With her clever wit and wisdom, certified nutritional consultant (CNC), Leanne Ely, is bringing people back to the dinner tables each evening. Leanne has a simple philosophy, “Make it and they will come.” She is author of the Saving Dinner series; Leanne also dishes out recipes and advice with her syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva.

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Saving Dinner

by Leanne Ely, Certified Nutrition Counselor

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In the world of nutrition, there is a constant stream of information that (unfortunately) overwhelms most people. Yes, even nutritionists get overloaded with nutritional TMI!

10 healthy tipsRegardless, it still drills down to the basics that people often miss in their quest to be healthier.

I've thought about this a lot as I stroll through the grocery store seeing what people have in their carts! It's absolutely mind-boggling what constitutes "food" in some people's minds and that they actually paid hard earned money for some of this stuff.

So let's get serious - I came up with 10 things to implement right now for better health that won't cost you any money and you won't even have to think about (much). Here you go...

1) First Thirst. Water is cheap, readily available and will boost your health, your absorption of nutrients and give you great skin! What's not to like about that? Before you order a soda or grab the juice/iced tea, drink your water. Water first, then the other stuff. If you really wanna save some cash, skip the other stuff entirely.

2) Big on Breakfast. Eating breakfast gets your metabolism started, your appetite handled and consequently, helps you to stabilize -- and maybe even lose weight!

3) Eat in Season. Fresh fruits and veggies can be expensive, but if you buy in season (take advantage of locally grown stuff), you're going to get superior quality and less cash outlay!

4) Watch the Iceberg. There are FAR better lettuces out there. Iceberg is nearly nutritionally void. Just let the color GREEN be your guide; the greener, the better!

5) Get Blue. Throw some blueberries on your cereal this week. Blueberries have more antioxidants and phytonutrients than any other vegetable or fruit on the planet! I like them in my steel cut oats in the morning.

6) Home Plate. Large salad plates work better for portion control than conventional dinner plates. Remember to keep your plate piled with veggies, a deck of cards-sized protein source and a fist-sized amount of complex carbs.

7) Brown Outs. Skip the white rice, white flour and sugar. Instead, go with whole wheat flour, brown rice and use evaporated cane juice (also called Sucanat) instead of regular sugar.

8) Go Fish. Eat wild fish instead of farm-raised fish to enjoy the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids not found in farm-raised. You can find it on sale and flash frozen to save money. Wild salmon is an especially nutritious choice!

9) Better Butter. Use half olive oil and butter whipped together. Spreads easier, better for you and less saturated fat than regular butter.

10) Shake the Salt. When cooking, use toward the end of cooking and only to taste. Taste your food BEFORE you salt it and if you want to go hardcore, remove the shaker entirely from the table.

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