It’s National Nutrition Month. For many of us, this nutrition month should come as a much needed reminder to the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. But as you go on with your daily life, work and the stress that comes along with the two, it may seem to be a difficult task to maintain the health and nutrition you desire.

Yet contrary to popular belief, achieving personal wellness is quite easily attainable, you just have to always remember that it all starts with a few dietary guidelines and passing up the junk for healthy foods. Now in order to help you uphold your personal health and nutrition goals, we took the time to outline a few nutritional guidelines that will help you stay healthy all year long.

Make your calories count. Always remember this “a calorie isn’t just a calorie.” 100 calories of candy is not the same as 100 calories of fruit or vegetables. The artificial, processed sugars packed in candy raise your blood sugar and insulin levels which signals the storage of fat in your body. Nutrient rich fruits and vegetables do the opposite by signaling your body to burn and release fat. So in short, make sure you know where your calories are coming from, that way they’ll always count.

Plan ahead for meals. This way you can easily control your caloric intake and cut down on your snacking in between meals. When planning your meals, keep in mind which nutrients you are taking in. Find out which foods are rich in things such as fiber, calcium and Vitamin C and plan accordingly so you can maintain your daily nutrients. If you find that you are missing out on much needed nutrient, consider using supplements such as Vitamin C tablets to maintain your intake.

Eat healthy when eating out. When it comes to eating out, we’re all for treating yourself every once in awhile. But this does not mean that you have to go crazy on all the high calorie, high fat menu items. Carefully read each menu and look for words such as baked, broiled, steamed or grilled, these usually offer healthier alternatives. Another easy thing to change while eating out is what you order for your sides. Ex. Sub steamed vegetables for french fries.

Smart grocery shopping. Ahh yes, it all comes down to the inevitable time at the grocery store. A few tricks to ensure that you are doing smart grocery shopping include; buying fresh, local produce, organic products and always making a list prior to entering the store. When in doubt, stick to the outer aisles of the store, these sections are where you will find fresh produce, meats, fish and eggs. By doing all of the above you can easily avoid all the bad things like sugar and junk food.