Tips on how to make eating healthy easy

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Ok, so you want to eat better.  You want to get into shape, maybe lose a little weight.  But what’s the show stopper?  Let me guess: “I don’t have time to eat like that.”
Wrong.  You just need to know how to make it easy.
These tips are straight out of my new cookbook Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way, and they are going to change the way you think about healthy food. And if you want a little help getting started, check out my TOP TEN TIPS FOR AN ORGANIZED LIFE. From organizing your health and yourself to organizing your time and your home, these tips are just what the doctor ordered!
Make a Plan
You know what they say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”  This is especially true when it comes to a habit as automatic as what you put in your mouth when your stomach begins to growl.  In the beginning, it will serve you to have a pre-determined menu to tell you what you will eat for all snacks and meals.  Plan for busy times and leisure times—quick snacks and meals, as well as ones that require more preparation time.  As time goes by, and good nutrition becomes your rule, you can wean yourself from the structure of meal plans.
Be Prepared
Set yourself up for success in the beginning by having a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator that will support you when you are hungry.  Supply your car, your office, and other places where you spend a lot of time with protein bars, fruit, and other healthy snacks containing protein.  If necessary, pack a small cooler so you can easily access yogurt, string cheese, salads, and other refrigerated food.
Purge the Pantry…
And the refrigerator, too.  As you know, we all have weaknesses If you are having a moment and ice cream is your go-to plan for how you are feeling, you’d better believe that all resolve will quickly go out the window.  Healthy eating…what?  String cheese isn’t going to do the trick.  Eliminate those foods that, in a weak moment, will ultimately sabotage your success.
Cook ahead
Without a doubt, cooking ahead is one of the best strategies for healthy eating. Whether you need chicken for a salad or veggies for an omelet, having your staples sliced, cooked, and chopped will be the key to having the time to prepare healthy and delicious meals.  Plan to grill chicken for dinner one night each week, and prepare extras.  Cook up a bunch of chicken or pork in your crockpot and shred it.   Make a delicious salad dressing that will store in the refrigerator for weeks.  Boil eggs to be used for snacks, salads, and breakfasts.  The objective is to precook as many parts of your meals and snacks as possible.  This is what makes throwing together a beautiful and delicious easier than going through the McDonald’s drive through.
Utilize the Freezer
The freezer is your new best friend.  Just accept it.  Tell your old BFF that there is someone new in our life.  Seriously, this is one appliance that will make healthy eating a snap.   When putting away leftover grilled chicken from dinner freeze them in individual portion sizes, and bam!  instant protein source for salads, sandwiches, and wraps.  Same story with leftover soup, taco fillings, and casseroles.  Freeze your over-ripe fruit for smoothies.  Prepare freezer meals and marinades for easy and quick dinner preparation. (See my upcoming posts on Freezer meals.  You’ll love it!)
Try New Things
When I began eating this way, I quickly realized that the only way I would successfully make healthy eating a lifestyle was to experiment with a variety of new recipes.  If I had to face the same two or three choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every day for the rest of my life, “healthy eating” would last about 10 minutes.  Explore this and other websites for healthy recipes that appeal to you, and commit to trying one or two new recipes a week.  (Pinterest is a great resource.)  They won’t all be winners, but you will find recipes that will become new staples.
Now… it’s time to get real with yourself.  What are your excuses about healthy eating?  Be honest about what is holding you back.  Commit to facing these obstacles by taking the time to anticipate them before they happen.  You will be empowered by a new confidence that you can do this.  You are worth it!  Creating new habits always requires effort.  But if you invest the time, you’ll see how easy it can be.
Other posts you might like:  Food is Your Friend, and The Skinny on Carbs.

2 Responses

  1. What ingredients do you consider to be top staple go to ingredients? What are your favorite on the fly recipes for when you forgot to plan something or plans changed? What are your favorite freezer meals to make for friends in need? Thanks for your help!

    1. Jill, these are great questions. I’ll answer briefly here, but check out my cookbook for more detailed answers:
      1- Top staple ingredients: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, eggs, veggies and hummus, protein bars, protein powder and ingredients for smoothies, greek yogurt, and whole grains.
      2 – I call these “Go-To” recipes, and they are a must! You have to have something to fall back on for those “I’m just going through the drive-thru” kind of nights. I have an easy bbq chicken pizza recipe in the cookbook that I can make, start to finish, in 10 minutes. I also make omelets for a quick dinner, and I make sure I have freezer meals and leftovers on hand. I have a great yam recipe in the cookbook that is also a great go-to.
      3- Favorite freezer meals to take to a friend: soups freeze so well, and that is such a good comfort food. The sweet pork is a favorite, though all you can freeze is the meat, so you’d have to be willing to add some fresh ingredients to go with it. The lasagna recipe in the cookbook is a perfect freezer meal, but when taking to friends I use traditional lasagna noodles instead of zucchini strips.
      Thanks Jill! I hope that helps!

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