These are my top 10 tips for eating healthy that have worked for me thus far. We all evolve and some things may or may not work for you depending on your stage of life. I’m sure in a few years my tips may change, but as of now raising a family- these are them!
Cook- Cooking is definitely a skill I’ve developed over time but I will be the first to tell you I’m not a crazy chef and some of the stuff I make isn’t always great. But that doesn’t matter to me for every meal. I find recipes and do my best with what I have. I know the simple ingredients I should keep on hand to throw together a meal if I need something in a pinch. Relying on packaged foods to give me the nutrients and energy my body needs just isn’t going to cut it. Learning to cook was one of the best things I’ve done (and continue doing!) to eat healthy.
Grocery shop weekly- This is due to my family eating so many fresh fruits and vegetables, so I need to shop more often to re-stock. I know what I need or should be looking for when I shop so I don’t spend more than 30 minutes in the store (unless I’m waiting for deli at Market Basket-right?)
Have easy snacks/meals ready- I’m talking granola bars, cheese sticks, yogurts, trail mix- anything you can grab with you if you know you’re going to be out for a couple hours. Better to be safe than sorry. I’d rather have a protein bar or some nuts instead of being hungry and having to stop somewhere for some not so healthy snacks. The same goes for if you don’t have dinner planned for the night. Taking out some frozen turkey/salmon burgers, meatballs to toss in a sauce and vegetables are great things to have for backup.
Plan dinner- I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to have every night, but I’ll take out some protein from the freezer (chicken, beef, pork, chicken sausage) to be sure it’s thawed out in time for me to cook. Then I plan what I’ll make either that night or in the morning.
Include vegetables in 3/4 of my meals- I’ve learned that I don’t like going long without having vegetables in my meals. I crave them. Or I crave junk and that’s a good sign that I probably need more vegetables. Adding some spinach to eggs or a smoothie is a simple one for me or I’ve been adding frozen cauliflower to a lot of my meals. Raw veggies are always a good side when I’m in a hurry.
Don’t buy tempting foods- I like ice cream, candy, chocolate, cookies- all the junk. Do I buy it? Not really. Why? Because if it’s easily accessible to me then I’ll eat it. It’s calling my name in the freezer and cabinets. If I really want a treat I’ll make it myself so I know it’s not processed junk or go out and get it with my family.
Eat a lot of protein- Everyone has heard you should be eating protein. Protein helps control body fat, repair and grow muscles, keep you full longer and promotes a healthy metabolism. Our body doesn’t produce or store protein and once the amount your body stores goes down, it needs to be replenished by food. Since lifting weights is essentially breaking down your muscles-it’s important to refuel them correctly with protein. So you’ll see almost all of my meals are focused around protein for these reasons.
Stay hydrated- I have 2 big nalgene bottles that I rotate between and always have them filled up with me throughout the day. I also like the polar seltzer waters and tea for a change during the day.
Eat breakfast- Making something to eat before I leave the house is basically a non-negotiable for me. I’m pretty hungry within an hour of waking up and know I’ll need something. Cooking some eggs or oatmeal doesn’t take much time and there are things I can do the night before to make this easier as well.
Have variety- A variety of protein, vegetables, carbs and fats ensure I’m getting nutrients from many sources. I like to be sure to eat some fish at least once a week, not too much sodium filled meats, ground turkey, pork and chicken to create variety in my meats. Different colored and cooked vegetables give my meals an assortment of vitamins as well. Some people like simplicity and that’s fine but sometimes having variety inspires me (& my kids).
What are some of your tips for eating healthy? I’d love to hear them to add to my list! Comment below and let me know!