Healthy Living: Cheater's Guide to Better Health (cont.)

Read on for more tips and tricks to transform your busy lifestyle into a healthy one.

If you're not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, American Dietetic Association spokesman Dave Grotto, RD, suggests getting the most out of the fruits and veggies you do eat. That means looking for variety and intensity of color -- cherries, berries, and pomegranates are good examples, as are squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, and deep red tomatoes. To squeeze in more vegetables during your day, look for juice blends that contain green vegetables and try pouring tomato sauce over a side dish. Drinkable vegetable soups are a good option for people who need to eat on the go.

"Try to add one positive thing rather than avoiding things," Grotto tells WebMD. "That's less stressful than giving up something." For example, if you're hooked on the drive-through at lunchtime, Grotto suggests having a side salad with your burger. This strategy adds nutrients to your diet without drastically changing your routine.

Quick Picks for Each Food Group
Grains High-fiber whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, or rice
Vegetables Juice blends that contain green vegetables, drinkable vegetable soups, tomato sauce, V8
Fruits Fruit smoothies, dried cherries or berries added to cereal or trail mix, fruit cup as a side dish
Dairy Drinkable yogurt with active cultures -- go low fat or fat free
Meats/Proteins Soups with beans and legumes, deli sandwiches with lean meats, edamame (young soybeans that can be eaten like nuts). Bake it, broil it, or grill it.
Fats Olive oil added to salad or pasta, trail mix with nuts and seeds

Oral Hygiene

While some studies have suggested that mouthwash might be a substitute for flossing, the American Dental Association maintains that flossing is the best way to remove food particles and reduce plaque between teeth. But if you can't manage to floss every day, what about committing to two or three times per week? WebMD put that question to American Dental Association spokesman Richard Price, DDS. His reply: "Sure, if you're going to wash your face every third day or shower every fourth day."

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you only have time to do one thing for your skin, applying sunscreen is by far the most important. Using sunscreen daily may prevent premature aging and skin cancer. If you're looking for a shortcut, dermatologist Robin Ashinoff, MD, points out that many moisturizers and makeup contain sunscreen. She adds that moisturizers and makeup are optional, but sunscreen is not.


"Make the most of activities that already help you relax...Find out what it is that helps you and enhance that."