God cares about what we put into our bodies because it’s part of His great plan for us to lead healthy, productive lives. Our Creator seeks to make us whole, and recognizing this makes it a little easier to begin healthy eating habits.

Change is always difficult, especially when it comes to what we eat. We know we should consume more fruit, but we’d much rather have a chocolate sundae for dessert. Also, we realize that eating less saturated fat and cholesterol is healthier, but after a long day at work, it’s much easier to go through the drive-through for dinner. Let’s face it: convenience and taste usually win out.

Altering our diet can be tough, especially when we try to do everything at once. However, it’s important to remember that even small adjustments can result in significant health benefits. Start with something as simple as switching your afternoon snack to a quarter cup of nuts or seeds. You’ll be surprised how easy it will be to adopt other healthy eating behaviors. The key is to find the motivation to get started.

So, how can you get motivated to eat healthier foods, and more importantly, how do you maintain that motivation?

Registered dietitians Meredith Luce and Shawn Noseworthy offer helpful perspectives for choosing healthier foods and maintaining a satisfying yet balanced diet.

“Fruits and vegetables have so much color,” Luce tells us. “They add so many dimensions to your plate. Color is the key. Not only do we eat with our taste buds, but we also eat with our eyes.”

When selecting food, think of vibrant colors. Plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, naturally have lots of color, which comes from their health-giving phytochemicals. Choosing foods with lots of color is one easy step toward healthier eating.

“When you think about it,” she points out, “you want the taste to be as satisfying as possible, so start with healthy foods you already like.”

If you don’t like bananas, that’s okay. Choose fruit you do enjoy. Luce encourages eating lots of fruits and vegetables, as they are essential not just for nutrition but also for fiber. Additionally, fruits and vegetables have dimensions, colors and textures, all of which make for great mouth appeal.

“Variety is another important aspect of food choice,” Luce adds. “It’s one of those things you hear a lot from dietitians, and it’s very important because there is no single perfect food. We encourage variety because each food group and individual food has its own unique combination of nutrients. If we vary what we eat every day, we are guaranteed a variety of nutrients.”

Noseworthy explains, “What we recommend about meat, poultry and fish is to use them less often. Typically, we overuse meat and eat more of it than we need. We don’t require that much protein, and meat usually contains cholesterol and saturated fat associated with a higher incidence of heart disease and cancers. Minimize the amount of animal products you consume. When you minimize these foods, you will want to maximize your plant foods.”

Luce stresses, “Plant foods do not have to be boring. Great nutrition and enjoyable eating don’t have to be bland!”

Making healthy food choices is an essential part of feeling whole. By focusing on adding vibrant colors to your plate, starting with healthy foods you already enjoy and embracing variety in your diet, you can begin to make small changes that will lead to significant health benefits. Remember, you don’t have to overhaul your entire diet at once; even small adjustments can make a big difference. As you minimize your intake of animal products and maximize your consumption of plant-based foods, you’ll discover that healthy eating can be both nutritious and delicious. With the right mindset and a little motivation, you can embark on a healthier, more balanced lifestyle that will nourish your body, mind and spirit.