The excitement of New Year’s resolutions may be wearing off but it's important to keep up the enthusiasm for healthy eating! If you continue to eat healthy, you will continue to feel energetic and lively. If you start adding processed foods back in, you will feel yourself deflate. Here's how to keep the momentum going throughout the day – by incorporating healthy foods morning, noon and night!
Healthy Breakfast Tips
Busy mornings can sabotage efforts to get the day off to a good start. Eating breakfast is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, revving up your metabolism and balancing blood sugars after an overnight fast. Plan ahead for easy-to-prepare and grab-and-go morning meals. Focus on high fiber, whole grains, protein, leafy greens and healthy fats. Some ideas are:
- crustless quiche made with plenty of chopped veggies
- mini vegetable frittatas made in muffin tins
- homemade muesli
- sprouted grain toast with spinach, egg and avocado on top
- green smoothies
- made-the-night-before oatmeal with nuts, seeds and flaxseed meal for added protein and fiber
- plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts on top – in a mason jar for portability
- don’t forget - salad can be eaten for breakfast!
Whether to snack or not is one of the more common dietary uncertainties. There are many factors to consider. When done right, snacking can keep your metabolism revved up, help prevent overeating at the next meal and can help keep blood sugar in a desirable range. However, choosing snack foods that are processed or sugar laden can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Also, the timing of snacks can raise already high insulin and blood sugar levels particularly if they are too close to meals. If snacks are part of your eating plan, it is best to focus on snack foods that are rich in fiber and protein.
- apple slices with nut butter
- blueberries and nuts
- sliced cucumbers with hummus
- celery with almond butter
- kale chips
- a handful of nuts or seeds
- seaweed snacks
Eating out at times can be both a luxury and a necessity. Whatever the reason, it is best to remember that restaurant meals are usually higher in calories, sodium and fat than we think. For that reason, we must have healthful strategies if eating out is part of our regular eating plan. These strategies hopefully help us keep the joy in eating out yet help stave off the less desired consequences like weight gain, excess sodium and fat.
I personally like to apply the plate method when eating out. It’s easy. Fill half of your plate with salad or steamed vegetables. This not only provides you with a healthy dose of antioxidants and phytonutrients but it also cuts down on real estate on your plate for higher calorie foods. What’s left is room for a sensible portion of lean protein and about ½ cup to a cup of carbohydrates.
- Keep creamy sauces and dressing to a minimum. Instead use a vinaigrette-based dressing.
- Be careful with salad toppings like cheese, olives, nuts, crispy wontons, croutons and bacon as these can add fat and calories.
- You can also ask for a to-go box when your food arrives at your table and box half of it to go even before taking your first bite.
If you're looking for a personalized nutrition plan that caters to your needs and lifestyle, call our office to set up a nutrition consult!