- Cook in Bulk: Prepare extra food ahead of time. On Sundays I cook a large baking dish full of chicken (sometimes fish), and a dish full of vegetables. I can use these in my lunch, on a salad, in pasta, or as an easy addition to any dinners I might cook during the week.
- Plan for Healthy Snacking: If you are a snacker keep food items on hand that you enjoy and can eat in appropriate portion sizes. Raw Almonds or other nuts, Fruit, Greek Yogurt, etc. You can pre-portion out ingredients for your favorite smoothie.
- Choose Foods that you Enjoy: You are not going to stick to a meal plan if you don’t like what you are eating. Don’t be afraid to experiment with healthy variations of your favorite recipes. Pinterest can be a gold mine of fun and healthy recipe ideas. You can check out my “Healthy Delicious” Pinterest Board here for some fun ideas.
2. Portion: Making healthy choices doesn’t make you exempt from eating realistic portion sizes. Just because an item is healthy doesn’t mean it’s low in calories. Two of my favorite foods in the world are Natural Peanut Butter and Avocados. Both foods have tremendous health benefits. Neither is a low calorie food.
- Check Portion Sizes: When you are first getting used to portion sizes don’t be afraid to measure. Keep in mind that measuring is a tool. If measuring food is a trigger to compulsive eating behaviors for you, please skip this one. Having a healthy relationship with food is more important than having an exact portion size.
- Approximate Portion Sizes: Meat/Protein should be around the size of your palm, or the size of a deck of cards. One serving of cheese is about the size of your thumb. Vegetables should fill about half of your plate or two cupped hands.
- Look for ingredients you recognize. For example, I prefer Peanut Butter where the only ingredient is Peanuts.
- Ingredients are listed in order of quantity. Whichever ingredient is listed first is present in the largest quantities. If sugar is the first or second ingredient it’s a red flag to me that the food item is not as healthy as it may seem.
- Try to include a vegetable at every meal. For me, the easiest and fastest option is fresh spinach. I put spinach in salads, smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, pastas, spaghetti sauce, or as a side dish.
- Eat Carbohydrates: They are necessary for your body and brain to function correctly. You can get your carbs from fruits and vegetables, from grains or from a combination of both. Food=Fuel.
- Eat Lean Protein: Protein helps keep you full throughout the day and helps your body build muscles.
- Eat Healthy Fats: Healthy fats have been scientifically proven to improve endurance during workouts. They also help your hair and nails look their best. Healthy fats decrease your risk for a plethora of diseases (heart disease, stroke, and hypertension just to name a few!) Olive oil, avocado, coconut, nut butters, and nuts are great sources of healthy fats.
|Spaghetti Squash over Fresh Spinach with Tomato & Spinach Marinara Sauce and Chicken.|
There is no secret to healthy eating. The trick to it is finding a healthy approach that works for you. I don’t eat whole foods all the time, but I make sure they are the foundation of my diet. Today I ate a donut (gasp!) and I don’t feel guilty, or that I had to “earn it” or “work it off.” I don’t eat donuts every day. I do eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats every day. I exercise and try to make healthy choices.