I try to follow Dr. Gregor's Daily Dozen with some changes and additions. It was hard when I started, but after awhile you just do it. If I can't do it for some reason, that's ok, I just mentally check off what I can do.
3 servings of beans (legumes),
3 servings of other fruits
1 serving of cruciferous vegetables
2 servings of greens
2 servings of other veggies
1 serving of nuts and seeds
1 serving of herbs and spices
3 servings of whole grains
5 servings of beverages
1 serving of exercise
* Berries due to the cost, I eat frozen strawberries and blueberries mostly, but only on days I have oatmeal, not daily. I could do better with this.
* Dr. Gregor recommends 90 minutes at moderate intensity or 40 minutes of vigorous activity. I have an active job and do a lot of work at home and in the yard. Plus, I try to run/walk three times a week. I could do better with this, also.
* Flaxseed: While I don't eat this daily, I do use it as an egg replacer or as a thickener often.
To this, I also would add:
* Half my plate consists of good carbohydrates: potatoes, rice, etc. These make me feel satisfied and provide energy to the body.
* Walnuts/pumpkin seeds: Almost daily I have a small amount of these. Walnuts in my oatmeal definitely and pumpkin seeds in salads. Again, small amounts.
* Apple: I try to eat one apple a day. Apples have a lot of fiber and are relatively inexpensive compared to other fresh vegetables.
* Beverages: I've been trying to reduce coffee consumption to 1/2 cup coffee per day (supposed to help with cholesterol, but this isn't a huge effect). I have weaned myself off sugar in the coffee. I try to drink 150 oz of water per day. It helps to start the day by drinking 8 oz of water before my feet hit the floor.
* Mental Breaks: I strive for a bit of self care every day. This could include reading ( a book, not the internet) or doing a puzzle or talking to a friend.
Last thought: I find that when I am able to check off my list, there really isn't room for bad food, food that doesn't have nutrition.
McDougall Plan Coleader