10/13/2011 10:52 am ET Updated Feb 20, 2013

Are Your Food Choices Good, Better Or Best?

Everything you eat helps to determine your health and wellness. If you eat junk, your health will turn to junk. And, can you think of anything more important than your health?

One of the most powerful things a person can do to improve their health is to improve the quality of what they eat. Please don't misunderstand -- I'm not the "Food Police." I'm a health coach, but I'm not trying to take the foods you love away from you.

Sure, it would be a tremendous boost for most people's health if they ate more fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and legumes. But judging by what I see in shopping carts at the supermarket checkout counter, and the steady reliance so many people have on fast food, the easier "first step" to greater health is to improve the quality of what you eat.

If you want a burger, go for it. But instead of having a $1 burger that sits under a heat lamp in a fast-food restaurant, have an organic burger. If you want cookies, then have a few cookies and enjoy them. Just make sure they don't contain trans fats, which are harmful to your heart. If you want a pizza, then enjoy a savory pizza. But rather than have a frozen pizza that's highly processed and loaded with salt, have a made-to-order pizza that's created with fresh dough, sauce that's made from scratch and freshly made mozzarella cheese. If you want a chicken sandwich for lunch, then have one made with baked chicken rather than fried chicken. You get the idea!

The pace and pressures of daily life have pushed many people's relationship with food to the back burner. People often make meal decisions on the run. And when that happens, it's easy to make a health-eroding choice.

So, what's the solution? Well, it's a simple technique I call "Good, Better, Best." Over the years, my clients have found Good, Better, Best to be a helpful tool for making improved choices that empower them to achieve their health and wellness goals.

Here's how Good, Better, Best works: When you're faced with a meal or snack decision, just pause, take a few deep breaths, and calmly ask yourself these questions: "What are my options? And which of these options is a good choice, a better choice and the best choice?"

You may not always make the best choice. You may not even choose the better option. But by being aware of your options, you have a greater chance of making an improved choice than if you impulsively decide on the very first thing that comes to mind.

Yes, improving the quality of your food will sometimes cost a bit more. But, you only get one chance at life. Do you want to go through life being reckless about your health and open the door for you to have one debilitating disease after another? Or, do you want to live well, look well, have more energy and avoid disease?

So what if a head of organic broccoli costs 40 cents more than the conventional version? So what if a fresh-made pizza costs a few dollars more than a weak, frozen imitation? So what if you don't have a coupon for everything you buy at the supermarket? Isn't your body worth nurturing? Isn't your health worth it?

I see people freely spending money on glitzy SUVs, high-tech TVs, elaborate cell phones and specialty coffee drinks that cost nearly $5. And I never hear anyone complain about the price of a 20-ounce bottle of soda. But many of those same people will frown upon spending an extra $3 for a beautiful cut of organic beef or a gorgeous piece of fresh, wild-caught fish.

You can give the extra money to your grocer or health food store now, or you can give the money to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies in the future. Health is pleasurable. Disease hurts. It's your choice. And besides, hospital food is horrible.

I'd love to hear from you. You are invited to contact me through my book's website at And remember, eat well, be well, and have a great day!