habits you KNOW are bad for you and slowly try to eliminate or reduce them in your diet.
Too much take-out food? Too much snacking? What small changes can you make immediately?

8) Identify the foods in your pantry that are not contributing to eating healthy and stop buying them.
When you eat complete, nutritious meals there’s no reason to keep bags of chips or unhealthy snacks around. You won’t need them.

7) Change your eating habits by eating better quality foods more purposefully rather than quickly consuming convenience items.
Stop eating in the car. Stop eating while you walk or eating meals in less than 10 minutes. Sit down, relax and concentrate on the good fuel going into your body.

6) Stop the guessing in your cooking. Healthy eating may not be appealing to you because you lack confidence to cook the most wholesome foods. You might hate asparagus because you have never had well cooked asparagus. Find a way that you can cook healthy items consistently.

5) Then, get some healthy foods. That should be obvious, you can’t eat better if you don’t know how to go about it. Visit the farmers market. Ask you local grocer which foods they recommend.

4) Master ONE basic cooking method, like saute’. Basic saute is a procedure you can repeat over and over again, only changing the ingredients to create an endless number of recipe-free meals that came from your inspirations and desires.

3) Be sure you keep the healthy in healthy eating. Use methods like steaming over boiling for vegetables so you don’t cook out all the nutrients.

2) Use a basic method, but substitute better proteins. Using beans instead of rice, pasta, or potatoes gives you nutrients your body will love as much as your taste buds.

1) Use seasonings correctly to add unique flavors to healthy foods, and don’t over-season. All the herbs and spices in the world won’t save a badly cooked item. However, the skillful use of seasonings can highlight the natural flavor of what you’ve cooked and add endless variety of worldwide flavors.

If you want to begin this new year with a new outlook on food, consider my 10 Healthy Eating Tips. First, examine what and how you eat now. Then, seek out more wholesome foods and learn to cook them in a way you like and season correctly to give even greater variety to your overall diet.

Author's Bio: 

Chef Todd Mohr has inspired thousands of people to improve their health and nutrition through healthy cooking. His FREE online webinar “How To Cook Fresh in 5 Easy Steps” reveals the secrets to selecting, cooking, and storing farm fresh ingredients for easy everyday home cooking.