This is what the flexitarian diet all boils down to. There are so many food pyramids out there, but this one is by far my favorite, because it was created based on non-biased research! Many food-producing companies out there have paid researchers to conduct studies that show their product to be good, so the old food pyramids have some bias due to those studies.
Harvard examined tons of studies done on diet and health, and this beauty came from it. Also, it's a diet that anyone can easily follow. My husband and I are poor college students, and we can afford this diet. Also, it's not a diet that takes a ton of preparation and time, such as a diet I did a few weeks ago that consisted of me eating 5 meals a day, each being about 375 calories. I seriously spent all day deciding what I could eat that would fill me up and stay within the calorie limit. That was not a lifestyle I could keep up with for the rest of my life. After all, isn't a diet just the way you eat over time? The word "diet" in our day tends to have the connotation of an intense eating and exercise plan that lasts for a short period of time to help people lose weight. But just like we need to brush our teeth every day to maintain dental health, we need to exercise and eat well every day of our lives so that we can be healthy!
Anyway, I'll step off of my soap box and just let you check out the chart that has helped me so much! If you would like more knowledge about this chart, check out the book The Culprit and The Cure.
My husband and I actually printed this picture out twice (one for each of us) and we put it on our fridge. Each day we keep track of what we eat by putting small magnet pieces in the space of the foods we consume. For instance, if I had a piece of bread with peanut butter on it, I would put a magnet in the whole grain box, and a magnet in the nuts and legumes box. Then when we get hungry, we can check to see what foods we still need to get more of for the day. We just cut up an advertisement magnet we got, so the magnets were free.
For exercise and weight control, we do 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week (yoga, zumba, weight lifting, planks and jumping jacks, or whatever you enjoy that gets your muscles and heart going!) and we make sure to get at least 10,000 steps every single day. I like going on an hour-long walk every day with my friends who also have little ones. We place a magnet in the bottom box for 30 minutes of exercise done, and then when we reach 10,000 steps for the day we add another magnet in that box.