e-Курс. Lesson 1: Talking about your diet (Elementary/ Pre-intermediate)

Many people say that in the past we used to be healthier because we had more time to eat a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It is very difficult to have a balanced diet (= to eat a combination of the right food) nowadays. We live in such a hurry that we don’t have much time to think about good food and as a result we eat too much junk food (= fast food) ; we like having a quick snack (= something sweet to eat) every now and then and our meals (= breakfast, lunch and dinner) are too heavy (= they have too many calories) .

Specialists say that to stay healthy we should eat a low-calorie diet with three quarters of plant food (= fruit and vegetables) and one quarter of animal food (= for example meat) . They sometimes recommend organic (= naturally grown) food , but it is still rather expensive, so not everybody can afford it.

More contexts

  • – Frozen fruit and vegetables are very popular in winter.
    (= fruit and vegetables kept in the temperature below zero)
  • – We often buy tinned corn or peas to make tuna salad.
    (= Corn or peas kept in a metal box)

Grammar snack

Let’s look again at the first sentence from the text above:

… we used to be healthier because we had more time to eat proper …

This is the sentence about the past and “USED TO ” is its most important part.
When we use this construction we talk about an action which was our habit, but it is not any more, so when we say:

  • I used to eat a lot of ice-cream as a child.

  • I used to ride a bike when I was younger.
  • I used to drink milk every evening when I stayed with my grandparents.

we say that we did these things regularly in the past, but we don’t do them now.

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