While being bombarded often with contradictory nutritional information, it can be difficult to understand what it really means to eat a healthy diet.

Here at Getting Fit With Jen, I hope to offer suggestions and let you know a few of my thoughts on the subject of nutrition, especially for those of us who are regularly working out and striving toward total fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Because fitness is my specialty, I often rely on Laura, from, to share her expertise with me on the subject of nutrition.  I highly recommend that you check out Heavenly Homemakers as a source for wonderful, healthy, whole foods recipes.  You can’t go wrong when you use her recipes as they are all family friendly, simple to make, delicious, and made with real, whole food ingredients.

What to Focus on Eating

I recommend eating whole foods, which I define as “food that is minimally processed and as close to its natural state as possible”.  Our bodies recognize these foods and can use them to fuel our system so that while combining the concepts of eating well and exercising, we can meet our optimum fitness levels.

You should be eating many fruits and vegetables each day.  In addition, protein foods, such as meat, nuts, cheese, and eggs are very important - especially when you are working out.  Carbohydrates are also important for someone who is exercising regularly, as long as they are eaten in their whole form (like brown rice and other whole grains).  Healthy fats, such as real butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and olive oil are vital for fueling your body with energy.  Full fat dairy products are excellent for building up bones and maintaining strength.

What to Avoid Eating

Processed, boxed foods should be avoided if possible, especially those which have long, unrecognized ingredient lists.  I try to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors and colors.  Foods which contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) are also important to avoid.  Stay away from artificial sweeteners, such as nutrasweet and splenda.  (Real sugar isn’t great for you, but at least our body recognizes it as opposed to artificial, chemically made sweeteners.)

What to Eat in Moderation

It is important to strive for balance, recognizing that birthday cakes and office parties are a part of life.  Try to avoid eating too much sugar, fast food, and other less nutritious foods – but keep in mind that the occasional treat is okay.

No matter what you are eating, even if it considered to be a healthy, whole food, it is important not to overeat.  Eat when you are hungry, stop eating when you are full, and focus on nourishing your body with a wise amount of food.